Israeli startup Music Messenger started life as a music-focused messaging app. Now it’s hoping to use its $25m of funding to hop on to the blockchain bandwagon.
It’s ambitious, to say the least. “Music Messenger has been working on developing a blockchain-based alternative to Spotify,” claimed its announcement yesterday.
“What Music Messenger proposes is that users will pay for Music Messenger Tokens (MMT) or earn them by listening to ads. Their wallet will then pay out a fraction of a cent per song to stream from decentralised storage across the network, with artists receiving 90 percent — compared to roughly 50 percent on the leading streaming apps. The rest goes to compensating whomever is hosting or streaming that audio track or file.”
Music Messenger says it plans to launch its open-sourced product in beta early in 2019. The challenges here are considerable though: not least the licensing involved in a blockchain-based music service whose users are hosting the tracks being streamed.
Other ‘blockchain Spotify’ plays have sought to minimise these challenges by only working with artists who are completely free of label, publishing and collecting society relationships, but it’s unclear whether that’s the planned route for Music Messenger, given its decentralised focus.