Unchained Best Tips

Music distribution and web3

Written by
Matt Waters
5 Minutes
Let’s talk about music distribution.

Let’s talk about music distribution.

No, no — wait, don’t go anywhere. Have a seat. Make a cup of tea. We promise that you’ll want to hear about this.

We get it. Distribution isn’t the sexiest part of the process that spans from the first twitches of a musician’s fingers to when it hits your eardrums, which nowadays is primarily through online streaming platforms. In fact, it’s the least thought about the process for most artists that are just starting out in the music industry. Why should it be? Most of the love and care and fun stuff is rooted in the emotional side of it — the music-making, the recording and the late nights meticulously pouring over minute sonic details.

To tell you the truth, it should be the least thought about and the easiest, most transparent part of the process.

But at the moment, it’s not.

Musicians nowadays that aren’t tied to a major label have only a handful of distribution service providers, or DSPs, to choose from. The vast majority of them are downright expensive, chock full of hidden fees several steps within the process to access basic information like streaming data on top of yearly (or monthly!) subscription payments. Others require a fixed fee on a track by track or album by album basis, or a one-time legacy payment to keep their music available on streaming services forever.

All this means at the end of the day is that it’s another price to pay for musicians on top of equipment and gear, studio time, mixing and mastering, not to mention marketing, album artwork and design costs.

While music industry revenues are at their highest point since 2002, pays for streams in 2021 across the major platforms is pitifully low — for example, in order to earn around $30 in royalties on Spotify, a track would have to hit 10,000 plays! At a time where clubs are closed, paid performances are few and far between for most, online music consumption is king. Over 60,000 tracks were being released per day in February 2021 alone, and an individual artist’s chance of earning over $100k this past year through streaming was projected at 0.094%! This means that for many artists and labels, every cent of streaming royalties is valuable.

This is where Unchained Music steps in, the first completely free music distribution provider. No subscriptions or hidden fees, with the aim of building a more transparent future for the music industry. Tracks can be distributed across 120 streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Napster, Youtube Music and Deezer, through DJ services like Beatport and Traxsource, as well as monetized through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Every cent that is earned through streaming and online sales is accounted for, and easily withdrawal-able through PayPal, wire transfer, directly into your bank account or by check. Entire catalogues can be easily transferred in a few easy steps, and of course entirely free.

Control in the music industry is being transferred away from middlemen and major record labels into the hands of independent artists. By integrating with the NFT platform Charged Particles, Unchained Music is able to take all of the royalties that are paid out to each artist, place them inside their DeFi-integrated NFT and generate interest on fully-backed stablecoins that represent those royalties. Unchained is able to operate a service by collecting the interest on the royalties themselves rather than earning revenue through a recurring subscription fee or by taking a cut of their royalties. Every cent of the revenue that an artist generates on digital stores and streaming services goes directly back to them. It’s a no-loss, transparent and non-exploitative system that puts artists first.

NFTs have real-world utility and will revolutionize the music industry.

It’s about time.

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