The Heartbeat of Cardano.

Decentralizing Music Streaming through ProjectNEWM

Technology is changing all aspects of our lives so quickly that we often lose sight of how impactful that change really is. The easiest example is publishing. Not so long ago, the only way to have a book published was to submit it to a publishing house and have it approved. The internet changed all that. Now, as a result of reduced cost and ease of access, there are a myriad of publishing options. Films used to be only produced in large studios, but technology is gradually opening the door to a wider variety of filmmakers and audiences. The music industry has transitioned too from vinyl to cassette and now to mostly streaming. The backend of the process, however, is still a convoluted nightmare in which artists have little ownership of music that is created under a label and even less control of how their music is distributed.

The Big Idea

ProjectNEWM intends to change all of that. This is an endeavor with a big vision. While I’m aware that it has been in process for some time now, it seems valuable to look again at this large-scale project. The first thing to understand about this team is that their target audience is musicians and listeners – not specifically cryptocurrency users. Yes, they chose to build their platform on Cardano as a decentralized and sustainable solution with consistent fee structures and higher network security. However their vision is that the end user will not have to understand anything about the blockchain or how it works. This is unusual in our space as most projects are still focusing on the cryptocurrency crowd. The NEWM team is looking beyond that to create an easy to use, all-in-one ecosystem for musicians and music lovers alike. 

Make no mistake, this is the correct approach. We don’t ponder how search engines work, do we? You don’t have to jump through multiple online hoops to move fiat and buy things. If Cardano is to be successful, the interfaces that are created must work in the same seamless way. As far as streaming music –  a busy working mom just wants to listen to her favorite tunes. She doesn’t have time for multiple wallets and interfaces – which is exactly what the NEWM team is trying to create. They are building one app that makes it easy to access music – all of the technology will work seamlessly on the backend. The end user will be able to stream music in a familiar interface and also purchase and trade music IP rights as NFTs if they choose, which will allow them to collect royalties along with their favorite musicians. The team is working with a Cardano mentality – security and well-written code is far more important than speed to market. Let’s look at how they intend to revolutionize the music industry. 

Project Specifics

First and foremost projectNEWM will create an opportunity for the musician to receive a larger portion of the revenue from their music. It’s no secret that services like Spotify pay the average musician very little for their work. By removing layers from the process, projectNEWM will offer artists a greater share of the profits. They will also have greater creative control. Currently, an artist doesn’t generally own the music they produce under a record label. In the projectNEWM ecosystem, the artist will be able to maintain and share ownership of mechanical IP rights and royalties as they see fit with credible and secure digital contracts. Once the platform is up and running, music NFTs will be bought, sold, traded and auctioned. All of this will be within the control of music creators.

This is only possible with blockchain. Cardano allows the automated splitting of payments. This means that when a music NFT is purchased, the revenue will be seamlessly split between the parties – singer, songwriter, etc and paid in a timely manner. This automated backend is possible due to Cardano’s blockchain technology and consistent fee structure. In fact these things were some of the primary reasons that projectNEWM chose to build in the Cardano ecosystem. 

When complete, the plan is to offer a marketplace where NFTs can be bought, sold and traded.  They will offer a ticketing service as well. Think about this for a minute. Imagine if that ticket you have from the best concert ever wasn’t a piece of paper that could be easily lost or destroyed. What if it was an NFT that was, in and of itself, a commodity that accrued in value. What if artists could send out special rewards – just to loyal ticket holders? Or have special concerts for those people. ProjectNEWM and blockchain technology make all of this possible.

They will also offer a streaming service (this feels like it will be a subscription, but the website doesn’t explicitly say that).This will allow additional ways for users to interact with music creators. Tipping will be possible. Additionally, Artists will be able to sell fractional rights to their work. This allows creators to become part owners in music they really enjoy, which in turn creates a positive feedback loop for promotion, consumption and revenue. With fractional ownership everyone has an incentive to promote their favorite music. NEWM removes the gatekeepers from the music pipeline and allows creators to interact directly with listeners.

NEWM currently has a stake pool which, at the time of writing, has over 40 million in delegation. 25% of ADA rewards go towards supporting their project. In return they are offering 13 NEWM per 1,000 ADA staked. There are also additional rewards and NFT opportunities from time to time. This is all clearly explained on their website, which is appreciated, as many projects are not this transparent with the financial details. If you’re interested in supporting projectNEWM, visit their stake pool site

Final Thoughts

This is a big project with a bold vision for artists’ rights and revenue. The current system of music domain and royalties is incredibly convoluted and complicated so what they are undertaking is no little task. However they do have a large, knowledgeable team in place. They also win praise for their community engagement and efforts to educate as to their status and progress. It would be nice if their whitepaper or a roadmap of some sort was available, which their website lists as ‘coming soon’ . 

Are they the right team in the right place at the right time? We don’t know yet as it is early days. However, they seem to be on the path to success. It will be exciting to watch how their platform grows and develops over time. 

If you are interested in learning more about their project, you can access their website here.

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