The music industry has been in decline, revenue wise, since we all became addicted to the internet together. A study by the University of Dakota shows that the music industry has grown from $20 billion in 1999 to $7 billion in 2016 .
And while we won’t lose sleep over record executives not getting paid as much as they used to, the fact is that the entire music ecosystem is suffering. It’s getting harder for artists to sign contracts, venues are closing, and listeners are becoming more fragmented.
Many artists are now looking for new ways to engage with their fans and generate revenue. One promising direction is the use of musical NFTs.
The growth of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter initially fueled the music industry by giving artists a new way to connect with fans and promote their music.
But these platforms have been co-opted by record labels to imprison the artists they trained for success, while stifling the creativity and innovation of independent artists.
The same thing happens with streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. While they’ve made it easier for listeners to find new music, they’ve also created a race to the bottom when it comes to artist compensation.
In contrast, music NFTs offer artists the opportunity to take back control of their careers and connect with their fans in a more direct and intimate way.
Web3’s music boom
The Web3 music marketplace has been around for the past two years. The hype around NFTs and cryptocurrencies raised its market value to $1.2 billion . And while the price is expected to fluctuate, the overall trend is positive.
The possibilities of musical NFTs are endless and almost impossible to cover in one article. But still, here are some examples of what music NFTs can do:
- Allow artists to release new music directly to their fans , without going through a record label or streaming platform.
- Give fans the chance to show their support for the artist by buying virtual items like concert tickets, souvenirs or even betting on the artist’s future success.
- Help artists raise funds for new projects or causes that interest them.
- Create new ways for artists and fans to interact and communicate.
Transforming the music industry with NFT
Funding albums with money from NFT sales. By giving fans ownership of a cut of the album, they helped finance it. Allowing people to express their support in a more tangible way. And this is far from the only potential use case.
Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting projects using music NFTs to transform the music industry.
Audius is a decentralized music streaming platform that allows artists to release their music directly to their fans without going through a record label or streaming platform.
Audius is also working on an NFT marketplace that will allow artists to sell virtual concert tickets, souvenirs, and even share in their future success.
Let’s also show appreciation to the major labels. A joint music project founded by Warner Records and Probably nothing, Probably a Label has worked with some of the biggest acts in the music industry: Green Day, RHCP and Led Zeppelin. The label is likely to use NFT and Blockchain technology to promote and distribute music in an efficient and transparent manner.
NFT Music Build Communities
While social media platforms still provide spaces where fans can gather and communicate, they are still curated, filled with trolls, and ultimately controlled by a central government.
Music NFTs, on the other hand, have the potential to create communities that are more intimate, creative, and rewarding for both artists and fans. Sharing ownership of a song with the fans who helped create it is a much more democratic way of working, and it gives fans a real stake in the artist’s success.
So far, we’ve only seen a glimpse of what’s possible with musical NFTs. But we have a feeling we’ll see it soon.