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Benji Rogers Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at PledgeMusic
Benji Rogers is a British-born, New York-based entrepreneur, technologist, musician, and the founder of Pledge Music. An early pioneer of the direct artist-to-fan model of distributing music, Rogers founded Pledge Music based on the belief that artists should share the process of their artistic output, not just the finished product. Straddling the worlds of technology and music, Rogers uses his dual background to advise a range of tech and music companies on how to bridge the divide between their industries. To address the unique challenges facing artists releasing their work in the digital economy, Rogers also co-founded the Dot Blockchain Music Project, an attempt to create a decentralized global registry of music rights using blockchain technology that will overhaul the commercialization and movement of music online. In addition to these projects and his ongoing role with Pledge, Rogers is also an instructor at Berklee College of Music on digital trends and strategies in the industry. A dedicated patron of arts and creativity in all its forms, Rogers’ work is rooted in a belief in the democratizing power of the internet; he will always be “loving your work.”

PledgeMusic is a direct-to-fan music platform, which brings artists and fans together to share in the experience of music as it happens.

LIVE AMA: BENJI ROGERS Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at PledgeMusic

 


Why

Why PledgeMusic?

With PledgeMusic, you the music fans become part of the music making experience itself, gaining access to exclusive content and seeing Pledger only updates that give you an insight into the music like never before.

PledgeMusic passionately believes in providing fans with an unrivaled musical experience that is best in class. In the unlikely event that a pledge exclusive isn’t fulfilled, we provide a full refund – a guarantee that other sites don’t offer.

One of our founding principles at PledgeMusic is our belief in giving something back to our local communities, which is why we encourage all the artists on our platform to donate a percentage of their project funds to a charity of their choice.

PledgeMusic brings artists and fans together like never before. After all, why just download a track, when you can be part of making it?

 

 

 

How

How does it work?

Once you have found the artist you are a fan of choose one of the exclusives offered by the artist and reserve it. Shipping and handling are usually included within the price you see.

If it’s a pre-order or the artist has funded their project you will be charged immediately or if your Artist hasn’t reached their target you’ll be charged when they do (Paypal payments and gift pledges are always charged immediately but PledgeMusic will refund you if the Artist doesn’t reach their target).

You will then have access to Pledger exclusive updates on the progress of their project.

You will be kept notified of the progress of your Artist and your exclusive.


    How can Blockchain Tech, help artists and musicians? What benefits do they gain?
    Hey Ameer! A big one right off the bat! I think that digital scarcity and digital permanence will be two of the major changes that Blockchain will bring to the music industry. It will help with firstly registration, then data verification, payments and then scale beyond that.
    A super exciting time as I have laid out on the articles, webinars and on the site.
    Thanks Benji. In terms of timelines. How far out do you think we are from seeing this becoming more of the norm?
    What’s the difference between PledgeMusic and Indigogo?
    Hey Lawrence! Crowdfunding platforms like Indie and Kickstarter focus the attention on the goal of raising money. PledgeMusic was focussed on the experience of making an album! Not just on raising money to make one. This is why our campaigns last much longer. They are the why and the what! Not just about the what! We are also a market place for discovery of new music and as such over 30% of our artists pre-sales come from our inbuilt user base.
    If I understand this correctly. You are trying to replace the standard Digital Rights Management protocol with the blockchain. How exactly is this going to work? You mentioned something about Meta data
    Hey Charles,
    We’re actually trying to bring all of the digital rights into the songs themselves. We’re looking to build a container or bundler that will lock the audio files and their metadata together. This would be a new format, think like a zip file that would inform the blockchain of changes to the registration data and create a public changelog for the minimum viable data. See: https://medium.com/cuepoint/how-the-blockchain-can-change-the-music-industry-part-2-c1fa3bdfa848#.xcxv6pfqm for more details and also the webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOQ3Pq9SIKk for more!
    What got you interested in the blockchain space. I see you have a deep history in the music space, but how did you stumble into blockchain 🙂
    Hey Bradley! I got sent down the rabbit hole by a few articles that came out and then by the book digital gold. When I realized that you could create digital permanence and digital scarcity I knew that it was game over! Music lost the ability to control the format a long time ago and since Pledge to me solved the first mile problem of helping to get artists funded and owning their data – well the next or last mile became my focus. I fundamentally believe that only a decentralized system will work for the music industry. I believe that private businesses and databases around it can still functions and with greater efficiency than before but I believe the interoperability, scarcity and permanence can only be found through a distribution of the ownership of music to all who use it. This allows for privacy but also for a base layer that we must mandate be public.!)
    I have read that you have partnered with a blockchain firm to create the following:

    So, my question is, How is will this be for a musician and artist to use?

    Will this be integrated with Pledge?

    1. An uploader to enter the Blockchain file into the system

    2. A scanner that scans every song to make sure that it doesn’t already exist in the system so that no duplicates can exist (think of it as a very efficient Shazam or Content ID)

    3. A search tool for the database so you can find any file and all the information around it

    4. A universal player to be able to listen to any track

    Hey!
    There is a basic version of the uploader (minus the scanner which is phases 2-3) in GitHub now http://www.github.com/dotbc and this is just to show that it will work. We will also be releasing a queuing tool for artists that want to put their music in and we have over 1m songs offered at this point. So a big job. This is a phased project and so we’ve sort of jumped off the cliff and are building the plane while we are in the air. Re 4. This will not be a public player but that is not to say that someone could not build one. It would just need to be permissioned by the plugins to use in.
    What’s your futures plans with Imogen?
    Hey! I’ love to work with Imogen some more. We met a month or so ago and talked for a while about it. We take slightly differing paths but it’s my view that what she wants to achieve and what we are working towards are 100% aligned. We’re just using different languages to express them. She is amazing and I have been honored to share the stage with her on panels session and also she worked with Pledge. She’s a visionary.
    Nowadays you can get more and more music without DRM – e.g. buying it on amazon. Do you think this would affect your success? Also, do you see your tech being used for downloadable music, streaming – or both?
    Thanks Dmitry,
    It would be possible to create a .bc bundle that is DRM free if the rights holder chose to. I like to think of these files being created as using DRE or digital rights expression. A song begins life with maximal ability and interoperability and then you can close down avenues if you choose to as an artist. DRM has left a bad taste in peoples mouths and I hope that DRE does not. Ultimately giving the artists the ability to write machine readable preferences into the DNA of their work will only be a positive thing. I see this working for both downloadable and streamable music also.
    Any solutions/opportunities for sound recording licensing built into this platform? No one making money from streaming – plans?
    Hi Benji! What a magnificent application of beloved block chain technology! To be sincere, it is a tricky concept to grasp. I am curious about how your company will overcome the predictable challenges and tantrums your bound to deal with.
    If you compare the music industry’s currently used, consumer platforms l (like iTunes). to Plunge Music, would you say this is a change that the music industry will struggle to adjust to? I sense a mob of angry men in suits whose platinum bank accounts days are perhaps going to be more fairly distributed, and rightfully, amongst the artists instead of their labels.
    I have been surprised by the R3 Consortium and it’s list of unexpected members… maybe record labels will be equally receptive to incoming technology concepts like you are introducing.

    What do you think?

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