Less than 12% of the $42 billion in revenue generated by the music industry each year goes to musicians. According to Rolling Stone, from 2019 to 2020, 90% of music streams went to the top 1% of musicians. The Open Music Exchange, or OME (pronounced like the primeval “Om”), is on a mission to decentralize and use blockchain technology to overhaul the worldwide music industry.
OME was founded by professional musician and CEO Clay Hawkins with the goal of returning ownership and control of music to musicians and fans via an innovative NFT marketplace and media platform. The OME platform, which is now under BETA development and testing, allows musicians all around the world to mint their songs as NFTs and sell them to collectors and fans directly. The platform is community-driven (musicians and music aficionados will dictate OME’s future direction) and incorporates complete music/media streaming functionality, letting owners to manage, archive, and access their favorite music NFTs.
The music industry, according to Hawkins, is on the cusp of a full upheaval and a drastic move away from the middleman and record labels that monopolize distribution, control, and profits.
“Up to this point, musicians have been completely beholden to the centralised control of recording agencies and streaming platforms. There has been no money in the industry for 99% of musicians — platforms and labels take the lion’s share of profits and heavily monetize the hard work of talented creators,” says Hawkins.
This model has a distinct advantage for fans as well. By purchasing NFTs of their favorite music, OME is moving the market back to the days of music ownership and holding value in a personal music library, rather than a pay-per-stream model that allows for ubiquitous access but zero ownership. NFT owners can listen to songs for free before purchasing them, play their own music on the platform, and curate and showcase their music in communal spaces.
Users will be able to sell or swap their NFTs on a community-based secondary exchange in the future. A one-of-a-kind, community-driven OME Token will be issued through a play-to-earn methodology to reward all platform users with specialised NFTs, metaverse access, promotional opportunities, and platform discounts.
“OME will allow musicians to connect directly with their fans, gain control of the pricing and distribution of their work, and – most importantly – receive the financial reward of creating music that people love. We want to give full control and financial benefit back to musicians and ownership of music back to fans,” explains Hawkins.
Unless a musician is signed to a major record and distribution label, monetizing their originality and hard work is nearly difficult. Unfortunately, musicians have come to accept the music industry’s exploitation. That should not be the case. OME is determined to change this.