Music Licensing in Web3

29 Apr 2022

On the hunt for the perfect licensing protocol

The emerging Web3 tools are shaping the future of the conservative music industry, from monetization, and transparency to concepts such as transparency and decentralization. There is one aspect the Web3 has failed to address — the music licensing/royalties.
In Web3 the need for artistic expression embraces a holistic representation by putting the creators back in the driver’s seat and providing a fully transparent music development platform and community.

Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on Unsplash

Yet, our greatest forms of artistic expression have become subject to exploitation due to the unaddressed issue of protecting one’s intellectual property.
Let’s take a step back to understand the protocol of today. 

How does music licensing work today?

  • Copyrighting your song via a public performance rights organization(PPR). Your song is protected by copyright law on both mechanical and performance rights. Whoever wants to distribute your song, can and will be subject to court action.
  • The traditional approach to licensing involves registering through a web service and a central database server that stores information about licenses and users. When an application first starts, the user has to activate the license somehow (either by entering a login and password or some generated key), and then the application contacts the server to verify the license.
  • According to the licensing agreement, the artist has given written permission to distribute their music. Most notably, the artist requests one of two licenses:

a) the flat fee license = free permission to distribute music for a limited amount of volume/time or a monthly subscription model
b) royalty license = an artist requests a fixed equity percentage per stream/per sold tickets for the given song.
hat is an ISRC protocol? It is the international standard code for uniquely identifying sound recordings. An ISRC identifies a particular recording and all of its edits and remixes are published under the ISRC.

The Future Of Music Licensing

Web3 offers a unique value proposition to establish a standard protocol for music licensing. In a world where music tracks take place as digital assets (NFTs) and are put into the seemingly unintrusive network of creators, where liability and trust are inherent parts of the network, I introduce the notion of a “smart” licensing agreement. Users will be able to request a licensing agreement from an artist as a form of integration of the licensing interface.

The Licensing Interface is the precomputed standard that one could arrange with the initial artist. The ability to redistribute and share other artists’ music is possible because each track is protected by government law. The licensing agreements will be integrated as smart contracts between the two parties on the network, allowing speed, transparency, and zero bureaucracy.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
Additionally, NFTs allow a formidable course of action for music royalty sharing. Establishing a higher level of abstraction through which all parties can interact transparently(either in real-world projects or the metaverse), ensures a sustainable working ground for music distribution.

Distribution by Design.


The scope of music sharing and licensing in the future lies in the hands of how seriously we’ll consider protecting intellectual property through our decentralized applications. A decision that lies dearly in the technology that just might put people first.

Connect & Read More

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it provides you with some insights into the world of Music3. My name is Tim, I’ll keep creating and you keep reading :)

Photo by Claus Grünstäudl on Unsplash

Feel free to contact me via any social media. I’d be happy to get your feedback, acknowledgment, or criticism. Let me know what you create !!!

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Johnson Chau
Web3 spotify? :)
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