Are NFTs the Future of Music?
As we all know by now, the NFT boom is far from a fad, or a get rich quick scheme. NFTs are here to stay. The NFT explosion is sending ripples through the art industry, as well as revolutionizing the sports world with NFT memorabilia.
Music is the next logical step, and a variety of artists have already begun marketing their own NFTs. Kings of Leon have already released an album as an NFT - the Non Fungible Tokens for album ‘When You See Yourself’ gave collectors access to exclusive vinyl, early concert tickets and much more. KOL generated over $2 Million in sales through six NFT auctions. Elon Musk’s babysitterI mean wife, Grimes has also made some serious cash through selling original artwork and music - $7 million! Not to mention many other artists have piled on - Eminem, RAC and Steve Aoki have all made millions of dollars.
The music industry is crying out for something new - CD sales have been through the floor for years now and not everyone has the time or space for a vinyl collection, something new needs to emerge. Many artists have expressed their distaste at the terrible revenue share they get from Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Nadine Shah, who’s album ‘Kitchen Sink’ was recognised as one of BBC 6 Music’s top albums of the year (2020) said that she had no choice but to move back to her parents because of the terrible income generated through streaming.
This is where NFTs come in, if artists can generate a liveable income through selling exclusive art and music, then the blockchain can help independent artists make a living. Especially throughout the last year, when Covid has shut every live music venue up and down the country. Lots of indie artists make the majority of their income through touring - which has been impossible for the last eighteen months. Selling NFTs allows artists to bypass their label and the red tape and the multitude of rights and fees that they incur.
There are huge opportunities here for artists at all levels - of course, not every band or songwriter can command the sort of pricetag that Grimes or KOL can, but NFTs are the future for artists supporting themselves. The NFT market is huge and untapped - the potential is sky high, you can mint anything as an NFT. Songs, exclusive artwork, early access to music, the sky's the limit.
Kings of Leon and Muse’s Matt Bellamy seem to have the formula right - offering NFTs that have a real world use, like ticket access or exclusive merch gives NFT music fans a chance to get in at the ground floor with exclusives, whilst maintaining streaming and physical sales for non crypto fans.