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Imogen Heap Sees Blockchain as the Music Industry’s Savior

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:51 PM
Olusegun Ogundeji
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:51 PM

Grammy Award-winning U.K. singer, songwriter, and producer, Imogen Heap, has pushed a little further her call for the use of the blockchain technology as the solution to many of the issues dogging the present day music industry.

As reported by Real Business, Heap explained why it is time for the industry to reinvent the way people discover new content and the creators get paid after giving the crowd at the Oslo Innovation Week  a short performance with her Mi.Mu gestural music gloves.


She said:

Imagine if every time someone interacted with a song people got paid, without having to look them up. With this thing called blockchain, which underpins Bitcoin, there is a thing called smart contracts. They are like programmable transactions …At the moment it takes up to two years for me to receive my money, and it can really change your life if it would just come when it was due. In this day and age when we make millions of transactions a second, how can it take so long?


“It fundamentally changes everything we do,” she added. “In everything we do there has to be an intermediary who handles the ‘trust’ element, but this doesn’t need to happen with blockchain technology as trust is built into the algorithms. This makes it hard to override and falsify, and we can then deal peer-to-peer. A fan can interact with a song with no intermediaries.”

The artist readily admits that the concept of blockchain means very little to the music industry right now. But what is exciting is its ability to shape its future, she added. “Blockchain technology has come to a point where other industries are looking at it to save time and short out inefficiencies. And in a world where data is open and doesn’t mean a lack of profits, it can make things more profitable.”

music bitcoin
Bridging the gap between artists and listeners.

Since the music world started taking notice and thinking of ways to harness distributed ledger technology, Heap has been at the forefront of an advocacy effort to draw necessary attention to the technology.

She says blockchain is completely enabling a rethink of the basic, core structure of how monetary distribution works in the music industry and sees the technology as the ideal platform where important information about her song can be stored.

In a TechCrunch interview at a Disrupt conference in London, Heap describes the blockchain as an innovative form of, “building a system of fairness” and of the view that the technology will “empower the artists to have more leverage over their work.”

Heap released her song Tiny Human on a smart contract on Ujo Music which is on the blockchain last October. She is pioneering Mycelia which aims to “empower a fair, sustainable and vibrant” music industry ecosystem involving all online music interaction services.

Images from Flickr/ Pop!Tech  and Shutterstock.