Ujo Music was the startup that worked with musician Imogen Heap in 2015 to release her track ‘Tiny Human’ on the Ethereum blockchain.
Now the company is preparing for a full commercial launch of its platform for other artists and labels to use. “Soon, Ujo Music will be open to the public. We’re targeting early 2017,” explained the company in an email sent out to its mailing list yesterday.
‘Tiny Human’ remains the most high-profile example of a song released using blockchain-based distribution. Fans could buy licences to download, stream, remix and sync the song, with their payments automatically split between Heap and her collaborators on the track.
She has since signed a blockchain-friendly publishing deal with Downtown Music, and continued work on her Mycelia blockchain project.
What of Ujo Music’s plans? “We are building a service that allows you to manage your artistic identity, your music and licensing on your own terms. We are starting small, with music, onboarding eager, forward-looking artists to empower sustainable creativity,” explained the company.
“The first version and on ramp to the platform will allow artists to easily register their music on the Ethereum blockchain and provide it to fans through streaming or download.”
The company also says it is working with a number of labels to “re-digitise their catalogue for use in open-source blockchain systems”, while encouraging developers to build apps based on the Ujo platform.
Whether you’re a blockchain evangelist or sceptic, it’s always been clear that hands-on experiments will be crucial in helping the music industry figure out what role blockchain could play in its future.
Ujo Music’s launch, along with the alpha release of Benji Rogers’ dot Blockchain platform and other projects, are thus encouraging to see.