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What is xSongs?

by Pragati Shrivastava
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Is there a way that musicians can cut short their phase of struggle and get heard, published and reach the masses? Find their voice? According to Craig DeWitt, Ripple’s Director of Products by day and xSongs dev by night, it is possible.

DeWitt has always wanted to build a better way for musicians to monetize their songs. Popular artists receive less than 10% of their music’s sales. The lesser known artists receive practically nothing. There is a lot more that could come from artists, however, we do not see it, as there is no way for artists to directly and effectively monetize their content.

After producing content, artists spend a lot of time dialing the right contacts and hitting up managers, labels, agents or promoters. However, at the end of all the hard work, sometimes their work doesn’t see the light of the day. There are many digital marketplaces for music like iTunes and Spotify, but this doesn’t mean that the process has become easier. There is still large scale piracy rampant in the music industry. According to a report by NPD, only 37% of music acquired by U.S. consumers in 2009 was paid.

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xSongs is the solution for the music industry

To challenge the state of the music industry, Ripple has come forward with its solution – xSongs. It is an open digital platform where any artist can sell original digital content and keep 100% of the revenue earned. This product was inspired by the plight of thousands of artists across the world. DeWitt started building xSongs as his personal project. Ripple has also launched the platform for devs to start building on the platform. Since it was built on XRPL, xSongs will support only Ripple payments in the first release. However, future releases are expected to support instantaneous payments and the ability to settle payments, making it the best choice for artists and fans alike.

XRPL has been building revolutionary products for a while now and DeWitt looks at xSongs as a project that has the right product market fit and is built from scratch, directly on the ledger. Ripple’s unique destination tag feature is employed by xSongs to outsource the invoicing of payments directly to the ledger. xSongs will support musicians, artists, writers and even applications for direct payment. This product will take down the marketplace of middlemen and brokers. Another popular product built on XRPL, the XRP tipbot, created by Wietse Wind is also a part of xSongs and it will be integrated in the first release.

Alpha testing for xSongs

The project’s launch is highly anticipated by artists and users alike, ever since the launch announcement. Several popular songwriters, producers and singers have enquired about xSongs and its creating a stir in the community, as planned. While still in its initial testing phases, the project’s alpha release was rolled out and tested waters back in October 2019. Within less than 24 hours of its launch, the product gave artists’ collections over $200 from a simple song – and it wasn’t even professionally edited.

xSongs may shift focus from songs to podcasts, books, and any digital piece of content that can be distributed digitally. This is the next platform to look out for and the beta-version is out. The platform promises that it will always be free, however, we are yet to see the plot twists, and to find out whether it will support anything other than Ripple payments. One thing is for certain, xSongs will create many fortunes and support the careers of many budding artists, and this may also help increase the price and support of XRP while they’re at it.

BTW – XRP announced beta testing on January 1, 2020. You might want to check out their site if you are a budding artist or curious to see what’s out there.

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