Posted on May 26, 2021
How Independant & Signed Artists Are Navigating the NFT Wave has been amazing to watch
Many are skeptic.
Some believe in it.
There is the good, the bad, and the ugly in the digital collectible game.
The music industries collision with NFTs has been dizzying to watch we must say.
One minute, Saturday Night Live explains that the digital collectibles in a sketch parodying Eminem’s “Without Me.” The next, Eminem is selling his own NFTs (“non-fungible tokens”), adding hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency to his digital wallet in the process.
- Now every SNL viewer knows what an NFT is.
- NFTs are verifiable digital scarcity… Handy for artists!
- The craze for tokenized digital art is only growing.
When SNL did the skit, NFTs well and truly entered the pantheon of pop culture.
We explained what NFT crazy is all about in this article.
In a nutshell, thx to the Ethereum blockchain (cryptocurrency), which permits the drafting of “smart contracts” – anyone can tokenize their piece of art and make the transaction of it non-fungible.
Some say, If Da Vinci were alive today, he’d no doubt be itching to explore the NFT craze.
This is not just for the new generation of artists, it’s a strange economy, but available for everyone says Chief Operating Officer of MusicPromoToday, Anto Dotcom.
For the music industry, N.F.T. sales are testing the boundaries of intellectual property rights and copyright law.
Some stats say that musicians have earned over $100 million in NFT sales to date, the vast majority of which was made from February 2021 up to now.
It seems that every day a new use case for NFTs is being promoted. When you sell a record as an NFT, to do it safely and legally, you must ask permission from each copyright holder involved and determine royalty splits for the NFT in advance.
To date, almost 60% of music-related NFT sales have been made by independent artists and brands.
Why? Because ndependent artists tend to have less collaborators to settle with and less middlemen to gate-keep their decisions. It may take major label stars more time to catch up to the hype of minting NFTs but the paradigm could stand to flip in the coming months.
It’s like when you buy a CD. You don’t own the intellectual property just by buying, but you own that unique physical copy of the record. It works very similarly with NFTs. You do not possess any of the intellectual property unless the smart contract says so. But that is also a space that’s ever evolving. There are new NFT companies that allow you to safely and quickly transfer the ownership of copyrighted materials too.
Chance The Rapper’s brother, Taylor Bennett recently sold partial rights of their music via NFTs. Fractional ownership poses an awesome source of revenue which may become more common in the near future.
Zola Jesus, the optimist – says: “I find this model has the potential to value fans that have a lot of money”.
The Activist, Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova kicked off a four-part NFT series for Pussy Riot’s “Panic Attack” video. The first NFT alone sold for $187,000, with some of the proceeds going to an unnamed shelter for domestic violence victims in Russia.M
Mick Jenkins says: “I NFT mostly music I wouldn’t otherwise release. But even the ability to incentivize real-life perks with bids on my minted NFTs really changes the game, as far as possibilities to interact with fans.”
New Orleans rapper Curren$y celebrated 4/20 with his inaugural NFT collection. A digital manifestation of low-rider cars and exclusive access to his new EP – apparently made about $150000.
Will artists try to bypass the swathe of label, distributor and publisher rights or cooperate or will labels create new protocols to make more sense of the NFT space to allow artists legally mint them with security? Recognizing the scale of the shift in artist revenue generation and new technologies such as virtual events, blockchain and many more, live music continues to face an uncertain future, the potential of NFTs to supplement income holds huge appeal.
“The technology is in its very early stages, but the potential is here. We simply have to adopt this and also help it improve” – stated CEO of MPT Agency, Raffi Keuhnelian.
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