Bitsonline Exclusive: an Interview with Mo Jalloh of Zimrii Music

Bitsonline Exclusive: an Interview with Mo Jalloh of Zimrii Music

There’s been a concerted effort as of late to connect the music industry and the blockchain, the latest being Zimrii Music. This match aims to end unfair compensation to intermediaries, allowing artists to receive more of the money they rightfully deserve. 

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The Problem

In 2015, Grammy Award-winning British artist Imogen Heap released her album Tiny Human on the blockchain. She did this to make the industry aware that releasing music “on-chain” was possible and that it offered several benefits, including:

  • a release protecting her intellectual rights to her music;
  • smart contracts executing every transaction, paying out everyone entitled to royalties; and
  • giving her the ability to engage with her fans in unprecedented ways using tokens.

Heap’s Album Only Made $133.20

However only 222 copies of that album sold for .60 cents USD each. The buying process was complicated for fans. They had to create Ethereum wallets, convert their money to bitcoin, convert their bitcoin to ether, then buy the album.

Yes, these are hoops cryptocurrency enthusiasts are willing to jump through every day. However, when it comes to your average music fan, this level of difficulty just didn’t work.

In his book Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain, David Gerard made a valid point. A blockchain music store shouldn’t be …

[…] harder to use than BitTorrent. The legal options, iTunes, Netflix and Spotify made it big by being more convenient than piracy, and there is nothing convenient about dealing with blockchains. For buying music online, Bandcamp […] pays 85 percent to the artist and doesn’t have any use for a blockchain.”

Zimrii’s Developing Solution

At the time Tiny Human was released, Gerard’s statements might have been true.

However, programmers have continued to develop blockchain-based applications. Businesses like Zimrii Music have fine tuned their applications to create blockchain-backed music industry experiences that are simple and seamless for artists, royalty recipients, venues, and fans to use.

Paolo Gava
Paolo Gava

Mo Jalloh and Paolo Gava are co-founders of the Zimrii Music Platform, based in Sydney, Australia. Mo discussed Zimrii with Bitsonline.

SN: How does the Zimrii Music Platform solve the financial exchange problems that those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency would have to overcome in order to interact with your platform?

MJ: From our perspective, we will be integrating both bitcoin and ethereum as the mechanism to pay for music via the platform. This is also combined with normal (fiat) currency as the adoption of crypto-currencies is not as widespread (but we believe this will change over time).

SN: Why did you choose to use Ethereum in your business, as opposed to other blockchains?

MJ: We have a preference for Ethereum as we are using this blockchain to develop our application. This is the standout feature of the Ethereum blockchain. The ability to develop applications (DApps). Utilizing the backbone of the blockchain provides a great mechanism to develop software products which solve a myriad of problems within different industries.

Zimrii Music logoMoreover, the use of smart contracts lends itself to solving some of the music industry problems around:

  • Evidence of copyright recordings through the use of the blockchain;
  • Being able to organize splits of royalty payment and music sales through the automated use of smart contracts.

We are also developing the use of tokens, again an Ethereum feature which allows innovative ways for musicians and bands to develop fan loyalty and engagement.

The use of the Ethereum programming language Solidity is also another factor in the decision to develop over Ethereum. Although, there is some way to go before it reaches a level of maturity.

SN: Anything else you’d like to add about the future of your business and cryptocurrency?

MJ: Zimrii Music is currently having interesting discussions with many in the industry who are keen on the use of blockchain in the music industry. As our core customers are independent music artists, the interest is strong and we see a bright future for blockchain in music.

In Essence …

What makes the Zimrii Music Platform unique is that it integrates everything the music industry is asking of the blockchain into one transparent, reliable platform. It’s an intuitive, easy-to-use, one-stop shop for artists, indie labels, publishers, and venue owners.

  • Artists and designated parties can receive rewards and royalty payments in minutes;
  • When artists release music on Zimrii, copyright evidence is created immediately;
  • Artists and publishers can monitor album sales, crowdfunding campaigns and important business metrics with easy-to-understand analytics;
  • Fans can crowdfund their favorite artists’ endeavors by purchasing tokens that also act as investments, gaining value over time and creating brand ambassadors and loyal fans;
  • Artists and production companies can negotiate deals and book gigs with venue owners while avoiding excessive paperwork;
  • Fans can preview tracks before buying them; and
  • The music buying process is simple, easy-to-understand.

Zimrii released the alpha version of the platform in November 2017. The team is excited about the release and can’t wait to get fans and musicians engaging with it.

Do you think blockchain based platforms are good for the music industry? Do you think they have potential to become the industry norm or will they be just like any other music/media sales company online? Chime in below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Pexels, Wikimedia Commons and Zimrii Music.

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