Bringing the power back to the artist with Music NFTs
Music NFTs are allowing artists to take back control of their music. In the music industry, there is an extreme lack of expedited royalties on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. It takes 128 streams for an artist to make just $1 on Apple Music and 250 streams for an artist to make $1 on Spotify. In addition, artists that are signed to a major record label usually don’t even get the full $1. This is a problem and music NFTs could be the solution.
With music NFTs, artists can put a price on their music and receive 100% of their royalties. Also, supporters will have more opportunities to connect directly with creators. Fans can collect digitally tokenized records and can own an artists’ music directly. Superfans could also be community managers and even make money from their favorite artist by having ownership of the original copy. Through NFTs, artists and supporters will be making most of their
money through secondary sales. A secondary sale is when a supporter sells their NFT to a third party and effectively gets the artist and the supporter paid through the blockchain system.
A big concern that reluctant supporters have asked about the music NFT space is why would people want to buy a song on the blockchain that they could stream for free on Spotify or Apple Music? Currently, almost all music is free to listen to, but NFTs make music valuable to own. Fans and supporters will now have the opportunity to have a deeper relationship with songs. Right now, fans are able to like a track and maybe add it to their playlist. Even giving a song hundreds of streams will only put fractions of cents in that artist’s pocket. However, with NFTs, fans are able to benefit from and also directly impact and support that song’s success.
From an artist’s viewpoint, this is a very exciting opportunity. NFTs give artists the chance to engage with their top supporters and get honest feedback from the people that are buying their music. In the past, it was difficult to decipher real, honest feedback because many of the people commenting on Instagram and social media platforms are haters or they simply do not care if the artists succeeds because the supporters are not benefitting from it. With NFTs, artists do not have to operate on their own anymore. Artists can receive feedback directly and implement those ideas and suggestions to become more successful. It is in the artists best
interests to implement this feedback because, after all, these are the people who are directly putting money in their pocket.
The NFT space is where independent artists will flourish. Since the beginning of time,record labels have been the main way for artists to gain exposure and get in front of the mainstream music audience. Gaining exposure and fame would help artists make money. With NFTs, the record label is cut out and money is going directly from the supporter to the artist. Instead of an artist making cents off an incredible record, they can name their price on how much they think their record is worth. Now, artists do not even need fame or grand exposure to make millions. For example, RIC, a NFT musician, has accumulated the equivalent revenue of 10 million Spotfiy streams through just 100 NFT supporters. An important fact to note is that many big artists have already started releasing their music as NFTs. Snoop Dogg, Nas, and Diplo are only a couple names that have left an
impression on the NFT space. Some examples of artists making big money off of NFT songs include Felly who made about $6,000 after releasing his hit single “So You Fell in Love” on Catalog and Healy who made about $5,000 after releasing his single “$150 / roll widdit.” There is definitely money to be made for artists in this new NFT space.
As a professional recording artist, this is significant to me because I have released my music on Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, etc. and have seen almost no direct royalties from
hundreds of streams. I am not yet the biggest artist in the world, nor do I have the constant exposure that these artists have, but I know my music has value to people. I desire to feel that
value reciprocated through royalties and monetary value. I’m excited to see what this new space can do for me and other creators looking to have their voices heard.
Written by Kadari Machen
Student of the WUTW Web3 & NFT Accelerator Program 2022