Royal battle to put artists back in control

Project uses smart contracts that pay backers with a share of the earnings from royalties

Royal has unveiled a new platform that enables artists to crowd-fund creative projects using smart contracts that pay backers with a share of the project’s earnings from royalties.

The project is aimed largely at the music industry, which is worth $40 billion per year – but only 12% ends up in the pockets of the artists.

Recently, rapper Kanye West revealed he received a mere 18% of revenue on his first five albums under contract with Universal Music Group (UMG).

To assist both artists and fans, Royal says it has three main functions.

One of those is simplified and compliant minting and selling of limited digital assets (LDAs), which fans can initially purchase.

There is also collection and pay-outs of royalties, including a share to LDA holders to reward them for their dedication and engagement.

Royal additionally facilitates a secondary market for LDAs, allowing LDA holders to trade tokens from different creative projects with one another, creating a vibrant economic ecosystem around media ownership.

The platform is also building a suite of tools to help creators leverage LDAs as a primitive for engagement, by granting special privileges, enabling direct communication access between fans and creators.

By framing LDAs as both an economic investment and as a piece of the fan community, LDAs more fully capture the social value of art.

The project has partnered with many undisclosed high-profile artists and plans to let fans begin backing music productions in October.

After building and validating a product around music ownership, the team plans to widen their concept to other royalty-generating assets – both digital (TV licensing, YouTube content creation, etc) and physical (land mineral rights, patents, and the like).

Royal was founded by 3LAU, an EDM artist who sold a tokenised album that grossed $12 million in a single day, and JD Ross – former co-founder of Opendoor. The project has raised $16 million in seed funding from investors such as Founders Fund and Paradigm.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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