Funded by Innovate UK under the Collaborative Research & Development programme, the project aims to facilitate low friction interactions between creators of music and their customers to unlock new value in the creative ecosystem.
Over the past decade and a half, the creative industry has seen rapid change in the way content is originated and consumed.
The Internet has increased the ability for creative people to collaborate and distribute their content across geographies and time zones. Games, films, music and visual content are now frequently created in an iterative manner by groups of online collaborators, and shared directly with consumers through social media or online distribution platforms including YouTube, Twitch, and Steam. However, challenges in matching content usage to the creators and rights holders behind the content has prevented an equivalent transformation in the way that value flows back to creators from consumers.
Content producers collectively spend $15 billion every year on rights acknowledgement, with vast amounts of value still left unclaimed due to missing or incorrect attribution. In music alone, ageing infrastructure and missing royalties cost rights owners and creators more than $3b every year in lost revenue.
British startup Blokur, along with partners Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund, is developing a blockchain-based infrastructure for the registration, management, licensing, and monetisation of creative intellectual property. Its purpose is to ensure that rights owners and creators get paid when they should.
The startup whose team has worked on major projects for Radiohead, Universal Music, Will.I.Am, 7Digital and Imogen Heap, is already working with several large music publishers, record companies, collective management organisations and artists and has more than 3,000 music publishers and 30,000 songwriters represented on its platform.
The project will build on its work in the music sector to create a platform that enables parties across the creative spectrum to secure their rights, define rules for collaboration and exploitation and automate licensing and value flows. In addition, the project will promote the development of the blockchain ecosystem through a series of open-source components and UX solutions broadly applicable to a range of business and user needs.
Digital Catapult’s role, in addition to providing its blockchain development expertise, is to develop knowledge from this project and create industry best-practice which expands beyond this end product and feeds into other industries such as manufacturing and health.
The project will build on its work in the music sector to create a platform that enables parties across the creative spectrum to secure their rights, define rules for collaboration and exploitation and automate licensing and value flows.