“Do you hear the people sing?”
So begins the well-known song from the musical ‘Les Miserable,’ about the people's struggle against an unfair economic system.
In 2023, in Web3 land, the people are again singing revolutionary songs. Songs of reorganization in creative industries, and greater opportunities for creators and their fans.
The global Music NFT market is projected to US$7.6 billion by 2028.
- 'Global NFT Market Report 2022-2030'
Music is at the forefront of this change. The global Music NFT market is projected to grow from US$1.7 billion in 2021 to US$7.6 billion by 2028. There is no shortage of players hoping to make their mark in Web3 music.
So no heads rolling this time, though. Just some pretty seismic technological transformations.
“The internet as we know it is changing forever,” writes internationally renowned futurist and strategic technology advisor Bernard Marr. “New web3 tools and platforms are arising that… will alter creative industries forever.”
“Music,” he continues, “is one creative industry that’s already being disrupted by metaverse and web3 technologies.”
How Music NFTs are changing the game
The music industry is “notoriously centralized,” according to Jonathan DeYoung at Cointelegraph. “Major record labels often [control] nearly every facet of an artist’s career - from which songs they are allowed to release to what percentage of the royalties they keep and more.”
The music industry is “notoriously centralized. Major record labels control nearly every facet of an artist’s career.”
Enter music NFT marketplaces. Based on the idea of empowering musicians to take control of their own music distribution, these innovative platforms also leverage blockchain technology to offer fans a variety of new ways to engage with their idols.
What are the benefits of Music NFTs?
More than just downloadable music files, NFTs can be associated with all kinds of other content and functions. So far, this has included:
- Digital Art: Album covers, posters, and behind-the-scenes photos can be inserted into the NFT package. Artists can include their signature to transform images into digital memorabilia.
- Tickets: NFTs can serve as tickets to events, including concerts or fan experiences. They can even serve as membership cards to fan clubs for the artist.
- Video: Fans love to see footage from the concerts, recording sessions or moments backstage. Artists can even record personalized messages that go directly to their NFT-holder fans.
- Participation and interaction: NFTs can grant access to special functions, like live chat with the artist, or even contributions to their creative process.
- Royalties: By purchasing an NFT, fans can also purchase a fraction of the rights to the song they buy, making them a mini-investor in the artist’s work.
2023 looks to be the year that NFT Music finds its groove. Here are just a few of the many NFT music marketplaces singing the songs of revolution in the music industry this year.
Having spent 2022 in closed beta, music NFT marketplace Sound announced last month that it was opening up its platform for anybody to distribute their music, for whatever price they liked. This coincided with the announcement of a further $20 million in funding for the platform, including from Snoop Dogg and Ryan Tedder.
Artists retain 100% ownership over their music on the platform, where tracks are minted as NFTs on Ethereum. You don’t need the NFT to listen to a track - that much is free. But purchasing the token will be akin to fans adding to their collections, and can unlock perks and bonuses, as well.
Speaking to Decrypt about the value of music collections, co-founder David Greenstein explained that the new platform wasn’t “inventing behavior that didn’t already exist… just trying to bring it online.”
In its year-long closed beta, Sound paid out $5.5 million to 500 artists - quickly, efficiently, with every transaction logged automatically on-chain. Payments can also be automatically split between groups of creators, according to how the NFTs are programmed.
Sound’s public launch was quickly followed by an announcement from one of the most influential web2 music distribution platforms, Beatport. The haven for electronic music has just launched its web3 iteration, Beatport.io.
Beatport aims to create “cultural artefacts driven by the music creators"
The platform aims not only to distribute electronic music using NFTs, but also to promote music culture through multimedia artistic collaborations. ‘NACHTS’ is an NFT collection inspired by Berlin’s techno scene, launching alongside the new website. This multi-modal approach, called “Music+” on Beatport, aims to create “cultural artefacts driven by the music creators," according to SVP Ed Hill.
TokenTraxx’s innovative, artist-driven platform has been covered on the blog before. They don’t only provide a marketplace for artists to sell their music, they also double as a talent management consultancy. That means incubating up-and-coming independent artists with mentoring and Web3-based promotional campaigns.
“It’s about working with creative people who come up with different concepts,” project founder Tommy Danver told me. “Anyone who's been [investigating] interesting or novel methods of [fan] interaction or engagement. Everything that we’ve done with token contracts has had a different angle to it.”
“We have an ‘artist passport’ concept. You get the passport and every time you do something [on the marketplace related to that artist] you get a stamp in your passport. That passport is giving out bonuses and rewards.”
Similar to Royal, anotherblock focuses on song royalties - that is, what artists earn each time their song is streamed, resold, or used in other media. On anotherblock, fans don’t just buy a copy of the track, they also buy a share of the royalties, effectively becoming investors who receive a share of the artist’s success.
Such royalty shares can be subsequently resold between fans, generating further revenue for the artist in the process. One recent high-profile example of this was the sale of a share of the royalties for the Rihanna hit ‘BBHMM’ by its producer, Jamil Pierre, for $63,000.
How to make an NFT Music Marketplace
Creating your own NFT was once a complicated process. But technology is improving rapidly. Now, with the right tools, any business can mint their own NFT collection, without needing to hire an expensive blockchain developer.
The same is true of NFT marketplaces. New ones are springing up all the time across industries. If you’re just looking for a place to sell your NFTs, you can save time by using an already-established platform. But, if you’re wanting to create your own custom marketplace, perfectly suited to you and your brand, that’s possible, as well.
TokenTraxx’s marketplace and wallet services were built using Venly’s own user-friendly tools, in weeks, not months, and for a fraction of the cost of trying to hire a blockchain developer to do it for you.
There’s nothing stopping the next generation of musicians, creators and producers from jumping on board. Join the revolution today!
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