OCEAN FLOOR MUSIC10 March 2022
FROM THE FLOOR UP: THE FOUNDERS INTERVIEW
The Ocean Floor Music blockchain music ecosystem aims to put artists at the top of the value chain.
The life of an artist has never been a certain one, and that is particularly true in the music industry.
Put bluntly, the music industry has never made more money. Globally, music revenue topped $77B in 2019, with projections by Goldman Sachs of $140B+ by 2030. And whilst there certainly is a lot of money to go around, it’s sadly ironic that today 90% of artists have never been paid less!
Now add in a global pandemic robbing these same artists of the ability to gig and tour, and you have the recipe for a crisis. A perfect storm that has led to financial instability that, in turn, has negatively impacted the wellbeing of musicians around the world.
But where some see a glass half empty, others see one that is half full. And out of darkness, groundbreaking ideas can emerge. Ocean Floor Music is one such concept. Who’s entire reason-for-being is to help artists earn income solely from their music.
Founded by musicians, for musicians.
OCEAN FLOOR MUSIC: THE CO-FOUNDERS
Clint Arthur, a musician/marketer/executive, is the co-founder of Ocean Floor Music (OFM), a new venture seeking to turn the music industry’s financial model around and put artists first. With business partner, musician/producer/educator Sam Cutri, they want to take artists from the bottom of the value chain to the top.
Both Arthur and Cutri have their own experiences as musicians. Arthur spent seven years (and hundreds of gigs) with his band, Liquid Memory, in Melbourne. They eventually released an album but by that time, their energy was spent, and with income increasingly a focus, he entered the corporate world and worked across Australia, then Hong Kong and China over 16 years.
Cutri had already played in a number of bands when at the age of 18, he was signed to EMI Music with a band called ICU. He moved to Byron Bay and took up work at the world-renowned Rocking Horse Studios, his apprenticeship in music production. Just as it seemed ICU was about to launch internationally, the late ’90s financial crisis hit and wiped the floor with them.
Cutri, however, not only continued to make music back in Perth but helped build Loop Studios and founded two labels (Wax Trax and Nefarious Music) before going on to become a Senior Lecturer at WAAPA and later the School of Audio Engineering (SAE).
BEGINNINGS AND PURPOSE
Arthur and Cutri met by chance in early 2021 and soon realised they had a common purpose, both having excelled in their careers but wanting to find a different way to continue in music in a way that gave back to artists.
“What we found was a real-life problem,” says Cutri, “and we’ve found a real-life solution for it.”
That “solution” is a community owned-and-run music creation, project funding and rewards platform. This music ecosystem is not run by highly-paid managers or a faceless board but by the very community it serves. And there’s a name for this type of organisation — A DAO. A Decentralised Autonomous Organisation.
The Ocean Floor Music platform will connect artists, fans, and industry through a community-owned and governed blockchain ecosystem where everyone can connect and share.
The endgame enables artists to fund their music careers, fans to invest in their favourite artists and a vibrant, collaborative artist community to arise using Web3, Decentralised Finance (De-Fi) on the blockchain as the conduit.
A NEW WAY: WEB3, BLOCKCHAIN AND DECENTRALISATION
Blockchain and indeed cryptocurrency are two concepts that creative communities are beginning to embrace. In perhaps its warmest definition, blockchain has been described as a supportive system of cottage industries, something to which Ocean Floor Music’s Crypto And Financial Analyst, Sophie Amat, warmly agrees.
“That notion, by the way, comes from Mahatma Gandhi,” she says. “Crypto is the means to secure transactions that do not pass through a centralised organisation. So there is no centralised organisation or bank. Crypto is the means of code-based credit security for all transactions. So we can avoid having to trust big organisations, of whom in the past, we’ve had to put our complete faith to run financial transactions.”
While a fair bit of self-directed learning is necessary to get one’s head around the blockchain, cryptocurrency and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), it’s also helpful to note that many musicians have already taken to a similar model when creating crowdfunding campaigns.
“We are crowdfunding supercharged,” Cutri says. “Not only can the people who are contributing to the fund receive a bespoke reward from the artist — like a unique product, limited NFT or special behind the scenes or VIP experience — they can also be rewarded through token growth, liquidity mining and staking programme.”
“Think of a contribution to the OFM community as ongoing, with dynamic rewards, not just a one-off static payment.”
Another obvious difference from Crowdfunding platforms is that Ocean Floor Music returns 100% of fees generated from their marketplaces back to the community of token holders.
OCEAN FLOOR: NOT JUST A NAME, AN EVOLUTION
“Wellbeing has a lot to do with emotion,” Cutri says. “This is a bottom-up approach. Man, there is no lower place than the ocean floor, so it really is a bottom-up approach, not top-down, bottom-up. A DAO, OFM is community-run. An evolution of the music system from the ground floor up, from the ocean floor up.”
Ocean Floor Music, soft-launched in January 2022, will have a limited community token sale event in the coming months, an exclusive NFT sale, followed by a public token launch, and will have a live ecosystem by mid-2022. Stay tuned for more details soon.
This article was written by Bob Gordon.