The world of crypto is a varied one. From silly ventures and currency inventions like Dogecoin to more serious undertakings such crypto-backed sports journalism/blogging and dedicated gaming-centric currencies like, crypto affords those looking to launch a startup the opportunity to base their platform on a powerful and functional cryptocurrency.

Many people in the space are talking about what is going to be the next big thing in this technological space, while it’s easy to see gaming being a big adopter of blockchain and even some remarking on the need for privacy coins to provide anonymity – I can imagine music being just as important to this new technological revolution for smart contracts and payment crypto currencies.

Just as importantly, the use of an existing or the invention of a novel cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology that said cryptocurrency gives to its users, is lending itself to some increasingly interesting and popular music-based startups.

The advent of blockchain technology and the eventual explosion and propagation of the technology across the world has brought with it some extremely interesting and in some cases, already-successful music ventures. The notable (and in hindsight, seemingly inevitable) decline of revenue streams for musical artists in the live-music sphere as well as the increase in piracy and the dozens of cheap streaming services has meant that startups have had to get creative with their offerings. This article covers some of the more inventive music startups that cleverly utilise (in one form or another) blockchain technology in order to deliver unique services, as well as contributing to the wider music community in a manner that involves reciprocity between service and user.

Viberate posits itself as a global music network that offers its users a contribution-based platform designed to inform about new artists, great venues, event information, and festival news/events too. The platform comes in the form of a slickly designed website that allows users to sign up and make contributions, with top contributors being named on a regular basis and ranked in numerical order.

This is an excellent platform not only for the standard music consumer looking to find new artists, festivals, gigs, events, and/or venues, but also for the artists themselves, as well as professionals in the music industry, and music enthusiasts generally.

Viberate’s use of crypto in its approach is innovative. The Viberate currency (VIB) primarily encourages users to contribute quality content to the platform. However, another aim of the platform is to eventually eliminate the relevance of third parties in the live-music industry, allowing consumers and musicians themselves to be the ones with the control. Viberate’s database ranks musicians by different criteria including their popularity – this is achieved by scraping the social media account and by gathering ticket information from external services. Signing up to Viberate is free and you can begin contributing and earning VIB straight away.

Emanate is another music startup utilising blockchain technology to provide its service. Emanate’s unique selling point is that it allows users to stream music while instantly rewarding its artists as well as the consumers of the music for their “creative expression and dedication to music”. The platform is based around the Emanate currency, which allows users and artists to be instantly rewarded for their contributions.

The service has an appeal to artists and record labels since the platform allows them to be connected directly with the fans of the music being produced and released. Unlike many larger streaming services, every second that is streamed by an end user is paid instantaneously to artists. This platform has big aims, namely to disrupt the music industry to the extent that its approach will be widely adopted within the music industry in the future.

The technology that allows artists to be paid instantly is based on the fact it uses the world’s fastest public-distributed ledger (EOSIO opensource). Payments are sent directly to artists using this platform, and the Emanate currency (EMT) is central to the operation of this approach. Emanate is a well-polished platform that, though not offering a wide selection of streaming comparable to Spotify, still as an innovative approach the could see a disruption of music-industry norms in the future.

Audius will likely be recognised by once-optimistic Soundcloud users as a service that directly competes with what Soundcloud offers. The Audius approach is to provide a streaming platform that puts the power of the music in the hands of all musicians, whether they are signed to labels or not. The platform allows artists to upload their music and have the tracks remain on the platform forever, in the sense that uploads are claimed to not be subject to edits nor removal once they have been uploaded.

The platform, much like Soundcloud, allows users to upload their music, build a fanbase, and even share unfinished tracks. The monetisation aspect of the platform comes from the Audius token, which is the currency that the platform is based on. Audius’ approach is to listen to artists and fans,  with its platform offering various features in addition to its streaming service (which itself include HQ audio, free uploads, and resistance to censorship) such as regular featured content, podcasts, and contests. Furthermore, artists among those featured are the mighty Deadmau5, meaning this isn’t simply a deserted platform for unknowns.