The music industry has changed a lot in recent years. We’ve seen how the birth of the web left its mark on music, and most importantly, 1999 marked the arrival of Napster. The revolutionary peer-to-peer streaming service then defined an entire generation and enabled musicians to share their creations with the world.
Streaming has become the dominant format for music these days, thanks to Apple, Amazon, Tencent Music and the winner in the clear category – Spotify. The goal of distribution services and platforms like Spotify is to enable and empower artists to create more without worrying about anything other than improving their skills.
But that’s only on paper – does reality reflect this utopian ideal? Little.
Sure, the transformation of music over the decades is evident, but it seems that someone has left it behind. And the saddest part is that the ones who stay behind are the artists who get the creeps, move our limbs and put a smile on our lips.
The economics of streaming are tough. Platforms like Spotify work according to a business model in which the platform operator makes the cut for each stream. That makes sense as Spotify has better distribution than nothing, but there is still one big problem. Ultimately, around 70% ends up with music copyright owners, and the discovery tends to put lesser-known artists at a disadvantage over well-known names. The result is a first-class sales channel from which established musicians benefit.
It was no news yesterday that music is still a pretty dark and damp place for most artists who try to make bread by being creative and doing the above. The industry is still grappling with revenue-limiting middlemen trying to lay off the people who matter most. If you’re not like the Taylor Swifts, Billie Eilish, and Justin Biebers of the world, you may be struggling to make ends meet. And even if you are like them, you may not be due.
On the positive side … change is coming. No, scratch that – change Here.
Open a new era of music
Unusable tokens (NFTs) and the technology behind them introduce an entirely new ball game and level playing field that empowers and empowers artists. NFT unlocks value by making digital scarcity real and guaranteed. At the same time, they enable musicians, designers and everyone in between to do sports steering in their work and make them effective delivery masters.
Related: NFTs are a game changer for independent artists and musicians
Do you remember the first NFT you bought? And do you also remember the feeling after the purchase? Feels pretty remarkable, doesn’t it? That’s the other thing about digital collections – owning them, stacking them, just being in love.
Now imagine if you could support your favorite artist and enjoy their latest strike straight from them. and get the “NFT kick” too. Suppose you want to go to a festival with all of your favorite DJs – wouldn’t it be an absolute pleasure to get tickets straight from the source? And how about receiving a unique, individual and unique certificate of attendance with your very own name? Now let’s talk.
Okay, that’s great and it’s going to be popular soon, but what’s the problem with streaming platforms like Spotify? Great question. Definitely mean well (at least we hope) and moved the needle in the right direction. But that’s not enough in a world full of random numbers and standardized screens.
Reintroduce scarcity and make music unique again
Digital scarcity is necessary to create unique user experiences and enable fans to build lasting and deeper connections with their favorite artists.
It looks like there’s nothing really unique about music on Spotify – tracks aren’t available in limited editions, music connoisseurs can’t get their hands on rare album releases, and Spotify lacks a tight system. Think about it – if you’re a huge fan of Canadian DJ and producer Deadmau5, you probably want to own number 1 on a particular song or album. Or then a # 10 or # 50 release – something of higher intrinsic value that shows your love for a particular artist. Why doesn’t it exist?
Such a “tiered” music release system would certainly benefit the artist as limited and early releases mean higher value. At the same time, it allows fans to grow with the artist. Take the number 1 of the Deadmau5 track you own as an example. When a song hits the top 10 every week, others will see your name next to it – so fans can get a piece of the “fame” cake.
At some point and for whatever reason, it may make sense for a fan to sell NFT’s # 1. Would you like to guess who is getting this sale discount? Right – artist.
Related: Celebrities are strongly adopting NFT
One-on-one interactions, massive fan engagement, increased sense of belonging and deeper connectedness – these are one or rather three reasons why NFTs is on the way to fair play at the next Spotify shareholders meeting. What else? Empowering and empowering artists and getting them back into the driver’s seat.
New era of creative industries
See, music streaming platforms have robbed musicians of their value by standardizing everything, and the value of digitization over the past few decades has largely created an environment of limited control. With NFTs, control is back – you can program, track and do whatever you want with your music when the world’s first release takes it.
Oh, and now you can also give your fans a piece of the pie by introducing other creative aspects like revenue sharing. The more popular the artist, the happier the fans – everyone wins. Combine that with the ideas outlined above and we have a recipe for success. Who would have thought that was possible?
Related: Bull or bear market, creators are diving headlong into crypto
We are entering a new era in the creative industries and NFT is the next logical step in empowering and empowering artists. It is time to reintroduce scarcity to an industry based on originality and free up the driver’s seat to the people best placed to take to the streets.
Spotify aside NFT is coming soon.
Joan Westenberg is a Net 3 Author, Angel Investor, and Creative Director. She founded a tech PR and media company called Studio Self and is part of the MODA DAO team. Her writing has been published in The SF Chronicle, Wired, The AFR, The Observer, ABC, Junkee, SBS, Crikey and more than 40 publications, and NFT.