Blockchain gives music lessons to healthcare

Blockchain smart contracts provide the bridge, intersecting the music and health.

Music shapes culture, entertainment and technology. The passion for music spans industries refreshes ideas and introduces new concepts previously invisible. The music industries maturation into digital contexts and exploration of blockchain technology have uncovered lessons we can apply to healthcare.

Intersecting music and health

The world is growing, and the music industry is shrinking. Economies of scale exist, yet annually miss impacting healthcare for the better. The music and healthcare industries are managing the transition from the physical to digital. How will the music industries keep pace with the trends of instant access and play anywhere? How will the healthcare industry keep pace with the trends of instant access and view anywhere medical information? Blockchain is the answer. Smart contracts provide the bridge.

Musical revenue fragmentation

The music industry is getting a shakeup but continues to lose out in revenue. The end of 2014 marked the first year that the industry derived the same revenue from digital channels (46 percent) as from physical format sales (46 percent). According to the UN, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, there are 7.4 billion people in the world today growing at roughly 80 million a year. It’s disparaging to realize that the global recording music industry was a $40 billion business in 1997 and 2014 the music industry’s global digital revenues barely reached $6.85 billion, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide, with over 1,300 record companies in over 57 countries are members.

More people are listening to music, and fewer writers and artists are getting paid for their work. Society needs a music industry that rewards people for creating great content. Not a scene where music companies wrestle over ownership rights.

Hitting the music industry with peer-to-peer

The introduction of the bitcoin peer-to-peer electronic cash system by Satoshi Nakamoto (sudo name) in 2008, immediately sparked the interest of the music industry. The wonder started with companies like Murfie, a music marketplace founded in 2011, that accepts bitcoins as payments for music downloads. Bitcoin as a payment method isn’t going to change musicians lives as a new financial standard for payment. However, the application of the blockchain technology to the music industry may change artist lives.

Blockchain has the potential to modernize every industry in the world. We just don’t know exactly how. It was common knowledge that blockchain could impact the music industry, but the full impact on the industry wasn’t articulated clearly to encapsulate the potential for positive change, until last month. In November 2015, Benji Rogers published on Medium, “How the Blockchain and VR can Change the Music Industry.” The article offers a powerful argument in support of the positive impact that blockchain technology (Etherium, Muse, Rootstock) would have on the entertainment industry. In February 2016, Roger published an update that provided substantive support both theoretical and technical on how this could be accomplished in part 2 of his post, highlighting four clear points.

  1. Smart contracts will be the enabler
  2. Blockchain will house a global Fair Trade Global Database of rights
  3. Every song will contain Fair Trade Minimum Viable Data (MVD)
  4. The new format will be called .bc or “dot Blockchain,” a non-replicable wrapper (.bc compliant systems)

Music ownership obfuscation

Will the music industry see the beauty in the blockchain scheme? Blockchain technology applied to your music means that everyone will pay for their use, driving transparency of music ownership. The artist would create a .bc file containing who owns the work and who to pay when used. The music enthusiast using a platform (YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, 8Tracks, Tidal, Pandora, Apple) buys and pays for music as they would today. The difference is the behind the scenes a digital ledger tracks ownership of the author and usage rights of the music enthusiast.

Roger suggests, defining the rules governing play at the time of encoding, by the artist and the music rights holders, as part of the song’s Fair Trade Minimum Viable Data. The author, composers, contributors, owners, and usage rights are defined as part of smart contracts enabled by blockchain technologies. The music enthusiast also benefits paying only for what they play, instant payment, and multi-platform accessible. The .bc was envisioned to replace DVD, Blu-Ray and support a new virtual reality (VR) format that has no standardized format or wrapper. This format would contain Minimal Viable Data using the W3C Web standard JSON-LD, illustrated in the dot blockchain concept illustration.

The music industry has struggled with digital rights management (DRM) for years. Blockchain provides a ledger as a means of payment, automatic royalty payment splitter, and simplified licensing using legal enforcement non-ambiguous smart contracts. This concept is more than DRM. Its is DRM+.

Intersecting music and health

Blockchain technology can improve transparency of ownership for music as well as health records. Music industry’s song ownership challenge parallels the healthcare industry’s problem with medical health record ownership. The U.S. life and health insurance industry reached $877.9 billion in 2014 according to How much more transparency in your personal medical records have you seen in 2014 compared to 2015. I’ll share my experience between 2014 and 2015; I saw zero positive impact towards better visibly into my medical records. Personal health records continue to be as fragmented between providers and physicians as song ownership and royalty payments of the music industry. Platform scale, interoperability, and privacy are surmountable challenges. How do we transfer trust, when patients have no faith in the system? Payments don’t reflect treatment provided. We can’t blame patients for their lack of confidence when even experts have trouble explaining the circus we call today’s “healthcare system.”

Blockchain has the potential to give patients, like you and I hope, and restore trust in healthcare. Transparency and ownership of our medical health records are the beginning. New healthcare platforms will emerge returning medical record ownership back into the hands of the patient.

Previous articleBlockchain applications for healthcare
Next articleHow medical robots will change healthcare
Peter is a technology executive with over 20 years of experience, dedicated to driving innovation, digital transformation, leadership, and data in business. He helps organizations connect strategy to execution to maximize company performance. He has been recognized for Digital Innovation by CIO 100, MIT Sloan, Computerworld, and the Project Management Institute. As Managing Director at OROCA Innovations, Peter leads the CXO advisory services practice, driving digital strategies. Peter was honored as an MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Award Finalist in 2015 and is a regular contributor to on innovation. Peter has led businesses through complex changes, including the adoption of data-first approaches for portfolio management, lean six sigma for operational excellence, departmental transformations, process improvements, maximizing team performance, designing new IT operating models, digitizing platforms, leading large-scale mission-critical technology deployments, product management, agile methodologies, and building high-performance teams. As Chief Information Officer, Peter was responsible for Connecticut’s Health Insurance Exchange’s (HIX) industry-leading digital platform transforming consumerism and retail-oriented services for the health insurance industry. Peter championed the Connecticut marketplace digital implementation with a transformational cloud-based SaaS platform and mobile application recognized as a 2014 PMI Project of the Year Award finalist, CIO 100, and awards for best digital services, API, and platform. He also received a lifetime achievement award for leadership and digital transformation, honored as a 2016 Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader. Peter is the author of Learning Intelligence: Expand Thinking. Absorb Alternative. Unlock Possibilities (2017), which Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times No. 1 bestseller Triggers, calls "a must-read for any leader wanting to compete in the innovation-powered landscape of today." Peter also authored The Power of Blockchain for Healthcare: How Blockchain Will Ignite The Future of Healthcare (2017), the first book to explore the vast opportunities for blockchain to transform the patient experience. Peter has a B.S. in C.I.S from Bentley University and an MBA from Quinnipiac University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He earned his PMP® in 2001 and is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Masters in Business Relationship Management (MBRM) and Certified Scrum Master. As a Commercial Rated Aviation Pilot and Master Scuba Diver, Peter understands first hand, how to anticipate change and lead boldly.