We’re excited to announce that Context Labs is a co-founding member of the new Open Music Initiative (OMI) with the Berklee Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE) IDEO, the global design and innovation firm, and the MIT Media Lab. Context Labs will be providing strategic guidance and operational management of the technical platform for the project.
The launch announcement also included kick-off blog postings from OMI’s three co-founders:
- Panos Panay (BerkleeICE), with a focus on “Why us? Why now?“,
- myself, with a focus on the “Call to Action,” and
- Michael Hendrix (IDEO), on “Designing the Future of Music.”
Working with Panos and Michael, as we designed and structured OMI over the past six months has been extremely rewarding. Our engagement and collaboration at the Media Lab for the last four years also provides a solid foundation for collaboration.
The OMI launched today with more than 60 members, representing the global digital music ecosystem. Joining were leaders from more than 60 leading founding entities, organizations and startups across the music industry ecosystem having signed agreements to participate, including, among others: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, BMG, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, SoundCloud, Netflix, SiriusXM, WBUR (Boston’s NPR news station), CD Baby, Tunecore, Downtown Music Publishing, the French collective rights management organization SACEM, mechanical licensing service provider Harry Fox Agency (HFA) and its rights management affiliate, Rumblefish, Righsshare, the trade groups Featured Artist Coalition, Music Managers Forum, Future of Music Coalition, and a wide variety of startups in the developing area of music rights licensing.
For me, personally, this is a watershed event. The companies I’ve founded were seminal for realtime media, streaming and voice over IP (VoIP), seeding media experiences for billions of Internet users. A collaboration with Todd Rundgren nearly 20 years ago envisioned a platform that would digitally empower the creator/artist to have a direct digital connection with fans, Patronet. Today’s technologies will bring us to this vision, with greater accountability and less friction. Further, the work we did at MIT with the co-founding of MIT’s REAL (Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab) and the frameworks we developed that we call Innovation Dynamics, are now being deployed within OMI, bringing together and shaping its structure, resulting in the largest ever music industry cohort to come together to solve major issues.
Context Labs intends to extend the work it’s done for the traditional publishing supply chain to music publishing. Our blockchain-enabled platform (Chainplate Foundation™ for Publishing, Snapshackle™ for Publishing, coupled with VUEgraph Analytics™), will provide contributions to the OMI, with an eye toward accelerating a reference platform for OMI’s goals for music. Our role at OMI, for strategic guidance and operational management of OMI’s technical platform project, will also be crucial in developing an interoperable framework suitable for the transformative at-scale improvements the music industry so needs.
The outcome of the OMI will ultimately lead to the value chain pendulum swinging back closer to the artist/creator. As appropriate digital licensing rights are discovered and tracked in the digital ecosystem, more revenue will flow back to those who create.
This means that fans and music lovers everywhere, will get:
- more choice,
- more music,
- and more joy.
Now that’s a great mission statement.