Up to 70 percent of the world’s music market is controlled by three major labels — Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. As a burgeoning artist, it almost seems impossible to break into the industry.
That’s where Younk comes in. As the world’s first community music label on blockchain, Younk allows users to participate in creating new hits and be involved in co-producing process.
“In a very few words, blockchain is an inevitable decentralizing power, a new technology which preserves information in smart contracts, the kind of digital vaults, which are extremely difficult to rob,” founder Andrey Dakhovskyy explains to HipHopDX. “Practically, it means that once community agrees on the rules of the game they want to play, it’s put in a smart contract and from that moment, it works automatically, beyond anyone’s control.”
So what are the benefits for artists who join Younk? According to co-founder Don Grierson, who has an extensive history in the music industry, it can provide an ideal launching pad for new music.
“In my many years in the music industry, and in positions where I — as an A&R head — made the yes/no decisions as which artist the label should sign, there has never been a process whereby the public/community were in a position to decide which artist they believed should be signed/supported. Starting with A&R, someone at a label was always ‘filtering’ the creative community.
“Younk changes that. The creative public/community can now upload their music to the Younk platform and the general public can vote via ‘likes,’ which artist should be supported and released. They can support their favorite track with bucks converted to YNK bucks. If that track is successful, based upon the amount of support they funded, they can participate in the bonuses returns of that success.”
Dakhovskyy adds, “The idea of the platform was sparked by decentralization ideology of blockchain. Knowing industry from the inside we must say -it’s heavily unnecessary centralized.
The arrival of internet has changed the way music is distributed, but hasn’t changed anything in how labels are looking for new hits, which is core of their business.”
Artists from any genre are eligible for Younk. From Hip Hop and rock to pop and country, nothing is off limits.
“It’s very early days in the process of the public/community supporting artists via Younk,” Grierson says. “There is one Hip Hop artist that has had a very serious response named Haynie and his first release, ‘Faith Over Fear’ about to be released. We have just shot a video and that will be released and supported by Younk.”
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Younk is the beginning of an entirely innovative way of getting music to the consumer. During Grierson’s days as an A&R, he received the Golden Apple Award from The Beatles and signed Celine Dion to her first record contract, but he always felt like something was missing.
“I have a long history of senior A&R responsibilities but throughout those years, it was obvious that the public — the end ‘buyer’ — had no say in what artist should be supported,” Grierson explains. “As an A&R person, I didn’t question that, as it was the norm, but I always believed that the public should be more involved, however appropriate.
“Younk now offers the public that A&R decision process, no matter whether I, as an A&R person, agrees. Now, there is no ‘filter’ system. If the community believe there is an artist, or song/track that they truly support, Younk is there to promote and market.”
For more information, head to the Younk website.