The big man is dead!
The days of record labels are over. Now, artists can take control of their own careers. They can get paid fairly for their work. They can find their audience and get paid directly for their work.
Remember hearing about Meghan Thee Stallion’s treacherous contract with her first record label? Yeah. Many artists often feel stifled working for the man-record labels with the distribution and marketing infrastructure-who tend to squeeze every juice they can out of an artist. We’d like to introduce you to the future of music—DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations.
One of the biggest problems with traditional business structures is that they rely on centralized control, which can lead to issues with corruption, power-mongering, and greed. DAOs are different. Instead of being controlled by just one person or entity, they are controlled by a complex system of smart contracts—meaning that there’s no single point of failure. This can be a really big deal for businesses in the record label industry.
A DAO is a group that has no centralized structure. Everyone in the group has voting power, which means everyone’s voice is heard. The establishment of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) could facilitate collective decision-making, allowing for musicians to come together and own their work. They can have an artist-led enterprise that is more responsive to their needs and aspirations. For example, decisions can be made faster and with broader engagement as opposed to current record labels where a handful of gate keepers hold your destiny in their hands.
DAOs will ensure that musicians do not have to be at the mercy of record labels that are often keen on exploiting new acts. As a young upcoming musician, you will find that this technology opens alternative opportunities that you would otherwise not have accessed.
DAOs would allow stakeholders with shared values and a vision for the industry to collaborate in creating an enabling environment for musicians to thrive. Transferring ownership to creators with more skin in the game will enhance shared ownership and allow for more democracy in the global music industry.
It does not mean that everyone will be Beyoncé with the Beyhive, but at the very least, it means someone with the ability to create a significant fan base can also profit from their talent and work. This is important as the industry seeks to provide more opportunities for social-economic mobility by allowing musicians and other creators to access more opportunities for both professional and commercial success.
Besides giving musicians direct control over how their work is created, marketed and used, it also provides an opportunity for them to shape how they interact with their key demographics. This will prove to be invaluable as fans seek a more personal touch from their favorite musicians.
Furthermore, DAOs will facilitate a fairer distribution of resources than record labels. This is important in allowing them to thrive and make a positive impact in the world. It can also allow for the achievement of desirable outcomes. A DAO can allow for a fair redistribution of the benefits that accrue from music to both the artists and their song writers.
A DAO also has the advantage of being able to operate at scale. This means that it can be rolled out to the rest of the world, creating a global community of musicians that can contribute to the growth of the music industry.
They will also help to reduce the operational expenses that tend to eat into the profits generated by artists. For example, you can manage royalties in a more efficient manner that ensures that everyone who should benefit from a song gets their fair share. This will free up artists so that they can focus on doing what matters most to them-creating music.
As a stakeholder in the music industry, you can see how this is a powerful alternative to record labels and their bureaucracy. A DAO will be effective in reducing the level of fraud and piracy in the music industry.
The problem with record labels is that they have a lot of control and power over the activities in the music industry. This means that there are commercial considerations that influence the decision-making process. Instead, a DAO will eliminate the centrality of a for-profit focus, allowing for a more authentic experience that places music and the quality of the fan experience at the core of the decision-making process.
An authentic DAO would not necessarily be a death kneel to record labels, but it would provide a means for rearranging the seats at the table and ensuring that there is more equity and democracy in the music industry. It would provide an alternative to gatekeepers, giving those musicians who want to be independent acts an opportunity to also achieve success-at their own terms.
However, the evolution of this technology is at an early age and it remains to be seen how much it gets into the mainstream.
Nonetheless, from what has been observed so far, it is evident that DAOs are poised to become key players in the industry, transforming the experience for both musicians and their fans.