The Digimarc Blog

Digimarc Barcode Gets its Groove On

Music Meets Digimarc Barcode

Rapid evolution in a variety of digital technologies have created momentous changes in the distribution of music. Digital music streaming services, such as Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music, coupled with smartphones and mobile connectivity has transformed the way music is consumed. According to Forbesapproximately 200 million people in 2019 paid to stream music online. Consequently, this abrupt change has led to ambiguities, lawsuits and confusion for music rights-holders.

Because of this change, the current processes and tools to license music have not stayed current, and compensating owners—such as composers, recording artists, music publishers, and record labels—using the anachronistic, paper-based processes, has failed to guarantee proper royalty payments.

Digimarc Rock Band Incorporates Watermarking

Digimarc has been a leader in digital watermarking applications for entertainment content for decades, and offers Digimarc Barcode for Audio to help give audio files a unique, indelible identifier. But Digimarc isn’t just the creator of the solution, some of its own employees use it in their creative work. The Green Onions Band, featuring Digimarc members Seth Zowader, David Cushman and Paul Vorvick, have enhanced their debut album with, which they describe as "Memphis Soul." Download the album, The Getaway, here.

The cover image is also enhanced with Digimarc Barcode. Scan with the Digimarc Discover App to unlock more song content.

Digimarc Barcode improves the user experience by allowing listeners to engage and interact with additional information. Music fans can open the Digimarc Discover App, the microphone will automatically identify the audio watermark and deliver digital content to their phone, such as band cover art, posters for linear notes, lyrics and more.

The band appreciates the interactive benefits of Digimarc Barcode, how it engages their fan base, and provides exclusive information to listeners, such as the band’s history and how particular songs were written.

But the question remains: How can this watermarking technology help properly compensate music rights-holders from copyright infringements?

Essentially, Digimarc Barcode is a data carrier that is inaudible to listeners applied within the original audio. Furthermore, Digimarc Barcode cannot be removed from the original recording, making it easy for music to be properly identified and credited to its creators, no matter how it is used.

And when you combine Digimarc Barcode with the blockchain, you have a powerful metadata solution to help music owners. And although The Green Onions Band is not combining Digimarc Barcode with the blockchain for now, Digimarc’s partnership with dotBC—a company revolutionizing the rights clearance and tracking process for the music industry—ensures that rights- holders can work with dotBC to link Digimarc Barcode audio content to the blockchain.

So how does it work? Digimarc Barcode reliably identifies the specific version of the audio which can prompt the blockchain to react, enabling watermarking and blockchain to cohesively work alongside one another. This fosters a mutually beneficial relationship between the content and transactions, while promoting real time collaboration between various rights-holders.

In addition, Digimarc Barcode remains successfully undegraded when the audio is copied to CD, digital or and vinyl formats, which The Green Onions Band accomplished when they published their music on all three formats.

Barcodes with a Memphis Soul Vibe

In the future, inserting multiple watermarks while using Digimarc Barcode for Audio, could yield multiple payoffs to owners. For instance, if an artist added Digimarc Barcode to their new album, fans could access more information about the composition, such as who played instruments on that that portion of the song, and more.

So for the foreseeable future, The Green Onions Band will continue cooking up originals, and they can rest assured that by adding Digimarc Barcode to their music, it will create a unique, permanent identity that is engaging for fans.

Find out more about Digimarc Barcode for Audio or click here to learn more about Digimarc Barcode and blockchain.

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