Choon is the blockchain’s answer to the likes of Spotify and Apple Music – and it’s actually better than you might think. While its user interface could use a bit of fine “choon-ing” to make it as sleek as its centralized counterparts, it’s pretty simplistic and easy to use. It seeks to remove the middlemen from the music industry to give more money and power back to artists. A large number of artists have begun to speak out about how despite outselling and having more plays than other musicians, they still don’t make featured playlists. The centralized gatekeepers still hold too much control over the music industry, and Choon seeks to level the playing field.
Artists Revolt Against Centralized Music Services
One of the key issues with Spotify is the centralized gatekeepers/algorithms that determine which artists make up the featured playlists. When an artist gets into a popular playlist, they benefit from greater exposure and therefore have the potential to make more money from plays. However, a growing number of artists are beginning to get fed up with this and fight back against the music streaming giant. Quite possibly the most notable and outspoken is Wheeler Walker Jr, a country artist famed for his unique lyrics and song titles. Repeatedly in his Spotify commentary playlists he has spoken out about this unfair nature, and has taken to Twitter to continue the battle. Perhaps Wheeler and Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin have something in common, they both hate centralization.
Thanks to @Spotify, the (supposedly) free form streaming service for not putting me on any of their playlists for the 114th straight week!
Choon to the Rescue of Fed Up Artists
The co-founder of Choon – Gareth Emery – is an English trance DJ that has been dabbling in the crypto world since late 2013, when he started out as a trader. Emery focused mainly on Bitcoin during his trading days, but music eventually took him away from the crypto world. More recently, the Ethereum platform caught his eye and a lightbulb went off in his head. The music industry is worth $16 billion annually, and Emery realized the money was going to all the wrong people. So, he set about building a platform where the artists have total control over how much money they receive for their work.
Choon gives artists the ability to upload their music and receive royalties based on the number of plays their track receives – similarly to Spotify. However, there is a caveat to the system. Whereas Spotify has a handful of so-called gatekeepers that determine what makes it into popular playlists – in Wheeler’s case the Hot Country playlist – Choon gives the power to its user base of listeners. Artists can then head over to these playlists and select how much of a reward the playlist owner receives for every play their track gets in this playlist – they can assign anywhere between 0 and 100% to the playlist owner. Artists can use this as a marketing tool to get more playlists to feature their songs if they decide to crank up the rewards. This decentralization of fund distribution gives the power back to the artists and listeners, removing the middleman.
Artists have been famed for turning to crypto – in fact in 2014, 50 Cent sold a number of copies of Animal Ambition for around 700 Bitcoin. While Choon still needs work to get it up to the standards of Spotify and SoundCloud, it is definitely a great alternative for artists who are fed up with the current corporate-driven setup. Hopefully soon Choon will support podcasts and we can catch our favorite Bitcoin podcasts over there – now that would be a development worth talking about!