This is a re-post of an article that is part of Marco's personal blog on Steemit.  You can find the original post here.

So  you are an artist, signed to a label, getting some decent exposure, and  one of your tracks just hit 1 million streams on Spotify. Awesome! You  probably repaid your mortgage at once, and pre-ordered the brand new Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder with money to spare. Or didn't you?


Streaming income

Probably the answer to that last question is no, unless you want to  file for personal bankruptcy before your career has properly started.  And there are several reasons why you shouldn't and can't do all that.  Streaming right now is not very lucrative. 1 million streams on Spotify  probably equals some revenue between $4000 and $7000. Around $0.00397  per play based on this site. And it's not a given that any (independent) artist hits that amount ever, or on every track. Let alone on a monthly basis.

Another major drawback is the time in which you receive the payments.  This can take up to a year. And that's the most positive scenario. Not a  very nice period if you still have bills to pay and mouths to feed.  Watch what Gareth Emery (a pretty well-known DJ and producer) had to say about this specific part of streaming services:


You did watch more than only the part about streaming-payments right?  If not, you should. Gareth gives an interesting viewpoint on the state  of the current music industry and what should solve it. Coincidently, he  happens to have taken matters in his own hands and (co-)founded a new  streaming platform called Choon.  The idea behind Choon was mainly fixing the wrongs in the legacy music  industry. Cutting out middlemen that takes in shiploads of money,  getting paid a more fair rate per stream as an artist, and receive  payments almost instantly (on a daily basis). How? Via  blockchain-technology.

Bubbling under

But blockchain is cryptocurrency right? Bitcoin and stuff? That's just a bubble right? A farçe?'

Yes, I heard it all already, when trying to explain what Choon is and  what Choon does. And maybe that scepticism is justified. Last year saw  an explosion of scammers and frauds in crypto, and on top of that the  whole market came down, people that bought in late and stepped out lost a  lot of money. But let's step away from the coins and currencies for  now. Blockchain is just a technology and even if the currencies wouldn't  survive, probably the tech is. It's a way of storing data, like  transactions for example, for everyone to see (transparent) but stored  on several sources. Hard to hack, and much safer as a central place to  store it. That is the tech Gareth and his Choon-team are putting to work  to create fair and instant payment. Which is possible as everything on  blockchain is recorded instantly.


Smart contracts

Choon developed Smart Record Contracts (SRC) to take care of the  revenue split. Let's assume you made a track, together with another  musician, and you decide that the both of you can have 50% of the future  revenue. In that case you'd upload the track, set up the SRC, with 50%  split for both and the blockchain would take care of the rest. At the  end of the day you'd both receive a statement with the total amount of  streams and revenue, and the split you and your partner would receive.


Yeah, yeah, heard it all, where's my money? And I don't want to be involved in crypto for that matter...

Alright, fair point. There is no money yet at this point of writing.  Therefore, the token needs to be unlocked, and available on crypto  exchanges, so it has a value. Planned unlock date however, is December  1st 2018. In my personal situation, I joined Choon May 15th, and  uploaded my first track June 9th. So even if the unlock date would be  moved to March next year, payment would still be earlier than with  Spotify, via a label to the artist. And that would be only for the early  adopters. Once the token would be unlocked, payments can take place  every day.

Choon is still in Beta. This is important as there are a lot of plans  to make sure the crypto payments only happen under the hood. It takes  time to instantly exchange their token on the platform to fiat, but that  will be rolled out, probably in 2019 already. If you can wait for over a  year on Spotify to pay you, that wouldn't be too long right? And if you  want to get paid earlier, just read up on how to exchange crypto to  fiat and you can receive payments after the unlock already.

Why join now?

In one of my next blogs I will dive deeper into my experiences as a Choon-artist.  For now, I can only say this. Most independent artists don't make  barely any money from music, have dayjobs and do gigs for fun. If you  don't sign up, give away your bootlegs for free on Soundcloud, and get  1000-100.000 streams a year on the several streaming services in total,  nothing would change that.

If you'd upload your music to Choon instead, and Choon would either,  not unlock, go bankrupt, shut the service down or a combination of  those, nothing would change either. I for one did not make any money on  Soundcloud so far, and exposure on such a big platform is only  significant if you pay for listens and follows. So, it's a gamble. A  gamble of switching from making no money anytime soon to not making any  money right now, but a chance to get a fair pay somewhere between  December 1st and end of 2019. Also, as Choon divides a fixed amount of  tokens over all daily streams, the later you join, the smaller the cut  will be. So, if you decide if you want to put up your brand new original  track as a promotion on Soundcloud, or on Choon, don't hesitate. And  just FYI, you can still do both. Choon doesn't pin you to an exclusive  deal.

Final words

In the next blogs I will explain more about the value of the  NOTES-token that Choon will use on the platform, the payment and  streaming-counts, the benefits for users (listeners) and my personal  experience on the Choon-platform.

However, if you're already interested and want to read more already, make sure to check the Choon whitepaper. Signing up is also possible.

Make sure to leave a question in the forum-topic, connected to this article, if you have one. I try to get back at you as soon as possible.

©2018 - Marco Svarda

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