Musicians have long struggled to receive higher payment for the music they produce. As Maria Bosseljon states in her 2020 article on “Innovating in the Music Industry,” revenue streams must be funneled through a long chain of the streaming service, the record label, the publisher, and performing rights organizations before they can make their way to producers, songwriters, and the performers themselves (Bosseljon 2020, pg5). If that wasn’t enough, for musicians looking to stream their music, they received merely $0.0032 per stream on Spotify, $0.0056 on Apple Music, and $0.00436 on Deezer (Pastukhov, 2019). The amount of income that can be generated through these platforms makes it incredibly difficult for independent artists to support themselves.
In music distribution alone, the current business model of other distribution companies is to force these artists to pay an upfront subscription fee or take a percentage of royalties to place their music on streaming platforms and digital stores. While this works for somewhat more established artists, this isn’t always a feasible option for a young or developing musician, leading many to opt for free solutions, which do not generate royalties for the vast majority of musicians. This reliance on free services not only limits the reach of their music, but leaves them in the financial red after considering hardware, software, training, and time. To further add insult to injury, these platforms cannot reach musicians in developing musical economies due to the limitations of our current financial system. A $45 wire transfer fee to a musician in Nigeria from a music distributor in the United States isn't only infeasible, it's practically criminal.
Where does this state of affairs leave non-major artists and artists in developing economies? We can do better by making these services accessible to all musicians, everywhere.
(November 20th, 2023)
As a solution to these problems, we at Unchained Music have developed a 100% free music distribution platform powered by DeFi, royalty capture, and AI; bringing more agency to the individual musician. Artists keep all their royalties and have access to additional services that are necessary to provide independent musicians with an equal playing field, all in the same platform.