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Some background about Bittunes

We launched the beta version of the Bittunes Android app in early 2014 and opened the platform up to all users in the Google Play Store in May 2015.  Since that time we have been building the business, the brand and the user base and learning from our users about what is important to them. We had put a bunch of innovations on the table and established that there was significant interest. Then we began to build up the song catalogue and solve the ‘chicken and egg’ problem of having enough ‘Artists and Fans’ to create a marketplace. It was during this phase that we started to talk to many of our Artists and discover what their crucial issues were. This is when we started to make some discoveries and imagine the broad scope of things we could do with Bittunes.

A monetized self publishing network, not owned or controlled by any entity

What became glaringly obvious to us was the fact that the basic principles of P2P file sharing could facilitate a massive people powered publishing network. As long as we could make sure that the artists who owned the copyright to their material were the one’s who uploaded, and gave permission, then one of the key problems with previous file sharing applications would be fixed. It would be 100% legal.

A lot of people are excited about ‘Music + Blockchain’ as if it will fix everything

Most if not all of the new ‘Music/Blockchain’ companies are trying to partner with the existing music industry in some way. They are naively rushing to where the money is now, in a collective case of self induced amnesia. So, let’s be real.. One thing is clear. The music industry is not at all comfortable with the transparency that Blockchain technology has to offer. Remember what happened when the Music Industry last encountered a revolutionary technology that had the potential to change everything?

Does everyone remember Limewire?

Limewire was one of a number of P2P networks shut down by the Music Industry. But there were three reasons that Limewire failed. a) It shared copyright infringing music, b)  Limewire had no actual monetization method to incentivize people to upload and profit, but most importantly.. c) When faced with a radical new innovation that could transform distribution, the music industry did everything they could to kill it.

Bittunes 2.0 ~ Let’s talk about Blockchains

There will be a strong Blockchain component in Bittunes 2.0, but our overall strategy in this area might surprise some people. But let’s start from basics. We are hardcore Bitcoin Blockchain exponents. We believe that Bitcoin and its Blockchain are the pivotal technologies in this field, and we are strong supporters of Blockstream and their various initiatives to support and enhance the core elements of the Bitcoin blockchain. (Sidechains, Lightening Networks & Segregated Witness). However, we don’t think a Blockchain is the must have solution for all situations. Like any technology, it should be utilized only when and if it is needed.

We see some very specific uses for a Blockchain with regard to music, but we have quite a different approach to many other companies working in this area. We are not interested at all in helping Dinosaur industries shoe-horn outmoded systems onto a Blockchain, with the help of smart contracts, to help to perpetuate their business models. We believe that there is a huge opportunity for systemic renewal and doing a massive reset for music, so we have our eyes fixed firmly on the future, not the past.

Simplicity wins.. every time.

The Bitcoin Blockchain is a complex system, but that doesn’t mean that the transaction and rights data related to music that is embedded onto the Blockchain needs to also be complex. We think that there should be one primary global rights system for independent music (and this almost certainly is Creative Commons), and that this data, plus the transaction logic and log (history) that is encrypted and recorded on this Blockchain should be as simple and straight forward as possible. Like many industries that have been around for 50 -100 years the music industry has developed an incredibly complex set of rules and massively complex clusters of interdependent agencies all taking their cut. Sort of like a huge traffic jam on the freeway, we think the solution is obvious..  just drive around it.

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AUTHOR, Simon Edhouse. [ This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License]

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