Have you ever dreamed of being able to make a living from your music? I did. And still do.
A month ago, on November 17th I signed up for a service called Musicoin. It's an audio platform based on the revolutionary blockchain technology where listeners can listen to the music for free and musicians get paid fairly without intermediates for every playback.
You might have already heard about it because I've been uploading our podcasts and music there (here are some of my recent improvisations: 45 Pounds, Veni Emmanuel Fantasy, Divinum Mysterium, Wedding March Fantasy, Organ Demonstration and Music for St Lucia Day).
If it goes as planned, Musicoin's vision has the potential to fix the entire music industry which only benefits big labels while artists are left with crumbs from the table.
I decided to make an experiment of uploading my audio recordings to Musicoin and report to you after a month about the results.
The current rule is that with each playback I get 1 Musicoin (the native currency of the platform, symbol: $MUSIC). As of this writing, 1 Musicoin is worth about 0.03 USD.
So right now I have 142 tracks uploaded and earning me 3 cents for every playback. Of course, the price of the coin fluctuates, like with any other cryptocurrency. Sometimes it drops, sometimes it rises. But the potential is clearly there.
So far I have earned about 2900 Musicoins which is worth roughly 93 USD today. In comparison, during the same month I earned about 13 USD on YouTube partner program. Big difference. It's something like 7 months with YouTube!
Oh and by the way, from 2009, when I started my YouTube channel I only earned 291 USD to date on with thousands of subscribers and videos. I guess no further explanation is necessary. Back to Musicoin.
These Musicoins can be transferred to the special desktop wallet you download from the platform and from there exchanged into Bitcoin on the exchanges Bittrex or Cryptopia and eventually to any other crypto or traditional currency.
The beauty of all this is as the time passes, the platform gets traction and more and more people are using it, the $MUSIC itself becomes more valuable.
Right now there are over 1500 verified musicians, bands and labels on Musicoin. It's really new because it started just this year. But they are experiencing 50-100 % growth every month. Eventually the vision is that they will be a major platform, just like Spotify is today.
Except for 1 million plays, an artist on Spotify gets about 400 USD only. But who can get to a million plays? A rock star maybe. Certainly not organists. As I said, it's just crumbs from the table where only major labels win.
But with Musicoin, I see the potential. Because the platform itself is growing. Because the number of my tracks is growing. Because of compounding effect.
Here's a good article with detailed explanation of how Musicoin works.
I invite you to check out and subscribe to our channel on Musicoin. If you do, I will dedicate my next improvisation to you.
And of course, you too can upload your own recordings to YOUR channel to maximize revenue.
If you have some audio recordings of your organ performances, you can follow my example. Feel free to use my invitation link to join Musicoin:
But this platform has another cool feature - your listeners can tip you using Musicoin. And I've been tipped around 1800 Musicoins already - sometimes 1, sometimes 5, sometimes 10, and sometimes 100 Musicoins!
By the way, using smart contract protocol you can divide your revenue up to 8 shares. So if you have an ensemble or a band, or like in our case a podcast guest, they could also earn fair share from your playbacks.
Where does the money come from? It's all explained on the website but to make it simple to understand I have to add that it comes from the miners who verify every transaction on the blockchain using cryptographic software. During the mining process new Musicoins are created too.
Imagine, if one day 1 Musicoin would be worth 1 USD? Of course, by then only a fraction of the coin would be paid for the playback to make it feasible.
Then I could really see the future where artists could make a living from their music.
The sooner you start, the easier it will be, because right now, you will be one of the pioneers, early adopters who will spread the word to early majority who will in turn spread this idea to late majority.
Aren't we living in a revolutionary time?
Vidas: Let’s start Episode 126 of #AskVidasAndAusra podcast. Listen to the audio version here. And today is a very interesting day: we celebrate 6 years of the beginnings of Secrets of Organ Playing! Isn’t that exciting, Ausra?
Ausra: Yes, it's been already 6 years! Wow, time flies.
Vidas: Very fast. It seems like a few weeks ago, right?
Vidas: It seems like this September, for example. Remember the first article that I posted on EzineArticles, and started--you were not part of this project yet, but you joined it later, right?
Vidas: By the way, how did you decide to join the Secrets of Organ Playing blog?
Ausra: I couldn’t explain how it happened…
Vidas: Very naturally, probably--gradually.
Ausra: Yes, yes, yes.
Vidas: You were helping me behind the scenes with fingerings and pedalings…
Ausra: Yes, yes, that’s right.
Vidas: And of course...
Ausra: I just didn’t want my name appearing somewhere.
Vidas: You were too shy, right?
Ausra: Yes, I was crypto-editor.
Vidas: Crypto-editor! Haha. Ghost editor! But then somehow things changed, right?
Vidas: And are you happy about that?
Ausra: Very much.
Vidas: I sense that since you have started doing this together with me, our conversations became more lively online; and people, I think, get more out of this discussion than myself--I would write just a one-sided article, and now sometimes we disagree, we sometimes have discussion; and people can choose which one they like more, which version.
Ausra: Heheheh. Yes, that’s right. It’s always good to have an argument, and compare things.
Vidas: So, we would like to thank you guys very much for sticking with us for 6 years now, and we hope to help you grow as an organist even further in upcoming years, and help you reach your goals, right?
Vidas: And now, going back to the question that was sent by Irineo: he writes:
“Hello back there maestro Pinkevicius, thank you for your interesting email. I have a couple of questions though.
1. How can I upload one of my pieces to Musicoin? I have it recorded in my iTunes, so I guess I should first transfer it to my laptop and then upload it to the site, am I correct? Do I need some kind of software to do so? If that's the case, which one would you suggest and where can I get ahold of it, please?
2. I also wrote lyrics for that piece. Therefore I suspect it might be classified a short Chorale.
I have to translate it into English as well but, do you think I should upload its original lyrics as well as the translated version?
Thank you so much in advance. Also send warm greetings to maestra Ausra please. Keep up the good work, you both! Very truly yours, Irineo”
So, isn’t that exciting, Ausra, that people are joining Musicoin?
Ausra: Yes! Very exciting!
Vidas: You joined Musicoin, too.
Ausra: Because you suggested that, and I agreed!
Vidas: Hahahaha! Do you find value in that program?
Ausra: Yes, I think it’s much more beneficial than the others.
Vidas: Like, if you put your music on SoundCloud, what do you get? Nothing. You simply have to pay monthly or annual membership fees for that, but you don’t get anything in return. What do you get for putting your music on Facebook?
Vidas: Nothing, too! They actually put advertisements on top of your posts, and you become a product for them! So basically it’s a lose-lose situation for an artist. What about YouTube? YouTube does pay for views, and it makes a little bit of sense, right? A very insignificant amount compared to Musicoin. But it still does, so it’s, I guess, it’s one of those things you have to consider. What about Spotify? Spotify, I guess--I’ve heard that for 1 million--for 1 million--listens or playbacks, an artist gets $400. That’s nothing. For 1 million! You know, the majority of people will never get to a million.
Ausra: Of course, it’s hard to get a million!
Vidas: And then $400--that’s nothing compared to the work that is required to get to such a number, right? And Musicoin, with every listen on the Musicoin platform, an artist gets (right now) 1 Musicoin. (That’s their currency.) And 1 Musicoin currently is worth about 1.8c. And sometimes it rises in value, and sometimes it decreases in value, as with any cryptocurrency. But I guess, in general, the more people join this platform, the more valuable it will become in the future--right Ausra?
Ausra: Yes, that’s everything.
Vidas: It’s basically, the demand grows, and basically a supply and demand rule. So, it’s worth doing that for organists as well. You simply upload your tracks--it could be mp3 tracks, for now, only--and you watch your Musicoins come in. That’s very exciting.
Ausra: Yes, that’s right.
Vidas: Of course, you have to share--share your work all over the place so that people will find you. Right Ausra?
Ausra: Because if you will not share, nobody will Know about you.
Vidas: And another good thing about the Musicoin platform is that it’s built on so-called Blockchain technology, which enables them to create smart contracts: automatic contracts where you can specify which proportion of your revenue will go to you, and which proportion will go to, let’s say, your partners (if you have a band or ensemble or a small choir or something). Right now, you have to subdivide your revenue in 8 shares. So right now, for example, these podcasts with Ausra--we divide it in half. One half goes to Ausra, and one goes to me, because we both participate in this--right Ausra?
Vidas: Even though you say “yes,” you still get one Musicoin!
Ausra: Okay, okay!
Vidas: Or half a Musicoin.
Ausra: I can give all my Musicoins to you, and make you happy!
Vidas: Hahahaha. I know! But that’s not the point! The point is that you have the choice of doing this.
Ausra: I know, but the thing is that you get such a technical question as this, the thing is that you are just more experienced. You know, all those programs, and internet stuff.
Vidas: Or, maybe you have other questions that arise when I talk? You could ask!
Ausra: Hahaha, maybe not now.
Ausra: Let’s just answer Irineo’s question.
Vidas: So, he writes that he wants to use the pieces that he uploaded to iTunes, right? And repurpose them on Musicoin.
Ausra: How should he do this?
Vidas: So, he simply has to transfer mp3s from iTunes. And there was, I think--I found an article online, “How to Download from iTunes,” and you can simply read the directions there.
Ausra: Yes. And also, the second half of Irineo’s question was about either he needs to put the original lyrics, or just an English translation. So I think he definitely has to include both.
Vidas: Yeah, to expand his audience.
Ausra: Yes, yes, of course.
Vidas: Some people will want to listen to the English version. And others--why not include the original language, too? And specify in tags, you could specify the language: English or another language.
Vidas: We could even submit a Lithuanian chorale, too.
Ausra: Yes. It’s like watching movies, like for example, I love to watch a movie in the original language. It gives me much more, even if it’s a language I don’t know well enough, like French, for example.
Vidas: And, to expand your audience, you can actually include an English translation in the description box. Even though the original track is in another language, people could click and read the English version, too.
Vidas: Everybody wins, this way! So, we hope this was helpful, right Ausra?
Ausra: I hope so!
Vidas: Don’t hesitate to use our invitation link to join Musicoin. And please, of course, invite other people--that’s how this platform grows; that’s how, in general, it becomes more valuable to you and to everyone. Because it’s a network; your songs, your music, get in front of many more people this way, inside of the platform of Musicoin, just like on YouTube or iTunes. And of course, you get paid for each listen. That’s fair treatment for every musician, I think. Thank you guys, this was Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra.
Vidas: And remember, when you practice…
Ausra: Miracles happen.
Today I'd like to tell you a little about how I've been experimenting with the platform called Musicoin. It's an audio platform based on the revolutionary blockchain technology where listeners can listen to the music for free and musicians get paid fairly without intermediates for every playback.
I recommend you check it out because it has the potential to fix entire music industry which only benefits big labels while artists are left with crumbs from the table.
I'm in the process of moving all of my audio files and podcasts to Musicoin. After the first day and with only 22 recordings my earnings were more than after entire month with YouTube!
Just this morning I recording an audio improvisation called Pentatonic Elevation and uploaded to Musicoin. I hope you'll give it a listen here. I invite you to subscribe to my channel here.
If you have some audio recordings of your organ performances, you can do the same. Feel free to use my invitation link to join Musicoin.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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