Is Blockchain Creating a New Marketplace for Art?

The joke about creative professionals being starving artists has been around for quite some time. It can be understandable why there’s this prevailing view since there are many critically acclaimed artists who failed to parley their genius into financial success. Then, there are the countless others who never even got their shot at fame.


The emergence of digital technologies and the internet has somehow improved the situation for creative professionals. There is now a real demand for their talents and skills in today’s workforce. In addition, there are also a variety of self-publishing platforms that artists can use to get their works out to a global audience. However, despite these developments, creative professionals continue to bemoan the barriers to effective monetization of their works. Corporations and key personalities can still exert much influence over who succeeds in the creative and entertainment industries.


This is also starting to become a problem even with these new publishing platforms. YouTube may have created an outlet for content creators to publish their works but the company still gets full control over the terms and conditions of the service. Many criticized YouTube’s recent changes to its policies that made it more difficult for creators to earn from their content. It is in these cases where a technology such as blockchain can truly be disruptive. Blockchain has already challenged centralization in various verticals. Certain projects have already set their sights on disrupting the creative industries. Through these efforts, creative professionals can find new ways to effectively monetize their works.


Empowering Independence

Hollywood’s dominance is now being challenged by the emergence of streaming video on demand (SVOD) services. SVOD has seen a meteoric rise over the past few years. Netflix just reached more than $100 million subscribers earlier this year. Amazon Prime has more than 30 million. SVOD is also being lauded as the “savior” of independent film as it provides the opportunity for independent productions to be picked up by these services. Films that don’t have the budgets for wide theatrical release can be now viewed by paying audiences from around the globe. Blockchain is now also being applied to SVOD.


Blockchain-based SVOD services could even provide more flexibility to filmmakers. StreamSpace, for instance, aims to create a progressive marketplace that allows filmmakers to set their own price for their content. They would also be paid immediately over the blockchain when viewers stream their films. Through such a system, content creators gain full creative and financial control over their works without interference or pressure from studio executives or distributors.


Enabling Performance through Virtual Reality

Digital downloads and streaming have made music essentially free these days. So instead of worrying about radio airtime and album sales, most musicians rely on live performances, merchandise, and exclusive content to make money. Going on tour can be a massive undertaking so artists must be able to maximize their returns from each effort. Fortunately for them, technology is helping in this regard.


CEEK is providing artists a way to widen audiences for their live performances through virtual reality (VR). The company has been working on a platform that enables productions to stream live performances to VR headsets. Fans and patrons who may not be able to physically attend concerts and shows could have a similar sensory experience through a VR venue. One live event could readily have a global audience.


To make this development even more interesting, CEEK is also using blockchain to provide a means for artists to generate more value from each VR event. Using CEEK’s Celebrity Coin Cast Minting feature, artists could create and sell virtual tickets, merchandise, and other content during these VR performances. Payment and ownership of these virtual items are all verified using blockchain.


Tokenizing Art as Assets

Even fine art hasn’t eluded the growing scope of blockchain’s influence. Maecenas, for instance, democratizes access to famous works of art. It serves as a decentralized gallery where people can invest in high-value artworks. Using blockchain, collectors and investors will be able to gain fractional ownership of fine art.


There are also efforts that focus on digital art. For example, Dada features a decentralized marketplace for digital drawings. Artists could sell their art through the platform in exchange for Ethereum tokens. The platform also uses blockchain to record intellectual property and ownership of these digital assets. It even allows a secondary market where owners could eventually sell their collection. Artists continue to get a percentage of secondary market sales.


Levelling the Playing Field

These blockchain services decentralize the consumption of creative content essentially minimizing the involvement of intermediaries. This way, artists gain more control over their works and their monetization. At the same time, participation in such platforms gives artists access to a market of paying customers. Through blockchain, payments can also be settled in real-time based on clear conditions, unlike current models that often do not favor the artist. What blockchain effectively creates is a market-driven environment for creative professionals to thrive.