If you’re an artist and are considering creating NFTs, this post will answer some of your questions. You can benefit from music NFTs whether you’re fully independent or part of a label.
Ask anybody in the music world what it takes to be an artist, and they’ll probably say “great work ethic” over “great talent”. It’s not an easy task to maintain artistic integrity, produce entertaining content, connect with your fans on a more personal level, and make enough money to not worry about next month’s rent.
For some, having the support of a label can help make this career easier. For others, being independent is the best path, and getting into music NFTs may be a great way to start.
Before we dive deeper into the how’s and what’s, we must make a disclaimer that music NFT are not a universal solution to all your artistic problems. They can, however, provide an interesting, far different route when it comes to your art and exposure.
“This exciting technology is already providing new ways to engage with fans, unlocking user customisations, choices, and incentives for fan communities to interact with creators, brands, and influencers.”
And while it’s important to keep your current fanbase interested and engaged, it’s equally as essential to bring in new audiences. Music is a brutally competitive space, and things are only getting tougher for unestablished artists.
Music NFTs can help bring new fans because it gives the artist another outlet for creating exclusive content “in a more artistic fashion”.
A primary advantage of NFTs is control, especially when it comes to music distribution and traceability of royalty payments. Josh Katz, founder and CEO of YellowHeart, once said that streaming’s subscription-based pro-rata model irreparably hurts artists, and NFTs will make modern fans want to own music again.
Much like playing a song in a commercial, or getting Spotify to tally the total number of streams for each of an artist’s songs, NFTs can be designed to work under a similar “ongoing royalty” scheme. The creators receive a cryptocurrency fee every time the NFT changes hands or alternatively each buyer can also share a percentage of all digital royalty streams generated.
NFT data is data is permanent — they use blockchain tech to record the ownership of a particular piece of music and records the required splits on royalty payments at the time of NFT creation.
“Artists who use NFTs when publishing their music will enjoy a bigger fraction of the benefits. They will be able to control and trace the NFT royalties as they come […] Another advantage with NFTs in music is that even fans can buy a share in royalties. By buying a fraction of the NFTs, a fan will own a fraction of the income. The advantages of NFTs in music are still being explored. However, this new system will truly revolutionise music.”
As important as it is to note the innovation of the digital one-stop-music-NFT-shop that is Soundpickr, it’s just as important to understand why its mother platform is such a big deal.
Solana is a blockchain platform specifically designed to host decentralised applications (similar to Ethereum and Cardano), and it is currently one of the fastest programmable blockchains in the cryptocurrency space.
What sets it aside is innovation.
To create a decentralised, permissionless network that matches the performance of a single node, the Solana team developed 8 key technologies (more on this on another post).
This programmable blockchain has the ability to store tiny pieces of code known as smart contracts and they can be programmed to execute certain actions when the conditions of the contract are met. Also, with certain shortcomings that Ethereum network has including scalability and high fees, Solana has emerged out to be one of the best cryptocurrencies to rely on.
Not to mention that Solana is by far the most “green” of the major blockchains, particularly because its lower gas fees not only benefit artists and everyday users, but also contribute to lower environmental impact.
The world is digitising at a fast rate. Music NFTs may still be in the midst of a prototypic stage, but it can become the next way of empowering artists.
Though not the only solution, music NFTs may finally offer a way forward and away from the existing industrial business model.