Will Elon Musk Save the Music Industry?

Will Elon Musk Save the Music Industry?

This MBW editorial comes from Ran Geffen (inset in photo), CEO of Amusica Song Management in Israel and founder of OG.studio, an extended reality content and business development agency that facilitates transitions to the web3.


Music companies have asked Twitter to license the music completely.

But, as a potential new owner of the platform, Elon Musk will not play the game of the music industry, but the music industry must play his.

That said, a Musk Music DAO initiative (let’s call it MuziX, considering Musk’s brand story) could actually be the answer to their appeal: it would be a decentralized blockchain-based copyright management and licensing platform that would democratize how music is licensed.

Should the big potential losers Musk decide to enter the music business? Collective rights management organizations and, by proxy, their respective members. To survive in Musk’s world, they must be the architects of their (current) end.

Let’s take a closer look at Twitter’s position in the landscape in a music business context: it’s a meeting space where musicians interact with each other and their fandom and where web3 music projects are launched and managed.

It was labeled by the IFPI as “a significant concern for the music industry” in its own submission to the European Championship Commission and PRS CEO Andrea Czapary Martin urged the company to “take responsibility for the music they share with millions of people around the world”.

Twitter’s response was “We are always looking for ways we can support our community of creators.

Now let’s take a closer look at Musk.

His TED Talk about the future gives a good insight into the way he thinks and operates. Your main interest right now? TO THE. It took some time for self-driving car AI to learn how to use roads designed for humans.

It had to understand and imitate human vision and interaction. Optimus, Musk’s AI humanoid robot, also needs to understand humans to interact with them.

Twitter is the perfect place to analyze human interaction based on short statements and reactions. Musk would amplify this interaction by allowing his users to see if the algorithm has changed a particular tweet and suggest corrections. In short: Musk is turning Twitter customers into collaborators in his mission to improve human-machine interaction.

Amy Thomson of Hipgnosis suggested the same solution in a recent one MBW podcast – a global copyright database verified by the creators themselves. It also highlights the lack of transparency as a major problem in today’s ecosystem. Transparency is the heart of blockchain technology.

Tom Allen, of Curve Royalty Systems, has given a 10-15 year lead time for the industry to adopt blockchain as a solution (giving self-driving cars as an example) and talked about the scale and high transaction fee on Ethereum.

Musk is committed to launching self-driving cars next year. Processing the musical transaction would be a breeze for him. Transaction costs, which have been reported as a problem, can be reduced simply by switching to a green, reliable and low-cost blockchain.

So what would the MuziX components be?

  1. A registry for all music industry players that would provide a unique international ID number and link them to a dedicated e-wallet that would give them an overview of all their assets and revenue generated in the music ecosystem by type of use.
  2. An open database of music compositions contributors with divisions registered on the blockchain and smart contracts that would set the terms allowing recording artists, DSPs or anyone else who wants to use music for streaming, synchronization or sampling.
  3. A record management tool based on a recorded composition attached to it which would record all participating contributors – producers, artists and session musicians – on the blockchain and terms that allow a recording to be used for any purpose.
  4. A digital archive of recordings which would include a demo of the new recording to complete the recording of the composition. The demo recording would be analyzed using fingerprinting technology to ensure that the composition is original and would allow for sampling requests. The system would also allow you to upload stems that can be used under the terms of the smart contracts and a fingerprint of the re-code.
  5. Would create the same for any visual / audiovisual work attached to a recording or any contributor.
  6. A switchboard that would link all data with APIs that would allow anyone wishing to use the copyrighted material personally or aggregate it to third parties under the terms of smart contracts.

In this new world, songwriters and editors would be at the center of creation with the tools to dictate the terms in which their compositions could be used. Recording artists and masters owners would also be able to set their terms. Creators could get an immediate license to use stems to create new work and new revenue for the original creators.

The same goes for AI-powered music creation tools that may provide fans with access to licensed elements from the music they like. Freedom of creation, transparency and immediate compensation as determined by the music creators.

The infrastructure is already there, evolving and taking shape. Take a close look at the NFT musical panorama, visit websites, join their Discord channels, read their road map and white paper, talk to them and connect the dots. Streaming is the main source of income for artists and songwriters. Since 80% of artists on Spotify have fewer than 50 listeners per month, they need to make money elsewhere: in the web3 and NFT space, they can establish their own rules and terms of engagement with their fans.

“The music industry is investing heavily in metaverse entities to try to gain a grip on current trends and bring them into line with the old world. Social media and streaming platforms are embracing NFTs as a commodity for sale and not as a utility to pay royalties. “

But, at present, professionals, major record companies and publishers are not part of this equation.

On the contrary, the music industry is heavily investing in metaverse entities to try to gain a grip on current trends and align them with the old world. Social media and streaming platforms are embracing NFTs as a commodity for sale and not as a utility for paying royalties.

(And in any case, I have talked to many web3 players and they are more than willing to play the traditional music industry the right way.)


Musk can turn this around in the blink of an eye and invite his crypto-native music industry companions, disruptive players like members of the Song Guild of America (supported by Hipognosis, supported by Blackstone) and other early adopters of the decentralized zone, to create a better place for copyright holders.

Musk successfully did this with the auto industry, forcing it to develop electric cars. In his TED speech, she described this as an “act of philanthropy”. He can do it for the music industry. If he builds MuziX, they will come.

A simple tweet from Musk reflecting on such a feat could finally unite the music industry in an effort to save themselves … from themselves. The staggering amount of money that will be saved on IT development, data storage and administration costs by PROs, record companies, music publishers and DSPs could be allocated to better serve their customers and redistribute wealth for benefit. of music makers. Remember, without writers and musicians there is no music business). The authors and their respective editors (if any) own the PROs and the change must begin with them.

“The PROs will have to become leaner. We don’t need these big bloated organizations. Their role in this new world, if they want one, should be to get the best deal for writers through legislation, negotiation, and most importantly, education. “

In 1993, my first mentor in the music industry – Sam Trust, the legendary ATV boss – taught me my first music publishing lesson: “Go to the collection company, spit on the ground and don’t stop screaming until you they pay to shut up ”.

A lot has changed since then. PROs have taken a giant step to provide better service and transparency to their members. The problem is that they did it separately. How come? Ego.

The ego pushed PROs to spend a lot of money to recreate the same systems in territories around the world. From the GRD to the ISWC and beyond, they have stumbled over and over again. ICE, SACEM and MINT compete and steal customers from each other, all at the expense of their members / owners. All of the above is not equipped to manage the web space3. Instead of creating an environment to support it, they are trying to shut it down, just like they tried with Napster.

PROs can either keep doing the same thing and expect different results (Einstein’s definition of insanity) or have CISAC collect all the valuable information stored on their members’ systems and use it as a global hub for all collection companies: creates their version of “MuziX” with their members as co-owners. If not, other players will step in and allow their members to license the rights using blockchain technologies. Some of the players in the NFT music landscape are actively doing a great job preparing this infrastructure to support the likes of Alan Walker, as featured in a recent MBW podcast.

PROs will need to get leaner. We don’t need these big bloated organizations. Their role in this new world, if they want it, should be to get the best deal for writers through legislation, negotiation, and most importantly, education. It can only work if they work together and there are good intelligent leaders in the music industry. Putting the ego aside will allow them to take the right action.

What about moss? Let’s see what happens if and when he tweets this to his community. Music business around the world

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