Global merchants have embraced bitcoin as a payment option for products and services, and now the music industry seems to have taken notice of the digital currency’s utility.
Electro-hip hop group Ain’t No Love released its second EP Tears Of Joy last week, and the Toronto musicians teamed up with FrostWire to make history with the launch.
Ain’t No Love’s decision to provide Tears Of Joy as a torrent download with integrated bitcoin donations came naturally to the group, according to their manager Mark Cwajna.
The group offered its first, self-titled EP as a free torrent download through FrostWire, and were already planning on doing the same with Tears Of Joy when FrostWire approached them about bitcoin.
“FrostWire came back to us and approached us about a new feature they were offering, to integrate bitcoin donations for the torrents that are downloaded through the program. They asked if we would be the guinea pig for them and offer Tears Of Joy as a free download with bitcoin donations enabled.”
Reaching a new audience
Cwajna says the response to Tears Of Joy has been positive for Ain’t No Love. The EP has been downloaded more than 5,000 times in less than one week after its release, and the group has received close to 50 separate bitcoin donations, ranging from 0.001 BTC all the way up to 0.06 BTC (around $35 USD at the time of publication).
Speaking to CoinDesk about the reception of Tears Of Joy, Cwajna said:
“The response that we have received is really a testament to how tight knit the bitcoin community really is. We’ve reached more people with this release who otherwise may not have listened to Ain’t No Love, and we’re happy to bring awareness about bitcoin to the music industry.”
Cwajna went on to explain that while Ain’t No Love’s new EP is also available on iTunes, accepting bitcoin payments has allowed the group to “skip the middleman” and avoid the percentage of revenues that platforms like iTunes take from music sales.
Bitcoin in the music industry
The music industry has evolved significantly with the emergence of the Internet. Many consumers illegally pirate music online, putting a dent in record sales across the industry. Further, platforms like YouTube and various social media outlets have allowed artists to build their fame without the help of a major record label.
While Cwajna doesn’t think pirating will ever disappear, he believes bitcoin has the potential to shake up the music industry by allowing artists to sell their music to fans directly, keeping all of the profit instead of giving a chunk of it to Apple through iTunes.
Beanz, a rapper and one-third of the Ain’t No Love trio, added that bitcoin has the potential to impact the industry on a large scale:
“I think other musicians are definitely going to jump on the opportunity to accept bitcoin for their music. At the end of the day, it’s additional revenue stream for artists and it really does have the potential to change the game.”
To promote their new EP, Ain’t No Love has released a music video for their single Blinded (below), and the Tears Of Joy EP can be downloaded on FrostWire for free, with the ability to make bitcoin donations to the group.
Ain’t No Love image via Ty Snaden.