The Future Of Music NFTs: Are They An Artist’s Savior?

Blockchain, News, Opinion | June 28, 2021 By:

Technology can both transcend and deteriorate the music industry. Consumers are quick to pay for video games, merchandise, and other goods, but gone are the days of buying records and CDs as people often opt for pirating music, harming artists in the process. According to a 2021 Piracy Survey, more than a third of music consumers admitted to pirating music. Even listening to music through paid streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music can harm artists and musicians as it was found that Spotify pays $.003 per stream. 

How NFTs are helping artists in the music industry 

Right now, NFTs are in a unique position to change the way we listen to music, as it is a soft entry point to the blockchain ecosystem and is the first time the music industry has interacted with blockchain on a commercially successful level. With music becoming a digital asset, creators and artists will now be able to interact sonically with blockchain as a new medium of expression, connection, and distribution. NFTs have provided a simpler layer to monetize music to fans in an ongoing, fair, and transparent fashion outside of the broken major label and DSP models. 

With artists like Grimes, RAC, Mike Shinoda, Monstercat, Kölsch, and many more selling their creative art through NFTs, they are giving access to an exclusive micro-community in the music industry. Building these communities will pave the way for mainstream adoption of blockchain and crypto usage in the upcoming future as we will most likely see NFTs being utilized towards ticketing, fractional ownership of music videos, cross-platform virtual merchandise, stems for producers, charitable initiatives, multi-collaborative sonic experiences, and AR/VR pairing as avatars are being released as NFTs. This will all be based on a model of scarcity, proof of ownership, and exclusivity that will bring back the collector mentality like that of the vinyl market, albeit for a predominantly younger demographic. 

Looking towards the future 

It is the early days in terms of the possibilities of artistic expression with a lot of key players yet to enter the space. Fractional ownership of NFTs will pave the way to expose music copyright revenue from both fan and institutional levels, which brings with it a new form of connection and

conversation between artists and their supporters by allowing them to participate in the music’s success, much like that of the stock market. This will in turn beg the question of what type of music and genres will be more attractive to investors and how fast those artists will react to the potentials of the NFT space. We’ll also most likely be seeing music videos released in sections as NFTs as well as exclusive tour content, ticketing, and cross-platform NFT merchandise stores existing in heavily populated virtual worlds and Metaverse platforms. 

What if the hype dies down? 

As a tool, once the current hype has died down, we’ll be left with a very solid community and platform of expression that will be normalized in tandem with the integration of Web 3.0. Digital assets have long been available in the video games industry, so it was inevitable the music industry would enter the space and likely was sped up by the current pandemic forcing artists to be more conceptual and creative than ever before. 

NFTs are the artist and fan’s savior 

Beyond the hype of million-dollar sales, it is important to acknowledge that NFTs are providing a support system for art that benefits both artists and consumers/fans by building community and allowing for undiscovered artists to showcase their talents to a wider platform. While the technical innovation is very impressive, we must not forget it is all based on the human instinct to listen, move, enjoy and connect.