Blockchain has become one of the latest buzzwords over the past few years, once again surging in popularity after Mark Cuban and Gary V began pushing it on social media. In fact, Google Trends shows that “blockchain” was searched 100-times more frequently in December 2017 and 50-times more frequently in March 2021, relative to any point in Google Trend’s recorded history since 2004.
Is it all buzz, or does blockchain actually have the potential to revolutionize the economy – and possibly even the opera sector?
In short, yes.
First, blockchain provides creators with ownership over their content. Singers are currently beholden to producers for everything, ranging from the dissemination and receipt of royalties. By allowing singers to issue a digital certificate that is uploaded to the global ledger, singers can use blockchain to authenticate their content. This means singers can leverage producers for what they are good at—dissemination—but not rely on them for royalties. That will also have the effect of injecting greater competition and transparency into the community since so many producers take the singers for granted and make it a poor experience, personally and professionally, for them.
Second, blockchain opens the floodgates for creating new, multidimensional forms of content. Singers are currently constrained to recording just their voice. However, by creating a digital ledger that allows all types of artists to search for and upload content under a common taxonomy and umbrella, blockchain enables singers to identify other artists who could become collaborators. That could be as simple as matching a song with a drawing, or as complex as a singer performing and a painter drawing concurrently in a joint performance. This means singers will have a new way of expressing ideas, emotions, and their own personality. This will also lead to a broader base of consumers of the artform since each performance will pick up people from other domains of art.
Third, blockchain enables artists to digitally log and represent their experience and knowledge. Singers are currently reliant on their agents to vouch for them, as well as casting directors to listen to and vet more applications than they can humanly process. Since the workload is unmanageable, and neither agents nor casting directors leverage enterprise application processing software or artificial intelligence to facilitate hiring, this causes many well-qualified applicants to get passed up. By allowing singers to digitally represent their knowledge and experience out in the open, singers can credibly signal their competency. That will not remove all forms of bias, but it will help.
At Living Opera, we are pioneering two primary applications of blockchain that will help democratize the industry, improve the quality of content, and broaden the base of people who consume the fine arts. Thank you for joining the ride along with us!