British Black Music Practitioners, Particularly Reggae Creatives, Offered An Opportunity To Learn About The Metaverse Prospects
After last week’s Opulous, Blockchain, NFT: The Future Of The Music Industry Is Already Here event, which covered the web3, decentralised music fungible token financing platform founded by Ditto Music CEO Lee Parsons, this week focuses on the metaverse.
It’s some twenty years since the music industry started getting to grips with the internet. At the turn of this century, it was a bit of a wild west – if it wasn’t “pirates”, such as peer-to-peer file sharing platforms such as Napster facilitating the “stealing” of recorded music, it was record companies trying to own or control their artists’ domain names or digital assets.
However, the settled state of affairs the music industry has grown accustomed to, not to mention the huge revenues the big companies derive from streaming platforms such as Spotify, may be in for a radical change.
But first, let me put this out there – there are many reggae artists and producers who have still not engaged with the internet and the opportunities it offers. Whilst the reggae content on streaming and digital sales platforms has improved in recent years, there are some content owners who still steadfastly cling to the old ways.
They only see manufacturing vinyl as their main format and source of income. Granted, vinyl sales have astonishingly increased or held firm in recent years in some major markets, such as the UK. But it’s never going to be more than a niche market. Gone are the days when man could make a decent living selling a hot 7-inch or 12-inch vinyl record.
For a start, there are so few record shops to pop into for a physical record.
Even Harlesden in the north-west London borough of Brent, which is the reggae capital of the UK and which once had several record shops in the 1980s-90s, only has two record shops still trading some forty-years on – Hawkeye and Starlight.
Unfortunately, technology does not stand still. So if some people in 2022 are finding it difficult engaging with today’s web2 internet, it’s going to get even more difficult, because we’re on the verge of seeing the explosion into the mainstream of the world of web3 and the metaverse.
Web3 is based on decentralised networks, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. Facebook and Instagram users can’t help but to have noticed that the parent company of those two social network brands is now known as Meta. That’s perhaps an indicator of the potential monies and other opportunities expected from the metaverse, which will be an almost realistic replication of the real world within a virtual reality world.
Whilst the opportunities are there for creatives and non-creatives to harness what’s offered by web3 and the metaverse, it is hoped that particularly those from the reggae community will take advantage of the last BBMM (British Black Music Month) event.
Understanding The Impact And Opportunities Of The Metaverse On Business And Personal Life takes place on Wednesday July 27, 6-8pm BST. It is led by the African-American disruptive innovations consultant Dr Laura Thompson. The event is facilitated by BBMM coordinator Kwaku. There will be ample time for attendees to ask questions. Before then, there’s the BBM Reggae Stakeholder Meeting on Tuesday July 26, 6-8pm BST, where digital opportunities will be one of the topics discussed. Both events are free and via Zoom, so stakeholders can join from anywhere in the world. To book, go to: BBM.eventbrite.com.
Kwaku is a historical musicologist and music industry consultant. He is also the UK coordinator of International Reggae Day and co-organiser of The Lovers Rock Forum – 1970s Revealed marking Lovers Rock @ 50 on Oct. 19: https://bit.ly/70sLRForum