Icelandic singer Björk will become one of the first major musical artist to sell her work in exchange for cryptocurrencies.
Björk is known for not being afraid of trying out new things. That is evident on her music, her eclectic musical style draws influence from many different genres, and her love affair with technology, her latest album from 2015 called “Vulnicura” had several tracks transformed into a virtual reality experience.
It seems her focus has now turned to another technology, blockchain. Her newest album, “Utopia”, is scheduled for release on the 24th of November and fans will be able to purchase it with their hard earned cryptocurrencies. The musician has teamed up with Blockpool, a British blockchain startup, that is working with One Little Indian Records online store in order to integrate a plugin that accepts cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.
“People have done things with crypto and artists before, but this is the first time a global artist has done anything like this. While it will be interesting to see how the crypto community responds to this, Utopia is also a gateway for people to go into crypto for the first time. Björk is the best artist in the world we could imagine doing this,” – Kevin Bacon, Blockpool CEO
The album can be purchased with four different cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, AudioCoin, LiteCoin and Dash) and fans who pre-order the album will receive 100 free AudioCoins, a cryptocurrency that was designed specifically for the music industry two years ago. Although 100 AudioCoins are only worth $0.26 at the moment, Björk intends to give fans the opportunity to earn more AudioCoins by attending her concerts and for engaging and promoting her on social media, a move that can spike interest in the cryptocurrency. It is still unclear how this integration will work, but it seems the music industry is a pioneer into adopting decentralized ledger technologies.
Blockchain And The Music Industry
Although Björk will be the first major artist to accept cryptocurrencies for her work, she is simply following the footsteps of other, lesser known, artists. Imogen Heap, an English singer, was a pioneer in selling her “Tiny Human” single in exchange for Ether in 2015 and created the Mycelia platform, a fair trade music business inspired by blockchain. The same startup that helped make this possible, Ujo Music, also helped Portuguese DJ RAC launch his album “Ego”, the first full-length album distributed on the ethereum blockchain. And it seems more artist are also jumping on the ICO bandwagon. Famous DJ Grammatik will launch his own cryptocurrency, GRMTK, on the 9th of November and singer Tatiana Moroz also has her own cryptocurrency, TatianaCoin.
Can blockchain bring fairness back to the music industry? As with any solution, blockchain technology probably won’t be a perfect answer to all the problems. However, more and more artists are starting to embrace the technology with the hope that, by cutting off middlemen, a more fair revenue share will take place. In time we will see how decentralized technology will integrate with the music and arts industry.