The 21st century and the advent of the internet have changed the music industry more than any technology since Edison’s wax record first imprinted “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Music has never been easier to create, distribute, or consume.
This has created an entire sector of musicians that dedicates itself to independent distribution on services like SoundCloud, leading not only to a changing business model but artistic innovation due to the lack of oversight by labels.
However, despite this positive aspect of the industry, there have been negative effects for creators and consumers of content alike. These centralized streaming services operate as the modern manifestation of record labels- gatekeepers to an artists output for the consumer and a gatekeeper to an artist’s profits on the content creator’s sides.
Services like Spotify and SoundCloud operate opaquely with record labels in order to determine influence and prominence in their algorithms, creating a power system that is easily manipulatable by the already powerful.
This dynamic not only creates an inefficient market but also stunts artistic innovation.
That is why the DAC Blockchain Network could alter online audio content creation for the better. Using blockchain technology, DAC would allow a decentralized, secure and global community of consumers and creators who would be able to contribute to the network in exchange for fair compensation. This could empower everybody involved while limiting the power of the giants to control content and profit from data farming, advertising, and subscription fees.
How DAC Works
The most basic component of the DAC network, is the DT cryptocurrency token. Unlike streaming services who take fees from its content creators, or don’t pay at all in exchange for “exposure,” DAC does away with this model that is ultimately harmful to artists. By using crypto-based microtransactions, creators and consumers can be sure they are paying and being paid exactly what the content being shared is worth.
But DAC innovation is not only in the use of its DAC Token (DT) to instantly and securely exchange value across the network, but also in its creation of an open and global community that relies on the positive contributions of its users in order to flourish.
The value of a piece of content is determined through a community-wide system of influence called DAC Power (DP). DP is accrued by community members that create content, validate transactions, write reviews, and generally police and regulate the community, the DT will create a way to fairly and transparently compensate content creators. This DP is also rewarded with DT that can be used to exchange for content or other services.
However, the innovation of the DP Community is that ultimately, the value is determined by the community. High-quality content’s DP is rewarded by adjustment of the algorithm to favor that artist, meaning that consistently popular artists are rewarded. This is opposed to the backroom deals and sponsored-content dynamic of websites like Spotify. DP ensures transparency in the programming and functioning of the website.
But in addition to transparency, the system of DP allows for the community to create a communal “musical taste” and build consensus and community engagement around artists on the network. This creation of a global artistic community could explode artistic innovation and engagement by creating a democratic, community-based sounding board and rewards system. While SoundCloud comments and Spotify likes can be profitable, the nature of those profit models ultimately limits all but the most successful (and usually already signed) artists from truly befitting.
DP creates an incentive system were DP like that can be converted into DT and ultimately into other crypto and fiat currency means that community consensus created by instant and global feedback is the incentive an artist is ultimately working towards. Artists are not abstractly rewarded for popularity through the potential of being signed, but rather fairly compensated for providing content their community wants.
This is ultimately the innovative power of DAC and its use of blockchain. The ability to receive instant and secure value on a global network through blockchain technology could permanently alter the nature of independent art. No longer would “exposure” and the ability to get signed by a label be the currency for independent artists. Rather, currency would be currency.
The ultimate benefit of DAC could be the transfer of the democratic, decentralized nature of cryptocurrency to the goods and services it affects. Just as labels acted as a sort of centralized source for music before the internet age, internet giants are now centralizing access to profits for music distributed on the internet. Cryptocurrency could permanently change the model for the independent content creator, and by extension, permanently alter art.