Analyst firm Gartner’s ‘Hype Cycle’ diagram is a famous way of showing how new technologies get hyped, then face a backlash, and then gradually find a productive use. It will come as no surprise to Music Ally readers to hear that, in Gartner’s view, blockchain technology is “sliding into the Trough of Disillusionment”. The company suggests that it won’t be until 2021 that blockchain starts to climb out of that trough – and even longer until it reaches the productive stage.
“Blockchain technologies have not yet lived up to the hype and most enterprise blockchain projects are stuck in experimentation mode,” said Gartner’s Avivah Litan. “Blockchain is not yet enabling a digital business revolution across business ecosystems and may not until at least 2028, when Gartner expects blockchain to become fully scalable technically and operationally.”
This picture is recognisable from the music industry: the blockchain-music startups who had serious chops remain in pilots, with varying degrees of enthusiasm about their prospects. On the plus side, that trough of disillusionment (which we’d argue started about 18 months ago in the music industry) has seen off some of the other, self-hyping blockchain startups whose promises to sweep away the middlemen and revolutionise the industry turned out to be hot air. Like Gartner, we think blockchain technology can play a useful role in the music industry’s future. It may take longer than expected – which does raise the question of how the good startups manage their runways – but it’s good to be focusing on the companies and projects with substance, rather than smoke and mirrors.