Musicoin has released its mobile application for both iOS and Android. They already had a cryptocurrency, MUSIC. Which can be mined using the Ethash algorithm. With the release of the app, the coin also instantly gains value and usability, which is something we always need to look for when investing time or money in projects.
Very indie and experimental
The Musicoin application is free to download, and music can be streamed for free as well. Currently the offering of artists is limited to indie musicians. So don’t expect the modern mumble rappers, Ariana Grande or the old school rhymes by KRS-One. Instead you can listen to experimental stuff from Lenny Pistol and rhymes from Young $enior and Gzutek.
Currently the offering of the music is very mixed in quality. The biggest issue I have with the app at the moment, is that it’s very much a wild west. Even though Musicoin is trying to undermine the system set by Spotify and Pandora, it can also learn from these older streaming services when it comes to design and usability. There’s no guidance on the offering, the interface is a bit confusing, while the lack of any reviews, recommendations of friend system is – in my opinion – unacceptable.
From that perspective we can say that the Musicoin application is very indie and kinda minimal in its offering, and above all experimental in its user interface. The user experience leaves a lot to be desired, so let’s hope updates to the app will bring improvements.
Blockchain as a blessing and a curse
At its core, Musicoin is build on blockchain technology. Even though we often look at this tech as a road towards freedom and independence, there’s also a major downside.
At times the app is very slow. Loading music can take a few seconds, while the interface is sometimes lagging a bit. Part of this ‘problem’ is that it’s using IPFS for its file distribution. You can compare this with the technology behind BitTorrent, and that’s also the reason why mining MUSIC and having computers online in the network matters. The more people start using Musicoin, the better its service will become.
Thankfully Musicoin’s technology also comes with benefits. Artists get paid for every second their music is streamed. It’s a very fair way that completely undermines the financial model behind systems like Spotify and Pandora. From their 10 dollar monthly subscription model, artists only get a small part, and only when the song is streamed past a certain threshold.
The chart you see above is from data acquired in 2017. It’s safe to assume that MUSIC was peaking in value, just like every other cryptocurrency project out there. But even if MUSIC would’ve declined 60% in value, it’s still offering competitive earnings to artists. All this, while consumers spend nothing!
The good thing about Musicoin, is that it allows royalties distribution through smart contracts. There’s no need for managers and all kinds of middlemen, as artists can setup their own revenue sharing model between every member over their team: singers, band members, song writers etc.
Even though the app is free, as a consumer you can still tip artists and just listen to their music. Your time is actually money. The activity of miners is very important to the ecosystem, because a part of their work will be distributed to artists. It’s for that same reason that tips by consumers can be paid out, even though consumers never need to acquire MUSIC by definition.
Currently MUSIC and Musicoin are driven by the Proof-of-Work mechanism, but there are plans to switch to something they call Proof-of-Sharing, which will be outlined in an updated whitepaper that’s yet to be released. Most likely the technology will be comparable with the way BitTorrent will be using its BTT tokens. People who share and seed music within the Musicoin ecosystem, will be paid using MUSIC.
I honestly love the concept behind Musicoin. It feels like such an honest project. However, what the app is really lacking is quality content. Besides quality content, they should also look for quantity. Some music genres only have a dozen songs spread between two or three artists, and that’s simply not enough. Sometimes the waiting time before a song is loaded, can take up to 20 seconds… if it loads at all. These are small bumps that need to ironed out before this project and their tech can really go mainstream. The concept of the technology however, is without a doubt outstanding.
Also published on Medium.