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Blokur analysed 100 livestreams for publishing copyrights

Twitch may be catching most of the flak right now from music rightsholders, but questions around livestreams and licensing apply much further than the Amazon-owned company. One thing that would help rightsholders and collecting societies to figure out licensing is hard data on the songs being streamed, and how many people are hearing / watching them.

Enter British startup Blokur, which has published the results of a recent study it conducted with audio-recognition firm DJ Monitor. The study monitored 100 popular livestreams – DJ Soda and John Digweed are the two mentioned, so we’d surmise the emphasis was on DJ sets – identified the tracks, then used Blokur’s technology to match those recordings to publishing copyrights.

“In the 100 livestreams, we identified a combined more than 500 million views of our clients’ songs, split between around 30 of Blokur’s publisher clients,” wrote Blokur boss Phil Barry in his summary of the results. “And depending on the territory and the licensing arrangements, those views are worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to some of our clients. That’s money that otherwise would have made its way into the black box.”

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Massive Attack test remix-rights tracking with blockchain startup Blokur

If you’ve not seen Massive Attack’s Fantom app, it’s well worth having a play with: one of the best explorations of how music can be made interactive for fans that we’ve seen.

This week, the app has been relaunched to tie in with the 20th anniversary activity around the band’s album ‘Mezzanine’, with new interactive remixes of the album’s tracks.

Fans can play with the music and make their own “sensory remixes” using the camera, touchscreen gestures and motion signals, as well as sampling sounds from the world around them and creating videos.

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Blokur talks blockchain music: ‘The technology on its own is not the whole picture’

A reminder that the Venn diagram of ‘music people’ and ‘blockchain startup people’ is not a pair of separate circles. Phil Barry, founder of British startup Blokur, was a professional artist making electronic music as Mr Fogg before setting up his own independent label.

Barry went on to lead the team of consultants working on Thom Yorke’s 2014 project to release his Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes as a BitTorrent bundle, before founding blockchain startup Ujo Music, overseeing its work on Imogen Heap’s ‘Tiny Human’ project.

A parting of the ways with Ujo followed, with Barry founding Blokur to continue that work. He stresses the company’s desire to be as down-to-earth as possible.

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Demystifying blockchain: ‘Call it Sex Chocolate or something!’

Blockchain technology has evangelists and sceptics galore in and around the music industry. Is it really the answer to the music business’ infamous problems with transparency and efficiency?

A conference panel convened by Music Ally at the by:Larm festival in Oslo today was the latest chance to answer that question – or at least to argue about why it can’t be answered yet.

The panel included producer and entrepreneur Kevin Bacon; NMP director of online services Hans Peter Roth; Blokur founder Phil Barry; and Fuga CEO Pieter van Rijn. Music Ally’s Steve Mayall moderated.