The digital marketplace provides recorded music with a medium of distribution unlike any before. As endless streaming services surface, the live music market has remained relatively unchanged. The Viberate team, through implementation of blockchain technology, aims to provide live music with a similar digital revolution, by creating a decentralized booking and payment platform.
The internet provides an exchange of recorded music. With Viberate, the blockchain can provide the exchange for all things live music related. While lesser-known musicians have opportunities to post their music to a variety of online communities, these musicians are at a severe disadvantage in terms of access to agents and live events. The live music industry is heavily centralized by large talent agencies that only tend to the most popular musicians. To decentralize this market, Viberate has constructed a network of musicians, venues, event organizers, events and booking agencies to stimulate small, independent music enterprises. This matchmaking for anyone in the music industry will allow for a truly diverse culture of music, unrestricted by the profit-driven interests of dominant talent agencies.
CEO, Matej Gregorcic, founded a marketing agency as a teenager which eventually became one of the biggest event management agencies in his country. Vasja Veber, the team’s COO, has over 10 years of experience in the music industry and operates as manager for Viberate’s celebrity ambassador, UMEK. Uros Umek, a Viberate founder, is an award-winning producer and A-list techno DJ, voted third best techno DJ globally by DJ Mag. The impressive lead group, along with a development team that already created the successful project CreditBit, displays an extensive understanding blockchain of the global live music industry.
In the whitepaper, the Viberate team saw themselves as being the “imdb of live music” in the earlier stages of the project. As the network grows, their intention is to become the biggest global talent marketplace. Although this goal may seem far fetched, the network has already reached over 120,000 musicians, 40,000 venues, and 60,000 events. At its core, Viberate is a means for musicians and eventually all live talent to connect with both fans and organizers.
As incentive for contribution to the network, the VIB token (an ERC20 token on the Ethereum platform) acts as a means of rewarding contributions. Contributors to the network receive VIB tokens in exchange for expanding the project. As musicians join the network, they are ranked according to social media popularity. When an event organizer or booking agency spends VIB tokens to utilize the platform, they have a variety of filters and rankings to search for specific genres and talents. The musician gains both exposure and service fees in the form of VIB tokens.
As most in the cryptocurrency space are aware, one salient aspect of utilizing the Ethereum platform is its smart contracts. With Viberate, smart contracts will be in place for a variety of transactions between talent and agencies as well as between talent and their fans themselves. To organize an event, a smart contract is formed, and the event and its payments are only confirmed once both the event organizer and talent meet complete agreement. At this point, once the event is fully confirmed, fans have the ability to purchase tickets to the event via VIBBridge - the protocol for connecting fans and musicians. An additional feature of the ticketing process involves fans who may have purchased a ticket to an event but are unable to attend. The team implements a secondary, decentralized ticket exchange in which fans are able to auction off their unwanted event tickets. The tickets themselves are ERC20 simulations, so they come with all the safety and expediency of the Ethereum platform.
Because the platform aims to reach all musicians worldwide, not just the most popular of talents, the team included a crowdfunding campaign for funding events in a decentralized fashion. Users of the Viberate platform have the ability to create smart contracts to crowd-fund the fee of a certain performer they’d wish to see. A specially created app, VIBPulse, immediately pushes the event to social media to garner attention and further funding. Once the fee is reached, the event organizer and musician are notified to organize the event, but if the fee is not reached, all contributions are returned. Only after the event can the musician claim their portion of the funds.
In short, yes. This project’s utility of blockchain technology is, in my opinion, more applicable than many projects that have already succeeded in the cryptocurrency realm. Smart contracts organize every form of interaction and payment between fans, venues, organizers and musicians, and allow for a variety of additional features such as contributor rewards, ticket auctions, and crowdfunding campaigns. The team takes full advantage of the reliability and efficiency of the Ethereum platform, not only operating with the ERC20 VIB token, but also simulating ticket sales as tokens themselves. The global live music industry will finally catch up to recorded music, facing its own revolution via Viberate.