Bittunes is a unique global music community & distribution platform
With users spread across more than 70 Countries, we are creating a global solution that simplifies music distribution and puts power back in the hands of Artists and their fans. The platform uses bitcoin as its primary currency, and both Artists and music buyers earn bitcoin automatically as part of the platform’s buying/distribution process. Although the community is relatively small, it operates as ‘One Global Marketplace’ for Music.. with ‘One Currency’ and uses only ‘One Rights Framework’.. This is where music gets a fresh start.. and its completely legal.
Since incorporation in May 2013, right through our development period, through alpha & beta testing, attendance at four Bitcoin conferences (sponsorship of one in Singapore) and relocation from Australia to London, we have been entirely self funded. We have had no Venture Capital or Angel investment. We have, however, benefited from fantastic support from the fiercely loyal and dedicated Bittunes community, comprised of musicians, songwriters, bitcoin early adopters & music lovers who grasped what we are trying to do and have been incredibly supportive. To these people we are truly grateful.
We are not just an app that features indie music, we exclude all Major Label music as a core policy, and this will never change. We are starting to customize how we can work with small indie labels, but only if their Artist’s fundamental power is maintained. We are absolutely convinced that the rapidly changing 21st century technological and business environment that we all now live in means that, ‘being independent’ as a self publisher is the most powerful status for an Artist to have. The era of centralized corporate control of music, which has twisted the direction of the whole music industry is ending.
We decided to develop the first stage of Bittunes on Android for a number of reasons. It was clearly the most open and accessible mobile platform, with broad global adoption in the expanding markets that were of most long term strategic importance to us. Developing for iOS was just impossible due to Apple’s interfering policies which have resulted in many bitcoin apps being rejected from their app market, and increasingly also any music app that might represent a potential conflict with iTunes. We will continue to develop in Android, but will work to expand Bittunes for a wider user base soon.
We had been planning to develop an ‘Independent Digital Music Market’ platform since 2006, but the timing wasn’t right. However, when Bitcoin rose to prominence (began to cross the chasm) in May 2013 we decided to act. For a global digital music market to succeed, it ideally needs one widely accessible, low friction, digital currency. Bitcoin offers the best chance for this. We were offered methods of funding Bittunes by becoming an alt-coin, but rejected these approaches. However, we are essentially ‘digital currency agnostic’. We hope bitcoin maintains its integrity, but our destiny is not exclusively tied to it.
We have been very cautious about opening Bittunes as a standard website, preferring to build our global community gradually, allow the sorting processes in Bittunes to occur and listen to member feedback. We wanted to discover what problems our Artists were facing and whether we could develop new features to address these. A whole range of new strategic objectives came out of this. We are now ready to implement a ‘simple rights & transaction history blockchain’ implementation and a very open ‘non-bitcoin related’ feature to solve some key issues for live music and street performers.