The Open Music Initiative has announced that it will be using Intel blockchain technology to simplify how creators and rightsholders are identified and paid. The technology, Sawtooth Lake, will serve as OMI’s reference platform open source ledger for tracking, managing, and protecting use of intellectual property and to facilitate transparency and seamless payment flows within the industry. OMI co-founder and technology lead Dan Harple said, “Capitalizing on blockchain technology via Sawtooth Lake will help us address the music industry’s most vexing challenge — protecting creative rights, intellectual property and the livelihood of the artists, entertainers and music owners who enrich our lives.”
YouTube has named founder and current CEO of 300 Lyor Cohen its new Global Head of Music. While he will remain 300’s largest individual investor, Cohen will step down from his day-to-day responsibilities as CEO in December of this year. At YouTube, Cohen will have the large task of repairing the company’s relationship with the music industry, and “accelerating growth in a fair way for everyone,” said Chief Business Officer Robert Kyncl.
Spotify is in advanced talked to acquire rival music service SoundCloud, just months after SoundCloud launched its own paid streaming service. While Spotify is the market leader in the growing paid streaming business, SoundCloud has a much larger catalog than any other streaming service–about 125 million tracks. Acquiring SoundCloud could help Spotify bolster its own catalog and offer emerging artists an easier way onto the service, as well as make the case for ad-supported streaming.