PRS for Music

PRS for Music mentors blockchain startups

PRS for Music is mentoring technology entrepreneurs who are investigating the use of blockchain technology in the music business.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 2 Nov 2016
  • min read
PRS for Music is mentoring technology entrepreneurs who are investigating the use of blockchain technology in the music business.

The society took part in the recent EY Startup Challenge – and is now offering ongoing advice – to blockchain specialists working with industry to offer digital rights management solutions.

Over six weeks, PRS for Music experts worked with two groups, JAAK and BitFury, guiding them through the creation of two unique ideas.

JAAK focussed its presentation around the concept of ‘smart content’, which combines digital content with its relevant metadata and a ‘smart contract’ (a set of rules that determine how it may be used).

The startup recommends the use of sense checks within the blockchain, carried out by guardian networks, to ensure data accuracy.

JAAK founder Vaughn McKenzie told M: ‘The EY Startup Challenge serves as an incredible example of open innovation between large corporates and startups like JAAK. Working alongside EY and a selection of their best music clients we were able to test ideas, receive rapid feedback, and craft a model that works within the intricacy of today's industry.’

‘The way we listen to and consume music will continue to diversify in ways we can't even imagine. As digital grows the music industry has proven it recognises the importance of supporting and investing in new technology to better serve this ever-shifting market.’

Elsewhere, BitFury turned its attention to how the digital rights management system might be improved through blockchain and associated technologies.

It looked to simplify the process of releasing and licensing a track through the easy permissions process that blockchain can enable, while understanding the need for authority, be that though elected bodies or consensus mechanisms.

Valery Vavilov, chief executive of The Bitfury Group, told M: ‘As the leading full-service blockchain technology company, we were honored to be a part of the EY Startup Challenge and had a great experience working with EY and our other partners.

‘We are looking forward to continuing our work to explore blockchain technology for digital rights management.’

PRS for Music will continue to offer its expertise to both companies over the coming months.

The society said, in its digital blog, that it looks forward ‘to developing our thinking on new technologies by continuing our engagement with BitFury, JAAK, and all other developers that are attempting to build a bigger and better music industry that is fair for all.’