How Blockchain Can Impact Arts And Entertainment In Uganda — Solomon Kisakye

14 Year Old Congolese Refugee Displaying Her Work at the Workshop

After attending the Crypto and NFT workshop for artists on 25 November in Kampala, I realized a solution to two critical aspects of the Arts and entertainment industry in Uganda.

  1. Transparency In financial structuring of Art

The world over the common court cases in the creative world revolves around intellectual property and royalties for a particular piece of art. In my view, Blockchain solves this through its secured and decentralized ability to allow artists to track the analytics and control their work to receive the benefits due to them without third parties. How do you verify what Youtube tells you it’s your earnings on their platform? The Blockchain essentially puts artists in direct contact with their consumers through the NFT realms.

Blockchain also answers the biggest nightmare in the history of the arts: copyright and protecting the value of art and essentially the artists. Its immutability will eliminate piracy to great ends and, in my opinion, regardless of the level of the artist involved. For instance, Chris Brown, a renowned singer in America, was recently sued by an underdog for sampling a dancehall beat without the knowledge of this young artist. Blockchain solves such intellectual property theft since it protects every artist without their equity level.

2. Profitability of Arts

While the arts are profitable, they can only get better with Blockchain through NFTs, as it makes it cheaper for artists to reach the global market with their products at a limited or zero budget. It is a known fact that the most considerable expense in the arts is promotion, and this is what hinders so many talented artists who cannot afford to promote and widely distribute their music or art. However, Distributed Ledger Technologies offer a new world to play. An opportunity to meet investors, consumers, and other stakeholders in the value chain in the comfort of your home! According to revenue reports of 2018, Ugandan music raked in UGX 39 billion. Very little of this went to the musicians. Most of it went to the promoters and distributors. However, with NFTs, Uganda artists can benefit from their work. More money into the artist’s pocket means better quality of work, elevating the music industry to exploit its potential fully.

What Are The Bottlenecks?

Participants of the Workshop Posing With A Virtual Facilitator

A colossal knowledge gap must be addressed, especially get rich schemes that give Crypto a bad name. Bad actors are preying on society’s ignorance, creating insurmountable roadblocks in the way of adoption. This phenomenon has led few people to discover the truth about Cryptocurrency and Blockchain; many have vowed to stay away from them. Scams are still a tremendous impediment as a good number of well-meaning people are left with a very disastrous first impression.

In my view, this is a significant hindrance and pretty much the only one from where I am sitting — considering that in one day of learning about Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and NFTs, I could see the impact it can have on the music industry.

Opportunities

Acknowledging that entertainment is big business in Uganda, engaging the industry about the technology’s opportunities must be a priority. We should include the arts in all Blockchain related events until the message hits home. The Arts in this country are organized into associations with clear structures set under the National Culture Forum. Hence, getting these compositions into one room for training is pretty easy, just like what the Africa Blockchain University recently organized for the Ugandan artists.

Solomon Kisakye Mukuye, the writer, is a Music Producer from Uganda who attended the NFT Workshop for Artists in Uganda organized by the Africa Blockchain University in November. You can find him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kisakyesolomon

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