Music x Hackathon x Blockchain: LE BLOCKATHON DE LA MUSIQUE

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ThoughtWorks Cologne

Lichtstraße 43i

50825 Köln


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TOP PRIZE 1.000 €, follow-up prizes: accounts (750 €), gadgets and gift cards! Plus free tickets for the c/o pop convention!

With a ticket, you are definitely in.

We can support fifty participants with partial reimbursement of travel expenses (see our website,, section GOOD TO KNOW). There are a few tickets with reimbursement option left!

Now take the challenge, get set, go! Sign up now, we look forward to meeting you!


*** Please don't order multiple tickets for one name or one e-mail address. See also FAQ below. If you want to order for friends, pls use their names and email addresses. If you can't decide which role is yours (musician, developer etc.), pls order ONE ticket. ***

//// WHAT IS IT ABOUT? \\\\

The "Blockathon de la Musique" brings a breath of fresh air into the ecosystem of music. We need new ideas to support musicians and composers. A major problem is the lack of METADATA as well as the low quality of existing metadata. Because without correct metadata, artists won't get any revenue for their music. This Metadata Chaos affects not only music but also games, film, television, advertising and print. For decades.

You are hackers, musicians or you are working in the creative industries? Do you have innovative approaches or ideas of which no one has thought? Possibly with a Blockchain approach? Well, you may almost consider yourself invited! With your prototypes, you can be the driving force to solve various issues.

Music and digitalization are crossing boundaries. That's why we want to celebrate the Franco-German Blockathon to promote cooperation between technical and musical creatives from both countries and give room to European innovations.

The Hackathon is organized by and ContentSphere® and kindly supported by the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitisation and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia.


How can we support artists and all those involved in the creative process, to be able to make a living in a digital world?

That's the key question. Because every single one of you is a member of the music team that is not to be missed. Therefore, everyone has to be paid: musicians and songwriters; producers, sound engineers, designers and photographers – but coders as well.

It is essential for hackers and creatives alike to communicate and share their knowledge. The programming challenges, that might not be graspable for musicians at first, and that developers don’t see to be applicable in music are easy to understand when you cooperate. Shortly, we will provide a guide for participants which comes with some examples which makes it even easier.

The selection of challenges can be roughly divided into five fields: the generation, validation and use of metadata, the design of concepts and workflows and finally the development of business models.

For the experts among you: The challenges do not only deal with the information of a song or work (composer, lyricist, title, publisher, label, collecting society, ISWC, ISRC and more), which is usually referred to as metadata. Further informative data on media, artists or legal entities be used or generated.

You can choose one of the following challenges or design it differently. We are also happy about crossover applications or entirely new suggestions. We are open and flexible for your suggestions! At the beginning of April, we will get in touch with you and invite you to Slack. There you can already form teams.

Tip: It makes sense to research suitable APIs or data sources before the blockathon. First links can be found in the section GOOD TO KNOW under "Data". If you need audio or video files as test material, you can bring them with you.


Challenge 1 - Correcting Metadata

Find an automated way to correct existing metadata, e.g. by comparing it with other metadata or sources. Examples for a manual method are Wikis or a platform like Discogs. Users compare registered data with those from their sources - in the case of Discogs with the information from their collection CDs, vinyl records or cassettes.

Challenge 2 - Design of a multidimensional metadata model

What can a multi-layered metadata model look like that specifies how reliable all data is? It is necessary to determine the reliability of all verifying third parties to assess the credibility of data. A reliability factor for data could be calculated from this and from possibly influencing factors (e.g. the setting of a studio recording vs a jam session).

Challenge 3 - Generation of descriptive texts

Create a tool to create lyrics that describe songs based on their metadata and the audio file. The text should be usable for press purposes (EPKs), social media and similar purposes.

Challenge 4 - Recognition of used sounds and moods

Create a tool to automatically recognize and describe the sounds and moods used in the song. The tool can be used, for example, for syncing or to program external devices (synthesizers, FX, plug-ins) based on the results.

Challenge 5 - Identify suitable cover images

Compare songs and their data with pictures and graphics and find suitable material for the design of the cover illustration. It doesn't have to be actual pictures; it can also be the style.

Challenge 6 - Branding through songs

Compare songs and their data with brands: Which songs fit a brand? The image of the brand, the corporate design or the product, for example, can serve as a basis.

Challenge 7 - Matching Music and Video

Develop an algorithm that identifies music that matches given movies or video clips (or vice versa). In addition to standard metadata of music and film, an analysis of the audio or video films is helpful (e.g. editing speed, editing type, changes in volume, image colour, brightness and contrast).

Challenge 8 - Automatic music-to-film editing

Develop a tool for automatic editing of music for a video. The identification of a suitable song is part of Challenge (7).

Challenge 9 - Concept of an improved metadata workflow

Design the concept of a cross-company workflow that eliminates duplicate metadata and minimizes errors. It makes sense to limit yourself to a part of the life cycle of a song, e.g. composition to release. The restriction simplifies the detailed design.

Challenge 10 - Concept for supported ingest and motivation during metadata entry

The metadata chain begins with composers, musicians and studio personnel. How can metadata entry be simplified and automated for them and others involved in the production process? How can they be motivated to enter data? Please consider GDPR and the avoidance of a monitoring effect.

Challenge 11 - Business models for musicians and other creative people

How can a musician monetize data sharing and develop it into another source of revenue? Creative Passport is just one approach - what’s beyond? Metadata can change access to music through blockchain-based apps or APIs and UX design, and new revenue options open up.

Challenge 12 - Improving User Experience with Streaming

How can you improve your streaming experience? With better use of metadata? Alternatively, through changed search and recommendation algorithms? What opportunities do you see?

//// THE MENTORS \\\\

  • Fabian Beiner (COO @

  • Bosco Bellinghausen (CEO & Founder @ ALISSIA MUSIC)

  • Stephan Benn (Head of Administration GLORIA Theater / Assessor Kanzlei Fleischer)

  • Xavier Costaz (Director Innovations & Partnerships @ SACEM)

  • Marie Gauthier (Freelance Full Stack Web Developer / CTO @ Resonate / Software Developer @ MOD Devices)

  • Matthias Hornschuh (Composer, speaker, GEMA board member)

  • Anselm Kreuzer (Composer & Label Owner)

  • Wolfgang Senges (Freelance Strategist, Innovation & Project Manager / Co-Founder of the German Blockchain and Metadata Workgroup in Music)

  • Martin Wisniowski (Full Stack Developer @ Railslove / Musician / Media Artist)

//// THE JURY \\\\

  • Becky Brook (Commercial Lead @ JAAK)

  • Xavier Costaz (Director Innovations & Partnerships @ SACEM)

  • Claudia Jericho (Leiterin Geschäftsstelle @ CREATIVE.NRW)


Please take a look at our website:

We have constantly added more available links which you might want to investigate before the event.

//// PRIZES \\\\

  • Gold Award: The winning team receives 1.000 €, donated by Board of Music.

  • Silver Award: 6-months Subscriptions for tamanguu, the smart CRM tool that effortlessly helps you maintain your network, with a total value of 750 €.

  • Hot & New Award: Headphones by Pioneer, donated by Board of Music.

  • The community prize: that's some fine, nice gadgets and the honour to be appreciated by the competing teams!

  • Courtesy of c/o pop, all participants receive a free 2-day ticket to c/o pop convention (paid concerts not included), worth 110 €. The tickets will be given to you at the end of the Blockathon.

//// AGENDA \\\\

(minor changes are still possible)

Monday 29.04.2019

06:00 pm – arrival, registration & networking

07:00 pm – welcome, agenda blockathon & presentation of the challenges

07:15 pm – lightning talk: Patrick Sandmann (Board of Music)

07:25 pm – lightning talk: tba

07:35 pm – lightning talk: Karim Bhorania (Jamahook)

07:45 pm – lightning talk: tba

08:00 pm – Concert Bolek Bible while networking & Kölsch

09:00 pm – end

Tuesday, 30.04.2019

09:00 am – arrival, registration & breakfast

10:00 am – welcome, introduction mentors, challenges & evaluation criteria

10:15 am – pitches

11:00 am – start hackin'

01:00 pm – lunch buffet

06:00 pm – dinner buffet

11:00 pm – end of the day

Wednesday, 01.05.2019

10:00 am – arrival, registration

10:30 am – welcome, presentation jury & evaluation criteria, the pitch process

10:45 am – start hackin'

01:00 pm – lunch buffet

02:00 pm – online submission & snacks

04:50 pm -- lightning talk: Sophia Jänicke & Claudia Wondratschke (Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft)

05:00 pm – pitches

07:30 pm – award ceremony


Further Information as for example support of travel expenses can be found at:


My skills match multiple ticket roles -- which ticket shall I choose?

Most importantly, please do only choose ONE ticket. Just go for the role that fits best. If you're a roadie who plays some guitar in your spare-time, order the ticket for musicians. If you're coding for fun, and you're helping out some artist friends with social media, then choose the consultant role. In case you already have ordered the multiple tickets, please contact us at

I'd like to order tickets for friends as well. How to do that?

Please use the names of your friends and their respective e-mail addresses. If you are ordering multiple tickets using one name, we might have to cancel all but one ticket. In case you already have ordered the wrong way, please contact us at

Do I have to show my passport at the entrance?

Nope. However, we need to check your valid ticket from Eventbrite.

How do I get to the location by public transport?

Your destination should be the station Köln-Ehrenfeld. From there, it's a walk of 900m.

If you are starting at Cologne Main Station (Köln Hauptbahnhof), you can take the S-Bahn (lines 12 or 19) or various regional trains. By S-Bahn, it takes 5min to Köln-Ehrenfeld.

What can I bring to the event?

Almost everything, and most of all yourself and good vibes ;-)

Seriously, you can bring your hardware, beverages, and food. However, we provide catering for lunch and in the evening. Please, DO NOT bring any hard liquor or drugs.

How can I contact the organizer in case of any questions?

You may e-mail either for organizational issues or for any questions regarding the challenges.

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ThoughtWorks Cologne

Lichtstraße 43i

50825 Köln


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