WTF Happened this Weekend?
This past Sunday, web3 music had a ton of eyes and discourse on the space, largely sparked by one of CT’s biggest names, Cobie:
No one knows who or what sparked Cobie's tweet. But it brought a flurry of attention to music NFTs, which have, up until now, been a very niche market within NFTs; mostly filled with ‘Music NFT’ & ‘GM’ tweets:
What most people don’t know about is the thriving ecosystem going on under the surface, with new/existing projects, artists, collectors, and founders making progress every day.
Cooopahtroopa has curated a visual of these projects, and people, that shows how many individuals are passionate about and devoting their time to evolving the music industry for all those involved. Two of the biggest projects in web3 music are Royal and sound.xyz, both of which are trying to change the landscape in different ways:
Royal is giving fans, or more broadly, non-VC/record labels, the ability to invest in music as an asset class for the first time, by allowing people that purchase an artist’s NFT access to the streaming royalties of that song/album. You can read a bit more about this in a thread I wrote here.
While the concept is great, there is still a long way to go to convince everyday people to spend anywhere from $25-1000 to support an artist, when consumers have grown used to paying Spotify $5/month to listen to all the music in the world. This can be exemplified by the royalty payout yours truly just received from VÉRITÉ’s drop on Royal:
Obviously $0.78 probably isn’t going to move the needle for most people. While fans who love VÉRITÉ’s music are happy to be able to directly support an artist they love. But there needs to be more strongly-aligned incentives from a financial and social status perspective to get the “normies” to buy into music NFTs. In the current NFT climate, most people’s mindset is that if they can’t make money from it or "flex" on Instagram/Twitter, who cares?
I’ve been continually impressed with Sound.xyz pushing out new features on their platform, whether it’s the music player on the site or incorporating the 0xSplits protocol into artist drops, and more. As a collector, I’ve enjoyed going to the Collectors page to see where I sit on the collector leaderboard. I’m not in this space as a collector to be atop a leaderboard (I want to support artists pushing web3 music tech as much as I can), but I can feel the appeal of seeing myself climbing up charts, and I think that is something music NFTs as a whole will have to tap into big time:
At the end of the day, Sound relies heavily on the patronage of those that collect an artist’s music NFT(s), which a large majority of people don’t have the means or desire to do. Artists are building and experimenting with incentives such as token-gated access to merch, exclusive shows and personal meet-ups in order to bridge the gap between the desires of the musician and fan/collector.
A Healthy Dose of Skepticism
Spencer Noon sparked a lot of this debate with the below thread:
Cobie lays out a series of arguments that question if music NFTs really bring new forms of monetization for artists and benefits for fans.
David Greenstein, the Sound co-founder, gives the most compelling case for their utility:
Another prominent CT figure, GCR, presented what I see as one of the biggest hills to climb for the near future for web3 music:
Similar to the path of Punks, BAYC, and other prominent PFP (profile picture) NFTs, when the biggest music NFT collectors have pieces valued at 5 to 6 figures, web3 music will be here to stay. Who will become the next DCinvestor or punk6529 for music?
…And Some Hopium
So while there’s still much to be done in the space, there’s a growing pack of builders, creators, and collectors coming to make music, one of the biggest industries in the world, one of the prominent pieces of the crypto ecosystem.
Two Worlds Collide
So the next question to bring music NFTs further into the light is: wen debate? Looks like soon.
Please feel free to follow the original author, @0xZAO, on Twitter.
Music NFTs GMI 🎧