Music NFTs Explained
A music NFT is a unique digital asset with a musical and visual component. Music NFTs live on the blockchain and can be bought and sold.
NFTs are becoming more and more popular and disrupting a wide array of industries due to their versatility in our digitally-advanced world. NFTs digitize physical assets such as artwork giving people full ownership without intermediaries. Moreover, NFTs are now also used by musicians and artists to get the credit and profit they deserve.
Many experts believe that NFTs would be transformative in shaping the future of music. Songs, albums, music, lyrics, and soundbites can all be NFTs. The first album as an NFT was released by the band Kings of Leon last year. Music NFTs can be in the form of digital art in jpeg or gif formats to create unique pieces of artwork with music incorporated.
What are Music NFTs?
Music NFT is basically an artist’s work of music in the form of an NFT living on a blockchain. It is a certificate that grants owners the right to music clips and videos. Music NFTs can be sold to anyone and their use is at the sole discretion of the owner.
Music NFTs are simply a new business model that enables artists to get paid for their work without the need for any middlemen and connect directly with their fans. Creating music NFTs and publishing songs online are not much different. The main difference is that the song’s data exists on Ethereum instead of a platform like Spotify.
Music NFTs are created by tokenizing your song which is like uploading your song’s audio file to Ethereum. It is you who decides how many copies are for sale and what kind of benefits people can get for owning your song. Once a song is tokenized, you are able to keep track of its price history and everybody that owns it.
The most important thing about music NFTs is that they cut out the middleman and allow you to interact directly with your audience. When creating music NFTs do not underestimate the importance of your song’s visual artwork. Tokenizing audio alone is not enough when making a limited-edition song.
How do Music NFTs Work?
One can find many similarities between existing models for sales and production in the music industry and the principles underlying music NFTs. The musician or band decides the type of content they want to offer their fans. This can range from audio files to concert tickets and special merchandise.
Then, artists have to choose a blockchain network on which they would mint the NFTs. After that, artists must choose a music NFT marketplace to launch their NFTs. After they have identified the desired NFT marketplace or platform, artists can notify their fans about the NFT drops and then put them up for auction at whichever price they choose.
The main advantage of music NFTs is that they cannot be duplicated. So music artists or producers may decide to have a one-off audio file sale. In this case, the highest bidder becomes the owner of the audio file but not of the copyright. They might also decide to make a small number of NFTs from the same audio file and then sell them on a music marketplace.
The fan purchasing a music NFT becomes the owner of a distinctive piece of music by their favorite musician. In addition, fans can also store the music NFTs in crypto wallets and sell them to higher bidders if desired. The musician who created the NFT cannot have the ability to sell a sold music NFT further but can receive royalty payments from resales of the NFTs.
Musicians and NFTs
1. Kings of Leon
The American rock band Kings of Leon was the first to launch their album as an NFT. The album was called “When You See Yourself” and came in the form of a non-fungible token as a part of their “NFT Yourself” series. They offered people art designed by the band’s creative partner Night After Night and developed by YellowHeart. The NFT album cost $50 and came with enhanced media covers, digital downloads, and limited-edition vinyl! Moreover, they minted 18 golden tickets that actually unlock real concert tickets. These tickets guarantee four front-row seats to any Kings of Leon concert during each tour for life with the full VIP experience.
2. Kanye West
Kanye has indirectly kickstarted music NFTs as he did not actually like the whole NFT idea at first. He even claimed that he was not interested in doing an NFT. However, he did go on to drop Donda 2 exclusively on his platform Stem Player. You had to buy a $200 Stem Player to buy the Donda album which also lets you manipulate any song you want.
DJ Justin Blau – aka 3LAU – made a mark in music NFTs history, too. He released the first blockchain-based album Ultraviolet back in 2021 which made around 11.6 million dollars. It featured an auction of 33 NFT-linked vinyl records – definitely a record sale!
Benefits of Music NFTs for Artists
1. Record Label Middlemen are Eliminated
Musicians need to have a record label to produce and release their music to the public. However, labels take a big cut out of the musician’s revenues and the creator only gets a percentage of the return on profit. Musicians are no longer the sole owner of their work as record labels hold all the royalties to the songs of the artist. Music NFTs enable artists to get a 100% return on sales when they decide to sell their work directly in the marketplace without third parties.
2. No Barricades to Entering the NFT Music Scene
Music NFTs allow everyone in the music industry – beat producers, sound engineers, labels and independent artists to showcase their works to more people apart from the usual audience. In addition, it opens the market for more diverse artists to enter.
3. Everyone in the Music Production Gets Credit
Some artists stop pursuing their passion as not everyone in the music industry is credited for their efforts. With music NFTs, songwriters, beatmakers, synthesizers, and more, can finally get the credit they deserve because the data of each song contains every single detail.
4. Attracts People to Explore NFT and Artworks
Artists can serve as the gateway of the NFT marketplace and welcome their fans to dive right in as NFTs are a hard sell for public audiences and people tend to be intimidated by the technical world of crypto. By announcing their merchandise sale, music enthusiasts will have a reason to test the waters of collecting music NFTs.
Music NFTs are one of the revolutionary concepts in the world of music as they provide verifiable proof of ownership of audio files and music videos. In addition, the applications of music NFTs could also include different types of assets involved in sales and production in the music industry.
With music NFTs, artists exercise the rights to ownership and copyright effortlessly. On top of it, music NFTs bring money directly into the hands of artists rather than involving record labels.
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