Viberate Review: The Blockchain Based Live Music Ecosystem
Viberate is a unique blockchain project that is trying to bring all the participants of the global music industry together on one platform.
Viberate is an Ethereum-based project focused on the talent present in the global live music scene. It brings together the management agencies and event organizers with the artists and fans and bypasses the large organizations that have controlled the music industry for so long.
While ambitious, can the project realistically break into the industry?
In this Viberate review, I will attempt to answer that and give you everything you need to know about the project. I will also take a look at the long term use cases and adoption potential of the tokens.
How Viberate Works
Viberate works with both businesses and consumers in its aim to integrate the many different segments of the music industry. Because there are so many aspects of the business model it can be somewhat hard to comprehend, but suffice it to say that if it involves live music then Viberate is involved in some manner.
With Viberate smaller, up-and-coming artists are able to put themselves forward and connect with the agencies and venues looking to work with them. In short, Viberate wants to shake up the music industry and make it fair for everyone.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
The first thought you might have is how Viberate will work to connect the fans (consumers) with artists, venues, and events (business). Basically, the team has come up with two B2C use cases.
Ticket Sales & Booking
The primary model for business to consumer markets is offering tickets for live events, festivals, concerts, and other music venues. Viberate has created affiliate partnerships with ticketing agencies such as Ticketmaster and generates revenues from the sale of tickets.
Future plans are for Viberate to create its own ticketing agency. Billed as the Digital Ticket Exchange (DTX) it will allow fans to buy tickets using cryptocurrencies and will send the tickets directly to their wallets as an ERC-20 token.
Ticket fees will be held in escrow by smart contracts, allowing fans to get refunds in the event a concert doesn’t go off as planned. There are also plans to include functionality that will permit users to resell their tickets if they aren’t able to use them for some reason.
Another B2C plan is to create a platform that allows fans to crowdfund a performance. This will allow fans to create a crowdfund that brings their favorite artists to them. It will work by having a group stake VIB tokens and when a certain threshold is reached the crowdfunding campaign is automatically sent to social media platforms for promotion.
If the crowdfunding raises enough the donors will receive digital tickets in their wallets. The artist will be asked to perform and if they agree they get their share of the funding. If the threshold isn’t reached all the VIB tokens are refunded to the donors.
Business to Business (B2B)
Viberate is really nothing more than a database of five different subsets within the music industry. The databases are updated by users of the Viberate app, who are compensated for adding new artists, events and venues.
The database also tracks booking agents and event organizers, but these sections are not public facing. Instead, they are kept separate for business users. The platform allows for interactions between different groups in a variety of ways and the VIB token is the incentive for interaction.
Matching Artists with Organizers
Viberate performs a function similar to that of a booking agent by matching musicians with event organizers, but on a much larger scale. And smaller musicians, who may not be able to afford a booking agent, are able to get matched with venues, benefiting both the artists and the venues.
Smart contracts are used to hold fees and payments in escrow, and these fees are paid in either VIB or ETH tokens. There is a small commission charged by the Viberate platform as a booking fee, but it is far smaller than the fees charged by traditional booking agents.
The platform also makes it possible for merchandisers or other business interests to obtain the manager or agent details of the artists listed. There is a premium fee charged for this detail, with the premium paid in either VIB or ETH.
The platform also makes it possible for other types of connections. One case would be event organizers, who can use Viberate to search for available venues for an event they are planning.
Every user of the Viberate platform is able to earn rewards from the daily VIB bounty pool. These rewards are based on the activity of the user, with rewards for adding to the database, maintaining listings, referring friends and other activities. Both consumers and businesses can receive these rewards.
The VIB bounty pool was made up of a fixed 10 million VIB tokens. Five percent of those were issued during the ICO and the remainder are released at a rate of 5,000 per day for the first 2,000 days the platform is in existence.
Once all 10 million bounty tokens have been released it is unclear how the bounty pool will be refilled. The whitepaper states that it can be refilled from other token streams and that no new coins will be issued. We can assume that the bounty tokens will come from the fees collected by the Viberate platform.
The Viberate Team
Viberate was started in 2016 and came from the success of the Topdeejays.com website that was begun back in 2013. Viberate 1.0 was not a blockchain project, but soon after the creation of Viberate, the founders saw the benefits of putting the project on a blockchain and so hired developers to do just that. Viberate 2.0 was launched several months later.
The founders of Viberate are three Slovenian friends with a passion for music. None of them have any background in blockchain, but they all have extensive experience in the music industry.
Matej Gregorcic is the CEO of Viberate and one of the three founders. He also co-founded the blockchain commerce platform Eligma. He got his start in business when he began a marketing agency as a teenager. That agency eventually grew to be the largest marketing agency in Slovenia.
The second co-founder and COO of Viberate is Vasja Veber, who has over 10 years in the music industry. He is also the manager of the third co-founder and ambassador for the Viberate platform, Uroš Umek. Also known as DJ Umek, he is credited with kickstarting Slovenia’s techno music scene.
The technical side of the project is handled by Slovenian developers Bostjan Zakelj, Rok Bavec, and Rok Babic.
There are other blockchain projects in the music industry, but the Viberate platform is unique in its creation of connections between all areas of the industry. There’s also Ceek VR, but it is looking to provide fans with virtual reality live music broadcasts. And then there’s Soundcoin and Musicoin, but both of those are focused on royalty payments for artists.
Something else that is really important for a project to grow is that there is a strong and enthusiastic community behind it. This is especially the case with Viberate as their entire ecosystem is built around users submitting data for the VIB tokens.
So, I decided to take a look into the extent of the Viberate community.
Firstly, they have an official Twitter account that has just over 32k followers. They seem to be quite active there and are constantly keeping the community up to date with the latest announcements to come out of the project.
They also have a Telegram channel with just over 4k members. I dived into it to see what was going on in there. Despite the admins being quite responsive and welcoming to the users, there was not much community discussion going on. Not the ideal ecosystem for fostering adoption.
For those who still use Facebook, Viberate has over 100k likes on their official page. However, this is not kept as up to date as their Twitter account. Finally, there is also a reddit subreddit for Viberate but this is also quite silent with not that much community interest in the posts.
Based purely on the community interest in the project on their social channels, it does appear as if Viberate needs to do a better job of spreading awareness. There needs to be more emphasis on the benefits of contributing data and using their event marketplace.
Viberate held an ICO soon after migrating to the blockchain, raising $12 million in a single day (September 5, 2017) as they sold 120 million VIB tokens at $0.10 each. The price of the tokens nearly tripled on the release day, but quickly dropped back and traded between $0.15 and $0.20 over the next few months.
After dipping nearly to the ICO price in December the token got caught up in the cryptocurrency bull market of December 2017 / January 2018. It hit its all-time high of $0.718929 on January 4, 2018, and after spending about a week at and near that level it began the long decline that would take place over the remainder of 2018.
By June 2018 the token was trading below its ICO price, and it continued declining until reaching a low of $0.020143 on December 14, 2018. The token bounced modestly off that low but remained below the $0.03 level until March 2019. A month later it topped the $0.04 level and as of May 2019, it was trading above the $0.05 level. It hasn’t moved much above that, and so remains nearly 50% off its ICO price.
If you want to get some VIB tokens you can get them at Binance, or Bittrex, or UpBit. They’re also available from OKEx. Despite this selection, almost 80% of the volume is currently being traded on Binance on their BTC and BNB markets.
This opens the volume and liquidity up to "key exchange" risk. If VIB is ever to be delisted for whatever reason, there is a risk that the liquidity of the token will collapse. Currently though, there is a reasonable level of volume on these books and there has been no indication of any delistings.
If you have bought VIB tokens or earned them through contributions, then you are going to want to store them in a secure location. VIB are ERC20 tokens which means that you have a pretty good selection of wallets to use. The safest option is the likes of a Ledger Nano although you can also use MyEtherWallet / MyCrypto.
What Viberate is doing is incredibly far-reaching and ambitious. The music industry is huge, as evidenced by the fact that Viberate now has over 460,000 artists, more than 500,000 events, and beyond 100,000 venues in their database.
The company also has first mover advantage in its niche and is the only blockchain project targeting the entire live music industry. That’s good but could also work against Viberate if they overextend themselves by going after too many subsectors of the industry.
Thus far, putting aside the decline in the price of the VIB token, the project seems to be growing and finding success. What it really needs from the consumer side at this point is the addition of its decentralized ticket broker. That would push the project to the forefront and having more transparency in the ticketing process would certainly benefit the fans.
One final positive about the project is that it is motivated not by money, but by the passion of the founders. This is a group who truly love music and are looking for ways to improve live music for everyone involved in the ecosystem, from fans to musicians to the organizers and venues.
If you want to keep up to date with the latest news from the Viberate team then you can follow their official blog.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.