Elnur Amikishiyev/123RF

Blockchain For The Music Industry: 9 Startups To Watch In 2019

  • 28 January 2019
  • Sam Mire

The current state of the music business is one that sees a struggling artist go hungry. You’ve heard that music makes the world go around, but smaller players within the industry surely have an alternate take: it’s hard to make money here.

Digital music sharing changed everything. While major industry players have adapted (and thrived) in the wake of this upheaval, most have not. The rise of Apple Music, Spotify, and similar platforms has breathed some life into the paid, legal music streaming sector, but it hasn’t been a rising tide for all. Many musicians and collaborators still take home pennies relative to the work they put in, and the upstart artist is overwhelmingly unlikely to be discovered.

On some level, this is just the inherent nature of the industry. Just as those working in food service might also be actors on the side,, music attracts many as their vehicle for fame and success. But for those with real talent, and those in the industry who are overworked but underpaid, there are plenty of blockchain-powered solutions to these business problems coming around the bend. Platforms of all kinds are springing up to automate royalty payments, let fans invest in their favorite artists, reward listeners for consuming to new music, and beyond.

They’re doing it through the power of blockchain technology.


The ‘global music economy on the blockchain’, Inmusik is incorporating a new revenue model by which the fans  invest in the musik. Users simply pick a song that they believe is going to become a hit, invest, and receive monthly payouts commensurate with that song’s success. Artists also benefit from an additional revenue source – fan’s investments – outside of the traditional music sales and streaming platforms.

Date Founded:  July 2015

Funding Type: Private


Viberate, still in its beta form, will allow users to ‘browse through the biggest music database in the world’ – live music, that is. The platform also includes the ability to explore live venues virtually, purchase merchandise, and track where live events are happening. All of the music is underpinned by blockchain technology, and contributions to the site will be incentivized by the issuance of VIB Tokens.

Date Founded: October 2015

Funding Type: ICO

Musical BlockchainMusical Blockchain

The concept behind Musical Blockchain is, no doubt, one of the more outside-the-box ideas in the space. The people behind MB take users’ data, analyzes it, and uses the analysis as the basis to convert the data into a musical composition. The connected blockchain nodes then uses an AI + Blockchain model to create a series of sounds and melodies, all based on the user data. Machines have never been this funky…

Date Founded: July 16, 2018

Funding Type: Private


Aballoon is, at its core, a music collaboration platform that connects artists and fans by providing technology not only for them to create songs together, but also to distribute collaborative content. After becoming the first record label to produce and sell music created between artists and fans, Abaloon created a token (ABA “Balloon”) to compensate their artists in a practical and secure manner. But that's not all.After one year of research and inspired by “Bowie Bonds” and other complex financial instruments like Mortgage Backed Securities and Call & Put options, Aballoon's founders developed a financial model to securitize all kinds of music royalties. This lays the groundwork for music executives and securities trading industries to merge into a new generation of music-backed securities, collateralized by songs or pools of songs and song derivatives to be listed and traded on major exchanges.

Date Founded: January 4, 2014

Funding Type: Private

Ujo MusicUjoMusic

UjoMusic aims to give artists more control over their music with some help from the blockchain. Features include a transparent, decentralized database of rights ownership among collaborators, automated royalty payments using smart contracts and cryptocurrency, and the establishment of unique creator identities to ensure that the right person is being compensated fairly. Backers include artists Imogen Heap and Giraffage.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Private


Soundpruf is a music streaming dashboard, equipped with analytical tools and the capacity to earn for listening, that is aimed at both artists and fans. For artists, the platform represents an alternative to the major streaming platforms, with plays of songs resulting in money being transferred into a digital wallet. The appeal is similar for fans, who are granted access to statistics about their own listening habits while also being able to profit based on the value of their listening.

Date Founded: January 30, 2018

Funding Type: Private


An application for mobile and web browsing based on the blockchain, indieOn takes a comprehensive approach that allows artists to market, manage, and monetize their sonic creations, all the while allowing fans to profit from their interactions with the content. Users vote on the quality of music, allowing a democratized level of crowdsourced quality control that also determines how artists are compensated. Those who engage are rewarded with NDI tokens, providing incentive for both artists and listeners to remain active on indieOn.

Date Founded: September 20, 2017

Funding Type: Private


Weeshing is a crowdfunding platform for live musical events built on the blockchain, though Weeshing prefers the term crowdinvesting. Fans, along with accredited investors and promoters, work together to fund projects that they would like to see; namely, live shows. The risk and upside is shared with the promoters, and once the gig is over, fans are eventually rewarded with any available returns on investment…or not. Regardless of ROI, investors have the opportunity for coveted opportunities – meet and greets, soundcheck sessions, backstage passes, etc.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Venture-backed


Current rewards listeners based on the volume of their musical consumption, using the blockchain to issue tokens in accordance with how frequently tunes are being listened to. CRNT credits can be spent on premium service subscriptions, gift cards, and eventually can be cashed out. Current states that users can earn as much as $120 per year simply by listening to their favorite artists and songs.

Date Founded: 2018

Funding Type: Private

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.