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Spotify Acquires Blockchain Startup Mediachain

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM
Lester Coleman
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:56 PM

Spotify, a music streaming service that allows users to find music on a phone, computer or tablet, has acquired Mediachain Labs, a blockchain project seeking to provide a more transparent music industry that rewards artists more equitably.


The Mediachain Labs team will join Spotify’s New York City offices, and the combined team will work towards a more fair, transparent and rewarding music industry for music artists.

All documentation and source code will remain openly licensed and open source, according to a Mediachain Labs blog .

Mission: A Connected Music Platform

Mediachain Labs has worked to create a more connected platform for artists. The team has explored how open, peer-to-peer protocols and blockchain can empower artists to reach their audiences more effectively.

Over the last three years, Mediachain Labs has created a decentralized data infrastructure, building applications to enable attribution for creators. It has prototyped its own cryptocurrency to reward artists for their works.

The Mediachain Labs team believes a shared data layer is key to addressing issues of attribution and ownership rights, and allowing a more efficient media model for online creativity.

Arkadiy Kukarkin, Mediachain Lab’s chief technical officer, was the first engineer hired at Hype Machine, a music curation aggregator.

Jesse Walden, Mediachain Labs co-founder, operated an arts management company to allow artists such as Majical Cloudz, Solange Knowles and Blood Orange to better control their careers.

Critical Music Information

Walden noted in a recent blog  that no central database exists to keep track of information about music. There are two critically important types of information about a piece of music: who made it and who owns the rights to it. At the present time, such information is hard to track, which is a disservice to music services, artists, music services and consumers.

The problem is due to the fact that the information doesn’t have a globally referenceable home, Walden noted. Instead, it exists in spreadsheets, proprietary databases, email inboxes and lengthy contracts kept by separate organizations.

A blockchain is a decentralized database where participants record the ownership of tokens of value and their exchange, with no need for a central entity to provide trust.

The blockchain community, however, has few bridges to mainstream consumers, artists and the platforms the two groups use to interact.

Also read: Mediachain launches blockchain-based image attribution search engine

Precedent Set For Visual Images

Mediachain Labs recently developed a solution for a similar problem in the visual image industry. The Mediachain Attribution Engine has been designed to aggregate millions of openly licensed images, making it easier to find images free to use on the Internet with proper attribution.

The platform allows users to upload any image from the web and find out who made it and where it came from. If Attribution Engine does not know the image’s creator, it suggests similar images licensed for reuse that have attribution.

Mediachain is integrating with Ethereum technologies, meaning Spotify could be using Ethereum in the future, according to ethnews.com.

Featured image from Shutterstock.