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The music industry has remained one of the most centralized business sectors since the dawn of the age of recording. There are far more bands than venues or representatives, and talented musicians who lack the financial resources to market themselves appropriately are often given the short end of the stick–poorly attended performances, lack of access to reliable booking agents, and getting “stiffed.”

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Viberate’s new platform hopes to change that. The decentralized network connects musicians, fans, and music industry professionals, acting as a “matchmaking platform” that will empower talented artists who previously did not have access to representation.

The Viberate platform is based on the Ethereum blockchain and uses smart contracts to book musicians, sell event tickets, and connect fans without a third-party intermediary. Over 130,000 musicians are listed on the platform so far, and more are being added each day.

Pre-blockchain adoption, Viberate served many of the same purposes that it does today. The main difference is that the system has been monetized. Now, each user on the Viberate platform–be they a musician, a fan, a booking agent, an event organizer, or a venue owner, is financially incentivized to participate in the system.

For Fans

Before Viberate became a blockchain-based platform, an active community of fans on Viberate would contribute content about their favorite musicians purely out of interest and personal passion. Now, contributing fans will earn cash rewards in the form of Vibe tokens (VIB). VIB can be used to buy tickets and merchandise from the Viberate platform or can be traded on many external exchanges.

Vasja Veber, COO, and co-founder of Viberate said in December,

“[Viberate’s] top contributor has earned over 42,000 VIB, which translates to app. $7,000 at press time—not bad for roughly one month of work.”

Veber says that contributing fans on Viberate are an important “part of the team.” According to Veber, Viberate

“believe[s] anyone interested should be able to participate in shaping the future of the music industry.”

New users to the Viberate platform will also be rewarded for joining the network as well as for promoting Viberate on social media.

For Musicians and Industry Professionals

Additionally, musicians will be able to be paid through smart contracts on the Viberate platform–Viberate will even provide an incentive for doing so (although it’s not yet clear what that incentive will be). Viberate does collect 10-15% of the booking fees paid to musicians on the platform.

Event planners and booking agents can use the platform to sell tickets directly to fans with no need for a third-party payment service, like TicketMaster. Practically, this cuts out the expense of using such a service, directing more of the profits to the artists, bookers, and venues who participate in an event.

Viberate also makes it possible for bands who may not have access to large-scale booking agencies and ticketing platforms to gain more exposure. Viberate does indeed have plans to partner with booking agencies and ticketing platforms in the future, but one of the platform’s main goals is to act as a database for artists who don’t have representation.

To reduce spam on the Viberate platform, users must pay a small fee in VIB tokens to send a message to any other user.

The Viberate ICO

By all accounts, the Viberate ICO, which took place in September of 2017, was a rip-roaring success. The sale, which was publicized with the live-streaming of a set by Viberate co-founder and celebrity ambassador DJ Umek, raised nearly $11 million in just five minutes.

There are currently just under 163 million VIB tokens in circulation–the total supply will never exceed $20 million. Upon distribution, 60% of VIB tokens were disseminated to participants in the token sale; 25% were given to the Viberate Team, Partners, and Investors, 10% were saved for future investors, and 5% have been reserved to reward contributing fans.

According to crypto finance research firm Smith + Crown, the first $6 million that was raised during the ICO will be used in varying percentages for development, user experience, initial marketing and PR, management, database expansion, and support. The remaining funds raised through the sale, which was capped at $12 million, will be used for “global marketing and PR.”

At the time of writing, Viberate tokens were available for trading on six exchanges. Since their October launch, VIB tokens have increased in value from $0.28 to nearly $0.70, a more than two-fold increase.

Viberate Chart. Source: coinmarketcap.com

Who’s Behind Viberate?

Viberate was founded by three successful figures in the music and marketing industries. Matej Gregorčič, Viberate CEO, founded music managing company FM Musick. Matej is also the Founder and CEO of Futuristcini Marketing, which has grown over the last ten years to become one of the largest marketing agencies in Slovenia.

Viberate COO Vasja Veber has spent ten years in the music industry, working as an artist manager and partner at FM Musick. Veber also manages Viberate’s third founding partner, Uroš Umek (aka the internationally acclaimed DJ Umek).

CTO Bosthan Zakelj leads Viberate’s development team with Senior Developer and Data Scientist Rok Bavec. Creditbit founders Andrej Plankar and Tomislav Tomislav Mučič are also a part of the development team. Rok Babic is listed as Viberate’s Senior Blockchain Developer.

Viberate has also partnered with the Jaxx cryptocurrency wallet.

Viberate as an Investment

Viberate does have some competition. Smith + Crown lists blockchain-based ticket distribution firms Aventus and Blocktix as possible adversaries; the blockchain-based CreativeChain firm, which was created to manage content rights and digital distribution, could also steal some of Viberate’s thunder.

The difference between Viberate and any of its possible competitors, however, is its user base. Viberate had an active community long before any of its competitors had even been conceptualized. The community of fans is also an incentive for bands and booking agents to use the platform; you’ve got to “go where the money is.”

While there are over 130,000 users on the Viberate platform, it’s unclear whether or not big-name musicians will ever adopt the platform. For example, Musicians like Beyonce are listed on Viberate, but whether or not Beyonce knows that she is listed on Viberate or if Viberate exists in the first place is a different story. However, with the right marketing and industry adoption, Viberate does have the potential to be adopted by larger industry names.

The Future of Viberate

At this point in its history, Viberate has a lot going for it–a talented team of marketers, music industry professionals, and developers; a healthy community of actively contributing fans and a growing pool of talent. If Viberate continues to play its cards right, it could contribute to the democratization of the music industry (and benefit investors) in a big way.

To learn more about Viberate, or to sign up to their platform, click here.

What do you think about Viberate’s platform? Do you believe that platforms like Viberate have the power to change the music industry? Please share your thoughts in the comments below–we would love to hear from you.

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