How NFTs can change the Music Industry
Updated: Jun 7
It seems like mainstream media has been tainting the reputation of NFTs ever since they landed eyes on them. Because of this, many people believe NFTs are an empty .png or, at most, a cute overpriced profile picture.
Music NFTs aren’t exempt to the NFT drama. Their legitimacy was questioned once many artists woke up to their songs being in a new music NFT marketplace they didn’t approve of. From that day on, music NFTs were crossed too.
As music industry professionals we want to change that perception. We believe the introduction of this technology in the music industry will change the way musicians, fans and investors interact with each other.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros & cons of various roles NFTs can have in the Music Industry.
1. Ticket NFTs
This might be the most popular way to incorporate NFTs in entertainment. In this case, each NFT serves as a ticket/invitation to a concert, fan club, or whatever event the artist is creating. There’s already some projects (like Get protocol) implementing this utility to NFTs. But, it’s worth saying that the artist could also do this on their own. They’d just need to design a NFT “ticket” (creativity can soar!), create their smart contract & allow fans to mint directly from there.
Pros: it’s a way to unite your community, gives a real-life utility to the NFT, allows holders to sell it on secondary market & get some profit, it doesn’t get damaged like a traditional ticket does, allows to avoid scams on secondary market (the NFT are under a verified collection and fans get a guarantee that they're buying an original ticket).
Cons: it’s a widely used technique which means there’s no surprise factor in the space, prices might be too high for fans to buy on secondary market (due to speculation).
2. Song NFTs
It’s an interesting topic that seems to be raising a lot of interest in the space lately. Instead of releasing your song through a web2 streaming platform you can mint it as a NFT and sell it on a NFT marketplace.
Doing this doesn’t mean the artist is giving away their royalties to the buyer. When buying a song NFT you can be buying: royalties, rights to remix, a collectible (think of a vinyl, you own it but don’t own the rights), a ticket (access to a “secret group”), special offers (free/ discounted merch, free/ discount to future concerts, etc.). As always, in this space, the sky is the limit.
Pros: artist decides how much of the royalties they keep, buyers own the song & decide how they want to use it, fans can directly support their favorite artist and can earn on the song if they decide to sell it on secondary market.
Cons: artist has to deal with the distribution of the release, artist is in charge of marketing the song, passive income relies on secondary market sales. TAROT is a good example of an artist launching their career through web3 & song NFTs.
3. Merchandise NFTs
This one is simple and a self-explanatory implementation. The artist releases NFTs (pfp, 1/1 art, unique animation + music combo, photoshoots, teasers of their new projects…) so fans can buy and collect it as they would do with tangible merchandise. NFT merchandise allows to implement secondary value to an artist merch. Hence, creating a deeper connection with their fanbase.
Pros: artist can release NFT merch and give it a second utility (can be a ticket to a concert, VIP experience to the holders, charity fund…), unlike traditional merchandise the artist can get royalties every time it’s sold on secondary market.
Cons: on its’ own it lacks utility but that doesn’t differ from traditional merchandise.
4. NFTs as proof of royalties ownership
There's plenty of reasons why an artist would consider selling part of their royalties to people. In traditional music business this would be a tedious process that would involve a lot of paperwork (and a good lawyer). Selling royalties through NFTs makes the process fast and easy for everyone involved. In this case, artist & music investors each own a NFT that represents the specific % of royalties they own of a certain release. However, artists would be in charge of sending the amount of royalties allocated to each NFT buyer. RLD is working on making this process smooth and provide a good, stress free, experience for both artist & future music investors. Pros: artist decides how many % of their release they want to sell, allows the holder of the NFT to sell their royalties on secondary market making the selling & purchasing of music royalties easier than ever, artists can easily increase the % of royalties they own (by buying from secondary market), gives the artist exposure to the web3 space but it’s not tied to it.
Cons: the holder of the NFT has to remember to claim their royalties before selling the NFT on secondary market, if the artist does this method without a third party they have to remember to periodically send the correct royalty allocation to everyone who bought the NFT.
This has been a brief exploration of some of our favorite NFT uses. It's not, by any means, an exhaustive list on the topic. We'd love to keep the conversation going! How do you think NFTs can benefit the music industry (artists, fans, investors & other professionals) beyond the examples in this article?
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