What is the project?
Viberate’s goal is to create a global marketplace for the live music industry by creating an Ethereum-based platform for booking musicians and selling tickets to live events using smart contracts. Today’s live music ecosystem is dominated by large booking agencies and centralized ticketing platforms, making it difficult for the vast majority of artists and performers to gain exposure on a large scale. Only a small fraction of musicians are lucky enough to have agency representation, without which they are left to deal with marketing, sales, networking, legal, taxation, and debt collection issues instead of focusing on the creative aspects of their work. On the other side, event organizers find themselves constantly hunting for interesting acts to fill their lineup because making deals with musicians who don’t have proper representation can result in no-shows, poor performances, and problems with legally issuing payments.
While Viberate plans to partner with talent agencies and ticketing vendors, their larger vision is to empower the long-tail of millions of unrepresented musicians around the world by creating a matchmaking platform that, according to the white paper, “any musician can join, regardless of genre, country, fame level, or gig history.” Musicians can use the platform for promotion and exposure, and event organizers will have a new resource for discovering acts and a decentralized escrow service for issuing payments through the Ethereum blockchain.
The Viberate marketplace will serve five primary user groups:
- Musicians will have a profile page with metrics for fan growth, user engagement, and fan geo-distribution, as well as links and stats from social media and streaming channels. Musician profiles can also include audio, video, and photo content, as well as gig dates with ticketing links, and contact info (for artists or their agents) for business inquires. Musicians will also be able to receive payments for gigs through smart contracts, and will have the ability to rate the event organizer(s) after the performance to promote industry professionalism and generate reputation metrics.
- Venues will have profile pages that include contact information, event scheduling information, capacity information, and prevailing genre associations.
- Events and Event Organizers will have profile pages to showcase their work, promote their events, and directly engage with musicians, venues, and agencies. Event organizers can also pay musicians using smart contracts, and can rate the musicians after the performance to promote industry professionalism and generate reputation metrics.
- Booking Agencies will have profiles featuring contact information and rosters of represented artists.
- Fans can earn Vibe tokens by contributing to the musician database, which can be used to purchase event tickets and merchandise. Fans can also create campaigns using smart contracts to crowdfund the fee for a specific performer to come play their local venue.
What is the token being sold?
Viberate will create an ERC20 token (VIB) that will serve several functions on the platform:
- Contribution Rewards: 5 percent of VIB tokens will be used to incentivize user contribution to the database. Anyone creating new profiles, or adding info to existing profiles, will be awarded VIB tokens once their contribution is validated by the Viberate team. VIB are also earned upon registering to the service (welcome award), and for referring friends and promoting the service.
- Booking Musicians: Smart contracts will allow multiple payment options to be negotiated by the event organizer and artist, but using VIB will be incentivized on the platform (incentivization details are T.B.D. as of this writing).
- Booking Commission Fees: Viberate will collect a service fee when performers are booked through the platform (likely 10-15% of the transaction, according to a Viberate stakeholder in an interview with S+C). Booking commissions will be used for operational costs and for funding the bounty pool for contribution rewards.
- Ticketing and Merchandise: VIB tokens will also be one method of payment used to purchase event tickets and merchandise through the Viberate platform. This will be the primary use case for fans earning contribution rewards.
- Contact Information: To reduce spam, a payment in VIB will be required to contact other people on the network, including musicians, event organizers, venues, and booking agents.
- Premium Listings: Artists can pay to advertise their profiles on different “charts,” which will be organized by genre and geo location. Chart exposure will be purchased with VIB or ETH using smart contracts to detail terms, such as price and duration, and execute payment.
How is the token distributed?
What is the project status?
How will funds be used?
The first $6M in funds raised through the token sale will be allocated to technical development and user experience (40%), Initial marketing and PR (20%), product development and management (15%), database expansion and support (15%), and day-to-day operations (10%). Any additional funds raised through the sale (cap = $12M) will go to global marketing and PR.
What is the current state of the project’s technology, product, or service?
Viberate has a live beta website where anyone can create profiles for musicians, venues, or events (though contribution rewards will not be generated until sometime after the token sale). In an interview with one of the founding partners, S+C learned that the platform has over 130K musician profiles, created by over 50K different contributors to the site, with around 20 new profiles being created daily.
While the site clearly has a functioning backend system and impressive data analytics, it’s unclear how many of the current musician profiles were created by fans, or if any of the big names on the platform (Justin Bieber, say) are aware of the platform’s existence.
What is the project roadmap?
A full project roadmap is outlined on the project website, but the key dates include two rounds of investor funding, secured in April of 2016 and February of 2017; launching Booking Agency and Event Organizer profiles in Q1 of 2018; integrating with major ticket vendors in Q3 of 2018; and introducing “advanced blockchain features” (including smart contracts and a DAO for the musician booking process) in Q1 of 2019.
Who is the competition?
While most blockchain projects in the music space focus on distribution and monetization of recorded music, there are a few other projects going after the live performance ecosystem. Projects include:
- Aventus is a blockchain-based event ticketing solution where event organizers can create, manage and promote their events and tickets, and set price controls and receive commissions on secondary market sales.
- Blocktix is an Ethereum-based solution distributing, advertising, and transferring ownership of event tickets or passes.
- CreativeChain is a blockchain project that focuses on content rights management and digital distribution.
It’s worth mentioning that Viberate is planning to partner with the major ticket retailers before implementing blockchain-based ticket sales. Ideally, this will help get the platform off the ground in early stages, and may give them a scaling advantage over projects that plan to directly compete with traditional ticket retailers. Early partnerships with existing companies will also offer consumer-friendly ticketing solutions while the blockchain space matures.
Who is the team behind the project?
The Viberate team is comprised of experienced managers and event organizers from the music industry, as well as developers and blockchain specialists.
The founders include Matej Gregorčič, CEO, who founded a marketing agency and grew it to become one of the largest marketing agencies in Slovenia; Vasja Veber, COO, who has spent over 10 years in the music industry and manages Vibrate’s third founder, Uroš Umek, an internationally known A-list techno DJ (stage name UMEK), who will play the role of Celebrity Ambassador for the group.
CTO Bostjan Zakelj, who built the Viberate social media analytics engine, heads the development team and is joined by Rok Bavec, Senior Developer and Data Scientist; Senior Blockchain Developer Rok Babič; and blockchain specialists Andrej Plankar and Tomislav Mučič, who formerly worked together to launch Creditbit (CRB).
Viberate also has relationships with a number of interesting advisors including: Nuclear Physicist & Angel Investor Mark Pleško; Dejan Roljić of ABC Acceleration Business City; Blockchain Business Development Specialist Peter M. Moricz, who worked as a VP at JP Morgan Private Bank in London; Collin LaHay, Blockchain Expert and Founder at Gambit; Charlie Shrem, Blockchain Expert and Co-founder at Bitcoin Foundation; Dr. Jure Leskovec, Professor at Stanford University, whose research focuses on collecting and modeling large social and information networks; and Ram Santhosh Kumar Budime, CEO at Bitins.
|Incorporation status||Viberate d. o. o., Slovenia, 2016|
|Team openness||Fully transparent|
|Technical Lead||Bostjan Zakelj|
|Technical White Paper||Yes|
|Available Project Code||Not available|
|Role of token||Access and privileged payment rights|
|Token supply||200 million|
|Distributed in ICO||120 million|
|Emission rate||No new coins created|
|Consensus method||Proof of Work|
|Sale period||September 5th, 2017 to October 4th, 2017|
|First price||0.1 USD|
|Investment Round||First public offering|
|Token distribution date||May 5th, 2017|
|Min investment goal||1 million USD|
|Max investment cap||12 million USD|
|How are funds held||Multi-sig wallet held by team council|
|Minimal Viable Product||Viberate 2.0|