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Teosto develops a blockchain platform for music copyright organisations

29.05.2017

Teosto is developing a blockchain platform for faster and more transparent tracking and processing of royalties for music authors and publishers. Designed by Teosto Futures Lab, the Pigeon platform will provide copyright societies with versatile digital tools that enable faster information flows of performance reports and payment data between different societies globally.

Teosto has finished a working prototype of the Pigeon concept, built on the Multichain blockchain platform, with Finnish blockchain company Chainfrog (www.chainfrog.com), and is currently in discussions about potential partnerships and further development of the concept.

Teosto Futures Lab is Teosto’s innovation platform for research, cross industry co-operation, knowledge share and new business development, launched in December 2016.

Aim to improve revenue streams by reducing costs

“While many of the current challenges in music copyright and royalty distribution can be solved without blockchain, Teosto Futures Lab wanted to find real world use cases where the new technologies could benefit the current industry the most. Looking beyond the hype surrounding blockchains, we designed a solution that can easily be integrated to the current rights management processes between CMOs (copyright management organisations), replacing some of the problematic parts of those processes while improving the revenue streams for music authors and publishers”, states Roope Pajasmaa,Teosto’s CDO and Director for R&D and IT.

The Pigeon concept is designed to reduce costs and royalty distribution delays between CMOs and unlock new value for songwriters and publishers. In the long run, Pigeon aims to offer the music copyright industry a comprehensive set of tools and services for messaging and communication, data management, royalty calculation and payments processing.

“Teosto’s key priority is to ensure a sustainable future for music authors and publishers for the use of their musical works. The Pigeon solution – first of its kind in the field of copyright management – is a great example of how Teosto will continue to drive innovation in music industry for the interest of music creators”, says Teosto’s CEO Katri Sipilä.

Focus on live performance data

The current Pigeon prototype focuses on the exchange of live performance notifications and related royalty payments data between CMOs, and implements payment ledger functionality that enables payment netting.  

“Majority of blockchain initiatives in the music industry focus on the challenges surrounding music metadata, or issues like identity validation and smart contracts. However, we see that also areas such as performance reporting and royalty payments deserve attention, and are domains where a blockchain solution could actually prove extremely useful”, comments Teemu Hänninen, Product Owner, Teosto Futures Lab

The prototype is a part of a wider Pigeon service concept that aims to improve and enhance the overall effectiveness of the interaction between CMOs, and to provide them versatile digital services with the help of uniform integrations and structured data. Currently, collaboration between CMOs can suffer from the absence of quality standards and services for information exchange that can result in excessive overhead costs due to manual work effort and varying types of system integrations needed.

How Pigeon is related to other music industry blockchain initiatives

Teosto is a member of Open Music Initiative (OMI), led by Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. OMI is a joint initiative with a mission to create interoperability and standards for metadata, rights management and licensing issues for the music industry. While Pigeon concept is not directly related with OMI, Teosto supports applying common standards also into Pigeon to support transparency and interoperability with other music industry initiatives.

Teosto’s Pigeon differs from other CMO-partnered blockchain projects as its primary scope is to enhance the data exchange practices within the music copyright industry using blockchain technology.

About Teosto Futures Lab and Teosto

Teosto Futures Lab is Teosto’s innovation platform for research, cross industry co-operation, knowledge share and new business development, launched in December 2016.

Teosto, The Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society, is a non-profit organisation for music authors that works to secure the prerequisites for making music as a professional in Finland and the performing of Finnish music now and in the future. We collect royalties from music users and distribute them to authors and publishers. In other words, we ensure that everyone has easy and legal access to music and the opportunity to use music to promote their business. By fostering the well-being of music authors, we contribute to the well-being of the creative industries and Finnish society as a whole. This has been our mission since 1928. For the love of music. Teosto represents 30,000 Finnish and around three million international composers, lyricists, arrangers and publishers of music. Royalties paid by Teosto to music authors and publishers amounted to EUR 51.6 million in 2016.

Contacts and more information:

Roope Pajasmaa, Chief Digital Officer, Director for R&D and IT at Teosto
roope.pajasmaa(at)teosto.fi, tel. +358 50 3658351

Ano Sirppiniemi, Head of R&D at Teosto and Teosto Futures Lab
ano.sirppiniemi(at)teosto.fi, tel.  +358 50 325 6530

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