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Spotify Acquires Blockchain Startup Mediachain to Improve Royalties Distribution

By Alexander Lielacher Apr 30, 2017 2:47 PM EDT

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Digital music streaming service Spotify has acquired blockchain company Mediachain with a view to solving the problems associated with royalties attribution on its platform. New York-based Mediachain has been developing blockchain solutions to address the challenges faced by musicians and the creative industry when it comes to content attribution and revenue distribution.

Blockchain, Music, and Mediachain

Blockchain technology is what allows Bitcoin to operate without a central body to provide trust and to verify transactions. The blockchain allows for transactions to be recorded, verified and stored by all participants of the peer-to-peer network. The data processed on the blockchain is immutable, and any attempts to change the data is immediately recognized and resolved. It is what makes the blockchain an excellent tool for capturing and storing data of all forms in a secure and trustworthy manner, especially in today’s creative industry where content can easily be attributed to the wrong sources resulting in loss of revenue for the original content creators.

One of Mediachain’s co-founders, Jesse Walden, has extensive knowledge and understanding of the challenges that the music industry faces with regards to attribution due to his background in music management. Prior to his work at Brooklyn-based Mediachain Labs, he co-founded a music management firm Cool Managers where he worked with renowned artists such as Solange Knowles and Blood Orange. It was while running Cool Managers that Walden was first exposed to the many problems related to music data, such as determining the creators, owners, and other stakeholders to musical content.

In addition to the difficulties of crediting the right people, financially and otherwise, the music industry also has a massive problem with actually digging out the information as pertaining to music. “This is because that information doesn’t have a globally referenceable home. Instead, it is trapped in proprietary databases,

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