Berklee and NEAR Foundation Partner to Launch RAIDAR

RAIDAR is an innovative and creator-centric marketplace for Berklee students and alums to upload and sell their original works utilizing emerging technologies.

November 2, 2023

Berklee is pleased to announced its partnership with the NEAR Foundation, the nonprofit that supports the growth and development of the NEAR ecosystem. Under the terms of the agreement, Berklee has selected NEAR Foundation as a technology partner to develop an app called RAIDAR (Rights and Asset Information in Decentralized, Authoritative Repositories), which allows musicians and creators to buy and sell music licenses.

Created by Berklee, under the guidance of professors George Howard and Andrea “Ani” Johnson, and powered by NEAR blockchain technology, one of the world’s fastest scalable and cost effective protocols, RAIDAR's aim is to build a marketplace where musicians can upload their music, along with its proper metadata, and those who require music for their projects—whether film or game creators, advertisers, or others—can license music from Berklee students. All transactions are recorded on the NEAR blockchain in order to ensure legal, accurate, and historic representation of the creators’ works and will utilize smart contracts to disintermediate the licensing process and ensure that musicians receive the full economic value and credit for their works.

The product is simple to use. Musicians upload their music files and metadata through a mobile- and desktop-friendly web app. Their song is then represented by a unique, secure smart contract and assigned to the creator’s wallet as an asset or NFT, empowering the creator to view and showcase the song.

Customers buying music can browse, search for, filter, and preview songs uploaded to the RAIDAR app by other users and then purchase single-use licenses for songs via the app. The song’s smart contract distributes funds received from the payment to the song’s creator. After the purchase transaction completes, the buyer receives an email with the corresponding song download link and a copy of the license agreement.

“This is a first-of-its-kind product that will help to democratize the world of music by putting creators first and ensuring they are always rewarded and protected from exploitation for their original work," said Howard, professor of music business at Berklee. "Those who are seeking to license music for their projects now have a chance to access and support new creators by tapping into an exciting marketplace through the RAIDAR app, which is easy to navigate and offers a safe and reliable way to pay for music.”

“RAIDAR is the linchpin of Berklee’s soon-to-be-established Center for Innovation and Impact,” said Tonya Butler, chair of Berklee's Music Business/Management Department and managing director of the Center for Innovation and Impact. “The fact that we are in the middle of strategic planning with a goal to launch the center next summer makes NEAR’s support of this project even more timely. RAIDAR will serve as just one of many opportunities for our students to engage with emerging technologies, as well as collaborate with partners from the music, entertainment, and related tech industries. We are extremely excited and fortunate to have NEAR join us on this journey.”

Commenting on the significance of this partnership, Chris Donovan, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, said, “We are extremely excited to be working with Berklee to support a new and unique use case that has real-world value for those that use it. The RAIDAR app is a disruptive technology built on NEAR that will help students to explore the power of smart contracts to ensure they are being paid fairly for their work, and that the world of music becomes more inclusive, safe, and exciting for everyone.”

About NEAR Foundation

NEAR Foundation is a nonprofit that supports the growth and development of the NEAR ecosystem and the blockchain operating system (BOS), a full-stack web3 development and app distribution platform at the heart of an open web. The BOS is compatible with all blockchains, making it the entry point to the open web for users and developers alike. Founded on the principles of openness and sustainability, the NEAR Foundation is driven by the vision of putting information and technology in the service of humanity rather than political or corporate interests.

For more information, please visit the NEAR Foundation online.

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