PIG - MuFi's (Global Music Distribution Protocol)

MuFi (Global Music Distribution Protocol)

Project links and references

Links and references here

Team members

Short summary of your improvement idea

The initiative aims to simplify the ownership part of the music industry. It acknowledges the current model’s deep layers and historic foundations, while aspiring to streamline the journey from an artistic idea to a final, consumable song. Other efforts to improve this process have been made unsuccessfully.

Our goal as participants of the current music protocol and dreamers of the next one is to set the foundations for a deep simplification of it, which allows a closer relationship between the artists (creators) and the fans (music consumers) without having to redesign the whole actual protocol but to identify the value-adding stakeholders of the current model and making the rails to deeply improve all of them using actual available technology.

What is the existing target protocol you are hoping to improve or enhance?

The experience of ownership and revenue generation and reception in the music during its creation, distribution and consumption.

Currently, songs generate two types of royalties: publishing and master, managed through different protocols. We aim to refine the protocol for establishing authorship percentages and creation steps of a song, at an abstract level prior to distribution. Additionally, we seek to streamline the digital distribution process, which currently necessitates an intermediary with access to the DDEX protocol for streaming platform submissions.

What is the core idea or insight about potential improvement you want to pursue?

Simplify and clarify the ownership path of a song. The current system’s strength relies on opaque models that don’t necessarily need to be that complex. DeFi but for music.

The proposed protocol seeks to improve distribution efficiency and transparency in the music industry by tokenising many aspects of a song ownership, the NFT model do not work for music. This method introduces new interactions between artists, industry stakeholders, and fans, creating additional empowering layers beyond the conventional ownership of music royalties and incentivising all actors to use it.

What is your discovery methodology for investigating the current state of the target protocol?

First of all, the reason for this proposal stems from the fact that we are already in the process of building it. We are active business and user participants of the target protocol, seeking ways to solve the problems we face from having to use it as it currently exists in our day-to-day lives. This includes issues from both the consumption side and the business perspective. We began our research a year ago, driven by our frustration with the target protocol procedures and incentives.

Our discovery methodology for investigating the current state of the target protocol has been engage in deep talks understanding the needs and requirements of all the value-adding stakeholders of the target in an intent to dissect what is specifically necessary, what is there because of stagnation, what is there because of human need (user experience need) and what is not yet there because of the velocity of innovation of the target protocol.

Actively in the market:

The main actor is called DDEX which establish the digital exchange modelling between all bid stakeholders.

Our approach is not a radical step out but to engage the most near and critically stablished services called ‘white label distribution companies’ that under the hood run most of the music distribution threads, and build the incentives for them to use the proposed Protocol.

In what form will you prototype your improvement idea?

The prototype, termed “Wrapped Songs,” is the foundational element of the protocol. It aims to facilitate direct and sovereign interactions with song ownership for all stakeholders involved.

Technicals:

We are building the NFTs for music

This model will support all actions provided by the current protocol, alongside introducing new capabilities. By linking a base music file with all necessary metadata for proper song monetization, it clearly defines creators and their digital distribution royalty percentages.

It aims to standardize and simplify the interactions between record labels, artists, and their music, enabling fans to purchase digital distribution phonographic rights.

It will be represented a by a website permitting the interaction with the smart contracts that define the Wrapped Song concept. Under the hood the Wrapped song plays with account abstraction (ERC-4437), splits payments and tokenisation.

How will you field-test your improvement idea?

Alpha version with a small segment of interested stakeholders of the target protocol that will use it at the first time.

Who will be able to judge the quality of your output?

  1. Artists: Using it to build their song ownership structures and permit fans participate of them.
  2. Music Industry Professionals: Including executives from record labels, distributors, and producers, who can evaluate the effectiveness of music tokenization in streamlining distribution and its impact on the value chain.
  3. Fans: Whose feedback to the platform’s usability and the attractiveness of investing in their favorite artists in a more direct and meaningful way.
  4. Developers: Interested in exploring and expanding the ecosystem by creating new applications and dynamics from this new type of tokenized music asset.

How will you publish and evangelize your improvement idea?

  1. Publish Open-Source Code: We will release the smart contracts and platform code on platforms, ensuring accessibility for developers and fostering community contributions.
  2. Up & Running Smart contracts on specific EVM chain: It will be open to use and build on top to anyone interested
  3. Industry Partnerships: Collaborate with music industry players, including artists, labels, and distributors, to pilot the platform and demonstrate its value proposition.
  4. Economic Incentives: It permits artists get funded for future projects in ways not possible before. It permits Labels, and industry level players access a more liquid market.

What is the success vision for your idea?

We envision success in stages and deem it essential not to propose a radical departure but to first work within existing models while establishing a clear, simple, and straightforward starting point to build upon. NFTs did not work for music because music protocols possess complexities beyond mere tokenisation, which fails to meet the needs of the music industry. The essence of music lies in distribution and the additional layers it provides.

We consider success, to find the viable model of Wrapped Song primitive that carries with it all the value adding needs for music, creating enough incentives for all the actual stakeholders to slowly shift to use it at their core activities.

It has been essential for us to deeply analyse the current model of music distribution. Currently, 2/3 of global music streams are controlled by Sony, Warner, or Universal—companies that currently show little interest in modelling a change as their value lives out the opacity of it. The remaining 1/3 is divided, with half being independent record labels and distributors operating under the Merlin Network umbrella, a digital rights music licensing partner for the independents. Successfully integrating our protocol into a framework akin to Merlin’s Network would represent a significant milestone and a clear case of success for us.

The tokenisation of digital distribution benefits added on top of songs uniquely addresses the challenges and leverages the opportunities for all stakeholders involved. End goal success would mean for us:

  • Artists: Allow artists to access early and fast liquidity through sharing music royalties with their fans, we eliminate the need for funding intermediaries, directly empowering artists in their financial and creative endeavours.
  • Fans: Fans are given the opportunity to actively participate in the music career of their favorite artists by purchasing a share of a song, thereby directly sharing in the artist’s success and forging a deeper connection.
  • Labels: For labels, the proposal crafts a regulatory environment that redefines music as an investment asset class, opening up a new market ripe for liquidity and innovation, thus addressing the challenges posed by the current digital distribution landscape.
  • Investors: Acknowledging the music industry’s mature state in the streaming sector, we replicate the creation of a regulatory environment that positions music as a viable investment asset class, introducing a fresh market with enhanced liquidity options.

By tackling the specific needs and opportunities of each actor within the music ecosystem, our approach paves the way for a more inclusive, equitable, and financially fluid music industry.


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