Beatclub, the beat-selling marketplace founded by producer Timbaland and the CEO of Mono Music Group, Gary Marella, has signed deals that it hopes will allow people to own, trade, and create music with beats made by hit-making producers like Timbaland, Mike WiLL Made-It, and Cash Money AP.
It’s signed partnerships with Horizon Fintex, a FinTech company with a product called Upstream – a platform that allows people to invest in “crowdfunded securities”: for example, fans investing in an artist’s upcoming album or part-owning their beats.
When it’s launched, fans will be able to browse and buy shares in their favourite songs, and then, via Upstream, will receive any dividends or royalties, sell their investment on, or purchase NFTs.
The NFT and crypto economy, as we have discussed before, is unpredictable and risky, and while the red-laser-eyed acolytes who predict a glorious crypto future are comfortable – or can afford – such risk, most fans are more cautious.
One (of the many) aspects of crypto-trading that dissuades many people from jumping in is the responsibility factor: if your crypto investment is hacked, robbed or lost, you’re on your own. Upstream’s system says it integrates more traditional investor guardrails, and removes a layer of anonymity. This might infuriate crypto purists – but also might tempt more risk-averse investors in.
In general, it feels like a lot of stumbling blocks around the implementation of crypto tech are being resolved – in particular, the complicated tech itself seems to be increasingly buried in the background – and soon this technology will likely underpin many major elements of the music business’s machinery.
Beatclub says that: “the partnership empowers musicians with technology to further monetize and enable fans to share in their success.” As is ever the case with crypto’s epoch-rattling nature, philosophical questions abound, one of which is: how many fans really want to become financial traders in their favourite artist’s career – and how many just want the gig ticket and T-shirt?
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