My inspiration for this application is the 80 billion un-monetized streams in 2017. Fans don't like ads when they are listening to independent music but they would be happy to provide compensation through in-browser cryptocurrency mining. With the emergence of blockchain technology there is now a new way to monetize this fanbase.

What this web application does is allow artists to upload independent music and receive a streaming player. When the artist's fans listen to the music they will mine for a cryptocurrency called Monero in their browser. The amount of Monero the fans generate will be paid to original artists as a way to compensate them for their art.

I edited a bootstrap template to obtain a simple streaming player and then I added a JavaScript snipped from CoinHive to allow for in-browser Monero mining. In order to provide a usable UI/UX I modified the CSS to enable a transparent background for the mining dashboard. I forked the Ethereum Blockchain and created a new coin called LabelCoin which can be used for in-app purchases (distribution on Spotify and iTunes).

Challenges I ran into were centered around the CoinHive JavaScript snippet. It seemed to want to act differently for each browser and device. I ended up stripping a lot of the code and editing the CSS to provide a more seamless user experience. Going forward I'll have CoinHive sit in the background instead of being front and center in the UX.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of include building a fully functional marketing funnel with low cost-per-acquisition in less than 3 hours. This included a FB ad, a landing page, and a ConstantContact followup email. It was also my first time to fork a blockchain (made LabelCoin, see GitHub repo). To top things off we also won 1st place in the AT&T Entertainment Hackathon and were invited to be Entrepreneurs in Residence at Capitol Towers in LA.

What I learned is that blockchain technology can be implemented in various ways within the music industry. Not only can in act as a store of value and licensing tracking but it can replace traditional ads as a way to monetize fan streams.

What's next for BlockTune.io? We are going to move into our office at Capitol Towers in LA to begin our stay as Entrepreneurs in Residence. We will have full access to the Universal Music Group admin library via API. Our launch date is set for the end of May or early June. Winning this hackathon would help give us the extra boost we need to get our idea off of the ground!

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