✖️ A music service based on zero-knowledge proofs

And: From Netflix shop to livestream shop?; An Afrofuturism NFT exhibition; A16Z Fast Grants; esports & music collabs; Inclusion in the music biz; IoT inquire by EC

When a technology is new, it allows us to imagine all kinds of utopias. It also means we often don't quite understand it yet. While I try to explain a little how zero-knowledge proofs work, I'll also compose a utopia that will make even the most ardent Equitable Remuneration supporter come running for this utopian door.

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🛒 Introducing Netflix.shop: A new way for fans to connect with their favorite stories (Josh Simon)

I’m highlighting this because I see opportunities to connect what Netflix, and Hulu as well, is doing here for livestreaming. Who knows, it might look like this:

🧐 (speaking of Netflix, have you checked out their listing for Untitled Spotify Drama yet?)

💨 What we learned doing Fast Grants (Patrick Collison, Tyler Cowen, and Patrick Hsu)

This is about grants made by Andreesen Horowitz to scientists pursuing Covid-19 related research. But while music venues are often still waiting for relief funding in the US, it’s interesting to see how a private institutions in that same country can have this impact. Instad of arduous funding applications can they move to a more flexible model like these Fast Grants?

💌 Can streaming pay? Musicians are pinning fresh hopes on Twitch (Ben Sisario)

Twitch, by contrast, is an alternate universe [to Spotify et al] where even niche artists can make thousands of dollars a month by cultivating fan tribes whose loyalty is expressed through patronage. With its interactive chat threads and internal economy of channel subscriptions and “bits” (donations), Twitch would seem to fulfill the long-hyped but elusive promise of creative commerce on the internet. Yet the platform may work well for only some kinds of artists. (It is enormously labor-intensive.) Its relationship with rights holders is strained. And though it got a boost during the pandemic, Twitch may soon face a reckoning once artists and their fans emerge from their cocoons and return to in-person events.”

🌡️ TrillerNet plans to go public at $5 billion valuation (Sam Blake)

“[T]he startup is seeking to raise $500 million in a so-called PIPE deal that will value the company at $4 billion, providing those investors a 20% discount on the expected $5 billion valuation when shares hit the public market. The investors are still being finalized but will include a number of investors based in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the person said, as well as Taiwanese investment firm Fubon Financial Holding Co., which is led by billionaire brothers Daniel and Richard Tsai. Fubon is already an investor in the company.”

🛴 Why esports and music collaborations will drive growth across both industries (Phil Hübner)

“Partnerships like these, between rights holders and streaming services, will continue to gain momentum as esports grows, as they deliver authentic engagement for both parties. Beyond this though, we are likely to see more investment and attention given to user generated content in and around the esports space.”


🌈 Inclusion in the Music Business: Gender & Race/Ethnicity Across Executives, Artists & Talent Teams (Stacy Smith, Carmen Lee et al)

“In conclusion, the findings in the report show that a lack of inclusion in the music industry is not the problem of one company or one sector. It involves the entire community of artists, executives, agents, managers, publicists, distributors, and even the audience. Thus, creating a more inclusive industry requires the insight, input, and effort of all. By identifying where problems are most pernicious and offering solutions, this report provides organizations with the opportunity to do more than perform inclusion - we hope to see companies and people throughout the music business put effort and intention into making the industry one in which everyone can thrive.”

🔮 ‘We’re working towards Afrofuturism’: inside a radical new NFT exhibition (Dream McClinton)

“It’s hosted by Superchief Gallery NFT, the world’s first physical dedicated NFT gallery space. Produced by Towards Utopia and Foundation, the exhibition coincides with the Black American holiday of Juneteenth and envisions Afrofuturism through cryptoart by 18 global Black artists. Proceeds from the show and subsequent auction will go to the artists, Glits, a charity which provides free housing for Black transpeople, and HerstoryDAO (DAO: decentralized autonomous organization often used for cryptocurrency transactions) of which Sinclair is a founding member of, for arts funding for Black women and nonbinary femmes. Additionally, the art from Digital Diaspora will be displayed on the LinkNYC kiosk screens around New York City.”

🔬 Sector inquiry into consumer internet of things (European Commission)

There is a lot to digest in this report which is a first move from the EC towards checking the major tech platforms and other players towards, for example, anti-competitiveness and data security. To just highlight one issue:

“Furthermore, many respondents indicate that some of the leading consumer IoT technology platform providers impose their own set-up and user on-boarding processes on third parties, for when users connect smart devices or access consumer IoT services through their voice assistants and smart device operating systems for the first time.”

🍄 Xolo to launch its microbusiness platform in six European countries amid post-pandemic boom in solopreneurs; raises a further €3m (Xolo)

If musicians should start looking at themselves as entrepeneurs, especially in a pandemic, and hopefully soon post-pandemic, world they also need tools to manage themselves. Just launch your company.

🎮 Nintendo issues warning to Twitch streamers – don’t co-stream E3 Showcase due to music copyright concerns (Ashley King)

Microsoft let streamers know ahead of its big showcase on Sunday that co-streaming is encouraged. It obtained all the re-transmission rights to the music featured in its trailers for up to twelve months, giving streamers ample time to hype the games with their audiences before the VODs need to be removed. Nintendo took the opposite approach, discouraging Twitch streamers from co-streaming the event entirely.”