The current generation is the passionate generation, the creator generation, the founder generation. Where our parents saw things like finding a job as paramount to life, millennials, empowered by technology, seek to create, create, create. The problem has always been: how do you make a living doing this? Most platforms don’t pay for very well, direct distribution requires a platform, and only the rare few actually make it to the “top.” More than one technology has been built with the concept of the blockchain in order to help creators. Creativechain is one we covered recently, and now, enter Voise, for the music industry.
Let’s start by pointing out that Voise is not the first music-oriented blockchain application. Bittunes has long sought to “represent the other 99%” with the help of the blockchain and cryptocurrency support. Its platform has been in development for a few years now and focuses on a fairer way for artists to monetize their content. From a blog post by Bittunes:
Digital downloads were just too tricky, apparently.. So the Industry opted for Streaming music instead. Pretty good for music fans, terrible for Artists. In short, the industry has not provided any real leadership, and here we all are, heading toward a world in which no one owns any music.. But let’s focus on the real issue, Money.
So we must take into account that, like everything else in the budding blockchain space, Voise will be far from alone in its mission. Now let’s give it a proper look.
We at VOISE think the creation of a decentralized platform that gives 100% of the revenue to the creator of the content is the solution to this problem.
Voise takes a far more technical approach to the problem, and, as stated above, seeks to get the artist a much larger share of their music sales – the whole pie, in fact. This is dissimilar to Bittunes, which has the interesting addition of payments to those who purchased the tracks first. As an example, Bittunes says that out of $1 million made from an artist’s work, Bittunes would take $200,000, users who’d purchased the track would take $400,000, and the artist would take $400,000. This is a 60% loss to the artist, and in some ways less equitable than other models. It would encourage sales in the ecosystem overall, but it’s hard to envision a future where artists are jumping all over something like that.
Voise, conversely, uses the Ethereum token platform and currently has its own wallet. Its token is called Voisiums (VSM). While VSM can be stored in the traditional Ethereum wallet, it’s more costly to make purchases when VSM are stored in a normal wallet as opposed to the Voise wallet. In true decentralized fashion, the cost of content will not be dictated by the platform itself, rather by the artists. Voisiums will be tradeable on open exchanges supporting them, giving artists an opportunity for secondary and tertiary income through trade. Anyone who sold a few hundred albums for bitcoins over the past few years knows: this can certainly be a benefit if you can stand to wait for the value of a token to appreciate.
The platform will also offer free samples, which is crucial in modern music distribution, so much so that services which pay artists almost nothing per play like Spotify and YouTube are key ways that artists connect with listeners anymore.
Unfortunately, while the idea seems cool, it does not currently seem very well fleshed out. Let’s dive into the team behind it and see if we can rebuild confidence there.
Who is Behind Voise
Voise co-founder Ivan Rosetti graduated with an IT degree in 2008, worked for Dell as a software engineer for four years, and now is working on Voise. Not much to say there. The experience at Dell can mean a lot of things, but one thing it is sure to mean is that Rosetti has experience with building what users want.
Developer Isaac Rodríguez appears to be working on the backend of things. A LinkedIn profile that comes up for him shows him also as a Dell employee, which is perhaps how he and Rosetti met.
Then there is Ying Hao Chen, who is working on the user interface and the graphics for the platform, which will be a very important role in an artist-focused endeavor such as Voise.
So, not a lot here in terms of relevant experience. This is not a death sentence for the thing, of course, as their roadmap calls for ample time to get things together. It definitely raises the hairs on the arms of the investor, though, this lack of development, strategic, or marketing experience.
A member of the Voise team recently commented on their Bitcointalk thread, regarding the difference between them and competing project Musiccoin:
We have a maximum number of tokens to be able to give a value to each one.They focus more on streaming and us in the sale of the author’s content.
To make us bigger we have planned strong marketing plans. Our intention is also to introduce in the community artists who are not involved in crypto.
The ICO is going to go live at 02:00 AM GMT of May 6th 2017. 160 VSM will be generated for each Ether that is invested into the ICO, and a total of 8% of those will revert to the team for the purposes of development. Here are a couple of tables that break down the distribution of invested funds:
As the above chart states, a maximum of 575,000 Ether will be collected, for a total issuance of 100,000,000 VSM.
As you can see, their real minimum to get the project going is 20,000 Ether, or close to $2 million. That is the point where they begin to develop the real objectives of the road map – in theory.
You can get information on investing once the ICO goes live at ico.voise.it.
Unfortunately, while their intentions seem genuine, the thing seems half-baked at present. The Whitepaper is sparse with real technical details, the software is not currently existent (which was not true of Aragon, another Ethereum-based ICO). The team appear to have little to no history developing these types of applications, so problems can arise. This half-bakedness is a huge vulnerability in terms of competition.
While Creativechain has a detailed roadmap and competent blockchain developers in its stable, Voise appears to have little or none of the above. It could, sadly, result in vaporware or exit scam with very little nudging.
The use of the Ethereum platform for this application is a great idea. The Voise team are giving themselves until the end of the year to develop the alpha version of the platform, and perhaps during that time they can build momentum and acquire a sort of first-mover advantage over anyone else who might try to do the same thing. Yet, to do so they are seeking to raise at least the equivalent of more than $75,000, and with their current offering of information and experience it seems less than likely that they will actually achieve this goal.
As such, the safety rating for this ICO is unfortunately low: a 3.4. The platform is very cool and interesting, or has the potential to be, and should be revisited at a later time in order to see if it went anywhere, or is going anywhere, and at that time it may be safer and smarter to invest. But at this point, it would be immoral for the author to suggest that you invest any more than your attention into the project.