Blockchain rights company Jaak has made a raft of new hires ahead of launching its first music business product next year.
The metadata and payments platform has recruited former Spotify artist-in-residence D.A. Wallach and David King, inventor of YouTube’s Content ID system, to serve as advisors, while Universal Music Publishing Group's Dom Lovett joins as its full-time head of music copyright.
Hari Ashurst-Venn will focus on developing commercial partnerships. He was previously head of creative services for the emerging DSP Lucid Tunes and founded the influential indie label Double Denim Records.
The platform will make available its first commercial music business product in 2019. It is also working on software for the film and TV industries.
“When I, years ago, conceived of a global metadata and payments platform built on blockchain technology I was hoping that this might once and for all cut through the intense global disorganisation in the music business that bedevils artists who merely want to get paid fairly for their work," said Wallach.
"I am still hopeful that a combination of streaming platforms, decentralized databases, and payment networks can deliver on this promise. The industry we should all want is one in which artists are paid transparently and instantaneously when listeners enjoy their music. Facilitating this eminently achievable vision will become a competitive necessity for rights holders seeking to attract the best talent. I'm excited to advise Jaak because they are taking a comprehensive and practical view to building core infrastructure for the future of the industry. Their seriousness and focus set them apart.”
King, who having invited YouTube's system for identifying and monetirising copyrighted material in user generated content has been working the United Nations and the World Intellectual Property Office on digital infrastructure for copyright holders, said he was impressed with the new Blockchain technology.
“Now that most music fans have switched to digital it’s time for the industry to come together around more flexible and scalable licensing solutions, making sure that consumers have a wide variety of platforms to choose from. JAAK have remarkable leadership and a mastery of all the latest technologies that are best suited to meeting these market challenges. I’m excited to join their team and to participate in developing the next generation of the music business.”
Jaak have also hired Alina Colceag and Samir Rashed as product designers. Philippe Rixhon, a research fellow at UCL Centre for Blockchain, will be briefing Jaak on developments in copyright policy.
Jaak CEO Vaughn McKenzie-Landell said: “Tackling such a complex problem with new technology requires not just incredibly talented people but also voices, ideas, and experiences from businesses across the entire supply chain - including creators.
“D.A. and David's insight and experience increase the effectiveness of our efforts and the depth of our relationships. Combined with Dom, Hari, Alina, Samir, and Philippe, our team integrates deep expertise in rights administration, copyright policy, and creator services with digital infrastructure, royalty payments, content identification, distributed systems, and product design. We share the belief that rights can and will be unified across shared, decentralised infrastructure and we're assembling a team capable of delivering that vision.”