My name is Andrew, and my company is “Ursa Polaris Records”. We’ve been serving the San Diego music community for over 8 years, as a record label and a recording studio, while setting our sights on our north star, of eventually replacing the top-down music industry with a bottom-up, grassroots music industry.

Changes From Initial Idea

The Polaris music project has participated in incubators and Pomelo seasons, specifically for the Polaris Music Graph. This music graph is well-suited for Pomelo, as it is an interactive visualization that could be used for many purposes, making an open-source implementation of the graph a useful and helpful public good.

This pitch encompasses the music graph, which we have already pitched in several iterations. To accompany this product, we also want to build the additional services and infrastructure musicians and other creators need. Specifically, we have combined fractal governance with crypto-franchised multimedia studios to create a hub for both artistic collaboration and collective action. When combined with our limited-edition physical media packaging and fan-club NFTs, our new proposed solution intends to encompass the entirety of the music industry with these three core products, the latter two of which are new pieces of our intended solution.


One piece of the new music industry puzzle is music discovery, and we’ve designed an elegant solution that uses data visualization to organize the music industry, for both listeners and industry participants. It was inspired by browsing Wikipedia and reading about all of the connections and relationships between musicians. For example, did you know Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers played in experimental punk band Mars Volta? These sorts of fascinating connections are almost impossible to parse on Wikipedia, but provide profound depth to the experience of listening to music. And you can't listen to music on Wikipedia.

What it does

Our solution is a data visualization and music encyclopedia that is created by users and curated by users, in exchange for blockchain tokens. These tokens are used to set a center point for the data visualization, around which all connected musicians populate a “hyperbolic tree” visualization.

Our complete solution includes means for music creation and music merchandising as well, to create a self-sufficient independent music industry.

How we built it

We organize music by the relationships between the people who create it. Our solution uses an interactive data visualization called a “HyperTree” (courtesy of “Xerox PARC” lab), to create a data map of the connections between musicians.

This system’s data source is fed when users upload and curate liner note information, in exchange for tokens. All token awards are run through a diminishing inflation function, ln(x)/x, where x is the transaction counter.

The tokens are used in a lottery to determine a temporary default center point of the visualization, based on the number of tokens users stake to each artist.

This creates a mechanism for users, as well as artists themselves, to advertise their music using the tokens.

The back-end uses the "memo" fields of transactions to pass graph database commands. These commands are ingested by a graph database, which then feeds data to the API upon request. The API formats the data for the visualization and send it to the client. A smart contract mediates token awards and staking.

Challenges we ran into

Because there has been little innovation in the field of data visualization-based user interfaces, there are few libraries that have the incredibly useful Hyperbolic Graph or Hypertree visualization. Because of this, it has been difficult to find developers who have worked with the relevant libraries.

Additionally, the scope of the MVP version is significant enough to require more capital than has been available for the project.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

In our music industry explorations in physical space, we have proven two aspects of our business model.

The first, our collectible music packaging, has proven incredibly popular with fans and artists alike, and with our efforts refining designs and processes, we have consistently sold out in a market with very little CD demand, while reducing manufacturing time by over 3200%.

The second, our subscription music studios, proved the viability of small, independent recording studios supported by a core group of musicians, and largely automated. We plan to open this framework to the public through a crypto-native franchising model.

What we learned

In our time watching other music companies enter the blockchain space, we have discovered specific unaddressed pain points. Specifically, the artist support for traditional, group-based music projects is lacking, and existing solutions don't easily integrate with the rest of the music industry workflow.

We've also learned that our solution will require specific history-based requirements that may require an API or substream-based history node.

We have also discovered a new synergy between our past initiatives and our current, software-based project. We think integrating these solutions will help provide a more compelling value proposition to musicians.

What's next for Polaris Music

Polaris music is testing its visual app wireframe with potential customers, and is developing a pilot multimedia creator studio framework.

Built With

Share this project: