B: 'Music ‘mushrooms’: a student entrepreneurship ‘live project’ exploring how blockchain technology could affect the creative industries' by Marcus O’Dair and Zuleika Beaven


Session report by Kirsteen Macdonald (Lead Academic Developer, CAPE). To read the abstract which was submitted prior to the conference please click here


Zuleika discussed some collaborative live entrepreneurship projects taking place on the BAMBAM (BA Music, Business & Arts Management) and BAPM (BA Popular Music) programmes focussing on the interplay between business and music programmes in which music students are required to create entrepreneurial business identities.  Zuleika explained that many music (and other creative arts) students find it very difficult to consolidate the creative and commercial aspects of their field.

Marcus then explained the (self-admittedly complicated) idea behind blockchain technology, a new system of e-commerce, utilising e-money systems such as bitcoin. This works as an electronic ledger, or contract, which can contain the music itself (a sound file) wrapped up with html coding with any additional information required. The potential to music students struggling, or uncomfortable, with becoming business people (“We do not want to create the next Simon Cowell”), is the premise of a direct peer-to-peer transaction between musician and fan. This sells entrepreneurship as a productive project, promoting creativity, freedom and transparency, rather than being merely commercially and economically motivated.

A fascinating, enlightening and enthusiastic presentation that got participants excited about the research and business potential of the project, especially the benefits to students, possible future collaborations with other departments, and a boost to the research/business reputation of the University.