Summary of the Cofound.it AMA; Musiconomi via Cofound.it from 7 August 2018
We host an AMA every Tuesday on the Cofound.it Telegram channel and we felt it was high time we took a look at the progress of the projects we have helped in the past, especially since it is such an exciting time for them. Musiconomi are well on the way to releasing an alpha platform for their community to test and provide feedback on, so we took the opportunity to invite them to our channel for an update on the events of the past half year. They have been through quite an ordeal, but their determination can only serve as inspiration. This time, we hosted co-founders Dan Phifer (CTO) and Brian Byrne (Head of Artist Relations), joined by our own Marina Markežič (Advisory), Mayank Jain (Cofound.it India) and Nika Bergant (Social Media Manager).N.B. I have rephrased the Q&A in my own words. I’ve also reordered and grouped questions into common themes to make it coherent for reading. If you feel there is a mistake or something is unclear, please let me know.Q1: Is there an updated road map available?A (Dan): From a technical perspective, our plan over the next 6 months will be to build out the alpha platform to the point where;a) artists and labels can upload their content (through the UI or through a bulk upload process),b) listeners can earn MCI by promoting their favorite tracks, andc) listeners and artists can withdraw their accrued MCI to their wallets or have it pushed to them automatically. So, get content, get users to promote it, and make sure everyone gets paid. We would also like to allow users to pay their subscription in fiat, which we think will be key to attracting users that are not crypto savvy. Making all of that happen will of course require development work, but it will also require an engaged community to help steer the UX and attract artists. Building community and getting feedback will be critical. Given that we don’t have a marketing budget, we try to be creative with the way we approach it. For instance, we will be experimenting with “community feature campaigns”. Each campaign will set a goal for a number of MCI donated to the platform. When the goal is reached, the feature will automatically be enabled on the platform.Q2: How can users try out your platform? How can they contribute feedback?A (Dan): Users can go to https://musiconomi.com/alpha and/or click on the Alpha menu item from our main site. You’ll have to sign in using your MetaMask, Trezor, or Ledger. If you’re using the Cipher or Trust mobile browser, use the MetaMask option to sign in. Right now, we just require that you’re holding 50 MCI in your wallet to stream music. Eventually, that will convert to a periodic subscription (e.g. monthly). You can submit feedback on our slack or telegram channel, or try out our chat app at https://chat.musiconomi.com.Q3: How can Musiconomi survive now when there are other blockchain music platforms with more momentum and much stronger teams?A (Dan): It’s still very early days. Spotify has ~70M users. Apple has ~35M. No one in blockchain (let alone blockchain music) has that kind of attention. The more companies that are out there explaining, exploring, and promoting blockchain music, the better. My expectation is that for the foreseeable future, the pool of potential customers (artists, listeners, etc.) that are willing to try out a blockchain music product will continue to increase. We want to gamify the experience for users, with a leaderboard, awards, and frequent opportunities to engage with other fans and artists.Q4: Are you planning to sign any new artists?A (Brian): We have 100 plus artists signed up now to be part of the Alpha and we will be opening this up soon to everyone. We are currently communicating with some known artists who have seen the success of The Motorleague and their current top 10 hit on Billboard. More small labels continue to contact me and are trying to navigate and test the waters. The sentiment around it is good.Q5: The parity hack must have been a very unpleasant shock. Do you think there is anything positive you could pull out from this experience?A (Dan): The sudden loss of access to funds — some of which had already been committed — forced us to be extremely creative and even more resourceful than we had been.I got to know quite a few people in the Ethereum community while working on EIP-867 and learned a lot about how the community as a whole functions.Q6: Where/how do you see blockchain bringing benefits to the music industry?Q (Dan): Blockchain is really good at moving value. Most music platforms right now have no way to move value back to users. To the extent that users are just passive listeners, paying for a service, that might make sense. However, musicians know that their fans are not just passive listeners, but are instead a critical part of their brand. Ensuring they are incentivised to help the artist’s community grow will be a huge step forward, especially for smaller artists.Q7: Do you think people are ready for a music industry disruption? In what stage of adoption would you say you are at the moment?A (Dan): I think it will take quite of bit of education, actually. People are used to paying very little for music, or getting music for free (with lots of annoying ads of course). We understand that the experience we offer has to be more than just streaming music. We’re in the very early stages of adoption. The alpha version of the platform is meant to give us an opportunity to move fast and try out some different approaches. Community feedback during that time is absolutely critical, so please use the platform and give us feedback!Q8: Can you tell us about Musiconomi’s vision and mission? What is the next big step for Musiconomi?A (Dan): Musiconomi will build a music ecosystem that encourages engagement from musicians, listeners, small labels, promoters, studios, and other industry professionals. Ultimately, we want to be able to include anyone that contributes value to the music ecosystem. We see a huge opportunity to harness the effort of a large number of casual listeners that might enjoy sharing and promoting music that they love, but currently have no way to monetise that effort. We also want to give artists more control over how their revenue is collected and distributed, as well as give them tools to engage more with their fans.One major decision we need to make one way or another is how to deal with the challenge of our MCI token supply being frozen. We need a significant supply in order to make the tokenomics work. We will be chatting with people in our community about possible paths forward. Anyone here is obviously welcome to weigh in.Q9: Are there some new details about the possible Token Donation? How much MCI Tokens would you need to keep the development and service running?A (Dan): The first thing we are going to release is the community feature campaigns, where we release features as certain goals are hit. Initially, we’ll start small so people get the idea, but in order for it to be sustainable, we will probably try to release major features for somewhere in the 50–100k MCI range. Still, we will start small and see how the community responds. For non-feature based initiatives (e.g. getting talent on board) we may need to collect pledges or donations up front.Read full the AMA session!Thank you for your contributions; we appreciate all your feedback and involvement in the community. If you ever have any further questions, ask away in our Telegram channel anytime, and don’t forget to join us next week!Summary of the Cofound.it AMA; Musiconomi via Cofound.it from 7 August 2018 was originally published in Cofound.it Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.