By now, you’ve probably heard about the buy-in and selling of NFTs and, if you have, you’re probably wondering what the heck it is, how it works, and why performing artists are releasing and promoting their new music, artwork, and memes as NFTs. Well, we’re going break it down and explain how you may be able to join this growing movement that could possibly change the music industry forever.
WHAT IS AN NFT?
NFT stands for non-fungible token. This means it is a “thing” that is “one of a kind”, or “very rare” like a collectable, rare baseball card. This is important. Right now the “thing” itself is usually a digital work of visual art (a meme, a short .gif file, a drawing) or a song/music video.
But it doesn’t require a physical reality. Unlike a vinyl album or a painting in a frame, NFTs exist as a bit of computer code and is part of a decentralized database called a blockchain. This is based on the way cryptocurrency is used and traded, so if bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, an NFT can be seen as type of crypto-art.
WHY DO PEOPLE CARE?
People care for two reasons:
- People are making a lot of money selling NFTS.
- The decentralization can help artists make more money than the centralized music industry (Spotify, major labels) is allowing.
In the last few months, the producer 3LAU sold NFT versions of his new album for $11.6 billion in 24 hours. Grimes soon after sold her digital visual art for $5.8 million in 20 minutes. That turned a lot of heads.
Now everyone from Kings of Leon to your local soundcloud rapper is putting their time and effort into NFTs, because the return on your investment is way more than the $0.0054 per stream on Spotify.
It has the potential to create new revenue streams in a decentralized system that isn’t beholden to gatekeepers, corporate tastemakers, or ad-revenue driven algorithms.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
One of my musical comrades is already in the game, and his music is available to purchase as NFTs on the website www.opensea.io/ . They just had a huge fundraising round in March and are probably the most well known NFT marketplace at this early stage in the game.
The idea is to eventually launch an overarching cryptocurrency just for musical NFTs, called $audio. An artist can sell NFTs on a platform like Open Sea, receive $audio and sell those for USD or Euro, etc. As of right now its still in beta testing, on a blockchain called Ethereum. So, for now, when you sell an NFT on Open Sea you are paid in Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, which are called ETH.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Collection: Your art! (music, video, or digital image, or all of these)
- An Open Sea account, easily created at their website
- Some currency invested in ETH to pay gas fees (the equivalent of a delivery tax)
- Crypto wallet (app or physical device to store cryptocurrency), Open Sea suggests using Google Chrome to download MetaMask wallet extension
- Wallet address (unique code that acts as your wallet’s IP)
- Seed phrase (like a backup password if you lose access or forget your password)
There is a lot that we’ll learn about NFTs and their longevity this year, but it’s worth it to be in when it potentially becomes the biggest change in the music industry since the days of Napster and peer-to-peer file sharing led to a sea change.
Once again, the times they are-a-changin’. The power is poised to be returned to creators, cutting out significant middle-men, and decentralizing they industry into a possible utopia of music, art, and economic prosperity.
If it continues to help the artist as it grows will depend on how many makers and musicians seize this opportunity to deliver their work directly to those who want to treat it like the rare collectible it is.
Navigating the ever-changing world of music promotion is complicated, and we believe that good music deserves to be heard. Even great artists need help putting themsleves out there, and Planetary Group wants to help musicians get the recognition they deserve – wether it be through radio promotion, social media, or through the burgeoning new world of NFTs. For more info, give us a call at (323) 952-5050, or drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org