By Charlie Durbin
Hello world! We are Decent. The world’s first DECENTralized independent label; the DECENT choice for artists. We are creating efficiency and fairness in the historically inequitable music industry by putting artists and fans on the same team.
Decent enables artists to commit royalties and auction NFTs to their fans. By implicitly linking NFTs speculative value to artists’ popularity via Decent, our platform creates a synergistic flywheel between fans, investors, and musicians, incentivizing fans to market on behalf of artists. Just as streaming platforms democratized audiences, we aim to democratize ownership with Decent.
Music as Work-to-Rent
To date, middlemen and intermediaries have controlled music’s funding, promotion, and data channels. Monopolistic control over distribution and capital has enabled these middlemen to rate-limit industry success and normalize extractive pricing, resulting in artists earning only ~12% of the value that they create. More draconian still, “making it” as an artist generally entails relinquishing 80% — 90% of their master rights. Taken together, these statistics highlight music to be the only industry in which participants are expected to mortgage their future only to mortgage their present.
With Decent, artists will always retain 100% of the master rights to their music. We aim to mitigate the music industry’s feudal paradigm of work-to-rent and replace it with an economic system predicated on the integrity of strictly-enforced property rights. A system that rewards artists’ creativity and determination, treating each copyright as the cornerstone of a vibrant career rather than a time card.
Using our smart contracts and royalty vaults, artists can raise money for future projects, cultivate an invested fanbase, and maintain ownership of their intellectual property (IP). Artists determine what percentage of their royalty revenues they would like to make investable for fans and for how long, making the funding process flexible and customizable. To raise capital, artists will auction royalty-backed NFTs priced in accordance with the artists’ incumbent popularity and the duration of the contract.
By supporting an artist’s auction, participants will build out portfolios of their favorite artists, effectively joining their team. Fans-turned-teammates will have access to exclusive opportunities to participate in the creative journey like never before and can even be rewarded with airdrops when their artist communities succeed.
Cutting out the traditional record label “middleman” unlocks previously gate-kept value for both the artist and fan, who take up a symbiotic relationship driven by financial and emotional interests. With Decent, artists will have access to all the resources of a traditional label (funding, marketing, distribution, community) without having to surrender large portions of their IP. And when they succeed, the fans who supported them from the beginning will be the beneficiaries, not a third party corporation.
As Decent artists develop with help from their newfound teammates, the entire Decent community will reap the benefits. Decent’s marketplace fees will be split between the Decent Treasury and Community Rewards Matching Pools to provide the users with ownership over the platform.
Roadmap: What’s Next?
Join Decent to accelerate artists’ careers and reinvent one of the world’s most antiquated economic structures. Artists: receive capital and a team to accelerate your career — your fans want to bet on you and contribute to your journey. Fans: build your own label and receive exposure to the exciting, new asset class of music royalties while supporting the creation of art you care about.
Sign up for our waitlist here.