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Reflections and Predictions on the Evolution of Music Industry Technology TPP242

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Tantra Punk Singing Live

In this episode I share reflections and predictions from my experience of the evolution of music industry technology, excerpted from a academic research interview

My (non-verbatim) notes:

TP: Creating record albums on vinyl with indy punk bands, some times on labels, sometimes 100% diy

have had experience of difficulties, as a very strict very purist indy artist, wanted to avoid bar codes, distributes, anyone who’d want to control you creative direction

getting you hooked on hype

bands renting big tour buses, fancy hotels, their in debt with the label, they lose the right to perform with their name

didn’t have any of those horror stories to that extent, but experiences I had sometimes selling out a little bit to the labels and the music industry, it’s an asymmetrical deal

the sports player who gets their checks is rich, but the person who writes their checks is wealth

if you’re the talent or player or whatever you are that’s generating this ecosystem of wealth around you, always replaceable by whatever’s up and coming next

if you’re not making them money hand over fist, your music gets tossed in the bargain bin, that was the brick and mortal experience before things got super digital

different forms of financial abuse and exploitation, deal end deals, contracts not being honored, music being bootlegged

when you’re sold to have higher hopes but you don’t get the backing that you’d thought you’d get

melting down of band relationships, smart contracts are apt

blockchain tech and facilitate more autonomy and more decentralization, really have more disintermediation between artists and their end user audience, their fans

this technology of smart contracts can create more returns and more yields, more control of royalties, management, intellectual property rights management through smart contracts

a lot of disputes, drama, heart breaking madness when bands form and they all start out as college buddies, high school, garage band, resistant to notion of creating contracts to split up ownership

it’s a myth that if you engage in a contract you’re assuming an adversarial relationship, it’s like when people don’t do prenuptial agreements, happens in bands all the time, really ugly to the point where several bands are using the same name like a forked blocked chain, lot of drama, problems

when you want to bring in a studio musician or side person, can’t afford representation

once a smart contract gets written in code, it can get duplicated, modified, iterated upon

all that stuff is unfolding pretty rapidly

I’ll probably make it into the early adopter bracket, but I’m relying on geeks, developers, want to be in first generation of early adopters, enthusiast for technology

last time I toured with a band, we had a pay with bitcoin option

evolution of stable coins, dai, maker dao, really gonna facilitate solving a lot of early problems that ethereum dapp developers being

one of the most exciting them for me about it is you can resolve and prevent disputes, sit down with collaborators, and say are we gonna go in equal rights per contributor, you might say, the drummer doesn’t write melodies, or lyrics, but we have the creative solidarity, since it’s not just a cult of the front person, there’s a place for that too, for example a band every body wants to value each other’s input equally

thanks to bitpay you can do ethereum payments, a lot of this stuff can work along side or parallel, payment to smart contract, can split percentages to each member

talent buyers at clubs, be just like making a paypal payment or swiping a card, as an artist you could make a statement by going full crypto

if its not direct crypto payments, this band is going to funnel our payments, from all revenue streams, have it all go into a smart contract, still have accountant, still have legal advice

security of immutable blockchain, better to say corruption resistant

people embezzle, people pocket money, some people feel they deserve more

they creep up, a lot of resentment kills bands, how many bands could you save if you were able to preclude 99.9 percent of the drama that happens over sharing resources

M: do you think this is a solution that would really change or help music industry, goes to apple, then to record label, is there a big need for an instant royalty payment

TP: yeah, that’s a great point, I’d say that’s absolutely critical where we get to the point where Andreas Antonopolis, I think he coined, at least the first time I heard the word, basically called it streaming money if we get to that point where for example, some miracle of governance makes it possible for one of the competing blockchains to facilitate lightning speed peer to peer transactions, that don’t get bottlenecked like ethereum network and crypto kitties

sometimes perverse incentives with confirming transactions and blocks, for general listening audience, at this stage of development, early stage, a long lag time, when there’s more use the system gets less efficient, it doesn’t scale, the way we’re used to

we want to get to this state of streaming money, micro payments and splitting up in multiple recipients via smart contracts, within next year or two is my guess, legal contracts that hold water

let’s say you’re a band and you’re on the road, and you already tapped out your advance for the recording, you went out of pocket, you’re out there on the road, like a start up that doesn’t have seed funding, if you’re vehicle breaks down, or you gotta bail out one of your members because they were plastered and started tearing up the hotel room or something, or you have to buy them drugs, if you had streaming money, we just did a great performances, numbers are going up, people sharing music, posting videos, some platforms do have faster payouts, but the older school gears of processing payments

it would be great, for established bands, they could have a really good run putting out a chart topping single, then the growing pains of success can kill the band, they can break up on the first tour, being a touring musician is more stressful than people appreciate, the toll, lack of sleep, road food, immune system depressed, swabbing the country for new strains of colds and viruses

M: for streaming money, artists don’t get paid enough right now, one big question, is it because we as a consumer, buyer of music, 2019 everyone is streaming, I don’t see anyone buying a cd, everyone knows , are the platforms giving themselves too much money, or we as consumers are not willing to pay that money

TP: honestly I’m not in a position myself to say, I would like to believe that in the ecological economics, I’d like to believe that less brick and mortal less physical materials, not as clean and green as you would like it to be, going treeless, but what about all the electricity, not accurate to assume not having a physical product and going digital, trade offs on both sides, I’d like to study that, if we assume going virtual and going digital is going to reduce the foot print of all the petroleum record albums that were printed, you don’t have to fill a landfill with an mp3 that went out of style

I’m grateful for the work that the centralized platforms have done, VC funded, I know soundcloud had a really hard time at certain points, have an appreciation for tech start up business cycles, don’t want to demonize, it’s an invitation what those entities have done, people who want to make more peer to peer open source

hacker mantra, information should be free, I consider myself, if I was Metallica, I would not have sued Napster, in that sense I appreciate that infrastructure, to create these powerful file distribution systems, but if we can reclaim the hacker ethic around that, just like bit torrent did, evolving, paraphrase Andreas, history of internet history of blockchains, if you regulate the centralized platforms, you end up forcing the evolution of people creating ways to work around that are headless

crypto, we can do our own peer to peer unstoppable versions of sharing value, intellectual property rights, sharing media, more on side of creating solutions and not protesting the problems,

why should they be charitable, let them be as predatory as they want, it will just push indy coders,

M: is it still too slow

TP: it depends on the use case, the transaction price on ethereum, the gas price, you have to pay to execute a smart contract, micro payment, peer to peer, alice pays bob one penny as a tip, for whatever the service is, if I release a track for free, if someone wants to give a .5 cent tip and it’s gonna cost a dollar, still not at a point where those micropayments are facilitated

Ameen Soleimani, pioneer developer for state/payment channels, lightning fast micropayments, that can sync up to the base layer, you have to be really advanced, and pay developers a lot of money, its just such a new technology, eventually there will be a more affordable way to develop custom apps, but hey right now if you can do that stuff, you’re gonna get paid really well, he’ll be one of the ones to facilitate that

to answer more directly, depending on your use case, let’s just say micro payments are a ways off for end users to just have some front end app, where you say hey band mates less do different rights on our tracks, that level of granularity, we’re gonna get there, but after side chain, or state channel, payment channel technology, wider range of developers

M: if a broader spectrum of programmers will get into the market, the price will sync

TP: for sure, that’s why there’s so much fighting between the different blockchains, because developer mindshare is the most precious resource and commodity, people with skin in the game, if you have skin in the game with EOS then you want developers to be very nationalistic and tribalistic with their allegiance to the code of that chain

I feel most beholden to ethereum community, even though other alternatives have been in development, not investment advice, its spirit, it’s origin story, I do believe that perhaps with ethereum 2.0 advancements we’ll get to the point where the cost of doing the computations for smart contracts will be more efficient, it was created for platform for decentralized applications

no body is used to increasing ethereum gas limit to process activity on apps, it’s all gotta be tucked under the hood

very much a premium to be in that first wave of technology, I believe in it for sure

M: erc20- explain

TP: that token standard has been prerequisite

bitcoin and ether are not stable coins,

because of the erc20 token standard, ether is like the parent currency, and the erc20 is a child of that currency, but it has independent features, total supply, other parameters for programmable money

bitcoin is programmable money, but very limited, helps reduce attack surface, makes it less easy to hack and corrupt

eth, far more programmable, large attack surface, necessary as another experiment to push limits of programmable money

erc20 had to be created to create subnetworks of value, so anybody can make you’re own token

as the SEC provides more guidance, you could be a registered securities offering with your band, don’t want to use ICO, scams and fraud, before bubble in 2017, very excited about projects tokenizing artists, and bands, so you could have this potential buy in, built in crowd source funding

used to be called the street team, because cyber street team, and now there can be blockchain stream team, incentivized to hold your token

more pertinent use case, artists and fans and music industry at large, you wouldn’t want to have a whole elaborate scheme of smart contract payments bein g made with ether, being what the payouts would be in, youd’ want to use a stable currency

I didn’t want to use centralized stable coins, the maker dao, closer to the spirit of decentralization, crypto anarchy

that’s the thing that’s got to be baked in, probably going to be dai

don’t know when that announcement will be made, viable because stable coin

M: technology right now is overly hyped, major barriers still have to overcome, blockchain will still be there

TP: I do believe there is a place for hybrids between old system and new system, people say there should never be something called a private blockchain, the sewer rat and the bubble boy, if you’re not a public blockchain, being attacked, you’re not building the armor of being open to the web, like a sewer rat, contrast that with bubble boy who didn’t have an immune system, private intranet blockchain, your’e not evolving, updating libraries, hodge podge of kludgey contractor code, unpatched supply chain code that could already be comprised, the security of open source

more eyes on code makes the bugs shallow

what needs to have blockchain and what doesn’t what needs that level of security and what doesn’t

some people describe ethereum as the slowest most expensive computer on earth, feature not a bug, if you want to more security and reliability you should be able to pay for premium, expect to happen on distributed network around the globe, for now we’re accepting those factors as being the cost of taking a step away from the big data hubs of centralization

depends on what you’re trying to do, I believe there’s a place for private blockchains, for internal auditing of record keeping, inventory, in some ways safer not to be connected to the internet, offline ledger or record of state changes, air gapped from the rest of the internet, while considering sewer rat and bubble boy thesis, best way I’ve heard it described

you don’t have to put everything on blockchain, degrees of centralization vs decentralization in the technology stack

base layer could be bitcoin or ethereum, private protocols running on top of that and anchoring back to that

all kinds of ways, on a vertical stack, tie in either above or below our use case, or app, up or down or sideways, don’t think it’s an either or

centralized database vs blockchain

I don’t think we’ll move everything onto the blockchain

there have been horror stories with the dao hack, rolling back the chain, ethereum classic, bitcoin bitcoin cash, no body wants to build their business on these fault lines of male ego conflicts

I don’t want to be the one out there trying to convert people to something that’s not mature enough to be trusted

I developed a relationship with a guy who was early in bitcoin, onboarding third world villagers, sincere desire to bank the unbanked, while he was rolling out his project, bitcoin price fell by 50 percent, can only imagine the look on his face, and those who he got excited about it, all that explaining you have to do, already been in small version of that

M: if blockchain technology can foster trust and transparency is it then possible that trust in technology, could help building up or opening up networks, to connect people better, do you think blockchain technology shifting away intermediaries, peer to peer network, helping creatives to create a better social network

TP: we’ll get to the point where the end user app interface, within a few years, you could program an app by pressing buttons on a gui, you could do millions of dollars worth of smart contract language writing when the tools are built up to a point, and the libraries of code, you can do a custom blockchain for going out with friends to a bar, to split the tab, the way you can gamify everything, if you’re in a band, and you can create an app for every show on that tour and that app for that show, the people in the audience are gonna rate the performance of the member of each band and get paid in real time based on performance, immediately increase the energy, you are gonna get paid extra on top of your per deim, based on the audience rating your performance in real time, making eye contact, audience will have a dial on the app, that app that could be program not be getting 500 million dollars of venture capital, just by downloading that app

there was a time basically you had to install tcp-ip into windows, if you wanted to use the internet, now you’d never think twice

we’ll get there, that’s gonna be the sweet spot, where anybody can program a smart contract