Gareth Emery is taking a crack at two of the hottest and potentially most difficult businesses to get a foothold in – blockchain and streaming. He is launching a new music startup called Choon next year, which will attempt to solve many of the issues that many artists have right now with streaming services.
The ecosystem will be built on the Ethereum blockchain, something Emery says he has been enthusiastic about since 2013. It would have its own payment token NOTES, as well as “Smart Record Contracts,” which would presumably make contracts permanent and according to Choon, replace many of the procedures for licensing and contracting today.
He is making the ambitious promise to return 80% of streaming revenues to artists. This would be much higher than the standard set at 70% that has since gone down in recent negotiations with major labels by companies like Spotify to reportedly just under 60%. One problem isn’t just that payouts are lowering; it is where the money is going. Labels, distributors, publishers, artists are splitting it up, and then the writers, engineers and producers get the scraps at the end. Also many of the contracts are so opaque and complicated it is hard to know if you are getting paid fairly.
“When it comes to getting paid fairly, artists get a worse deal today than ever. Contrary to popular belief, there is money there, but it’s going to the wrong people. We want to radically change the game,” says Emery. “Finally giving new and emerging artists a chance to get be fairly paid for their music, and making it far easier to create contracts for collaborations, management, samples and licensing.”
John Watkinson, Bjorn Niclas and Matt Hall are among the founders.
The service will launch in 2018, but token sales for NOTE will occur in December.