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Here, artists have control over their earnings and know who enjoys their music, ensuring they earn what they deserve

Dominated by the major labels, the music industry only works for some artists. There was a time when these labels added value and streaming services helped launch careers, but this only worked for the lucky few. Fortunately, for the majority of artists, we now have technology that makes a fairer music industry possible. SmartLabel, with their streaming service TraXs, is developing the tools to achieve this ambitious goal and finally give artists the control they need over their music.

The current system makes it difficult for artists to earn money from their music. Streaming services like Spotify don’t pay nearly enough, while also prohibiting artists from influencing the cost of a stream. What’s more, these platforms keep contact details and important statistical information about listeners to themselves.

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As an artist, you don't know who's playing your music, making it impossible to directly reward your fans with special offers like exclusive previews of your music or even discounts on merchandise. While they are your fans, streaming services remain the only ones who know exactly who’s listening to your music, without sharing this crucial data.

When you sell something, you usually get to decide the price, except in music, where streaming services and labels decide without you even knowing to whom you're selling. Crazy, right!? says co-founder Jonathan Oudekerk

SmartLabel is developing a platform that gives back control to the artist. On their streaming service, TraXs, artists can influence the cost of streaming their music and see individually who is listening, creating new ways to earn by understanding who their fanbase is.

Artists can also divide their future royalty earnings into smaller parts to sell directly to fans. They don't have to relinquish their rights or wait a year and a half to earn royalties. Additionally, artists can distribute their music to over 180 other platforms like Spotify or TikTok, and SmartLabel claims and pays out 100% of the earnings directly to the artist.

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As TraXs is built on Open Source Software and hosted on the Arweave blockchain, its core is available for everyone to build and expand their projects on. For instance, it’s possible to build a marketplace for algorithms on SmartLabel’s technology. Currently, we don't have access to why an algorithm presents us with certain music on streaming services. But when everything is open, this can be built and understood publicly. This way, anyone can work to make the music industry more transparent and fairer by using SmartLabel’s basis.

SmartLabel is founded by Jonathan Oudekerk and Joost Rohde. Jonathan, the son of the reggae artist Johnny Baby, who played, among others, with UB40. He knows all too well how even successful artists can lose out in this industry. Informed by his father's experience of losing the rights to his album and its earnings, not an uncommon story in the music industry, Oudekerk founded SmartLabel with Joost Rohde, who has a background in IT and music production. Together, they are ideally positioned at the intersection of music, business, and tech to understand and solve the problems of the music industry.

TraXs, SmartLabel's streaming and royalty app, will be launched as a beta during ADE later this year.

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About SmartLabel

SmartLabel is on a mission to make the music industry a fairer place by giving back control to artists. Here, artists control what their music is worth to monetise it properly. Their platform is open and transparent so artists know what’s going on. You can distribute your music to all the big music platforms and work with your royalties like never before. It’s the future of what streaming should be.

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