The NFT era has gained significant popularity in the past years, particularly compared to its early stages. NFTs have existed since 2014 but achieved widespread recognition in 2017 with Ethereum’s ‘Cryptokitties’ NFT. However, it wasn’t until around 2021, with NFT projects gaining momentum, such as Beeple’s $69 million NFT auction piece, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Crypto Punk, that people realized there was more to NFTs than just cartoon images and JPEGs. Since then, we’ve seen multiple forms of NFTs surface, and music NFT is one of them.
Music NFTs represent a revolutionary way of storing and owning music through blockchain technology. Unlike traditional music distribution methods, these Non-Fungible Tokens provide artists with direct digital ownership of their work. This concept extends to various forms of musical creations, including singles, EPs, albums, and more. This article covers all there is to know about music NFTs and how they work.
What is an NFT?
An NFT (non-fungible token) is a unique and immutable digital item tokenized on a blockchain. A wide range of assets can be converted into NFTs, from a photo with your favorite celebrity to your cat’s picture, or even music tracks and videos.
NFTs are unique, certifying ownership and authenticity of a digital asset due to their immutability and blockchain recording. Each NFT is distinct, varying in metadata details that ensure their uniqueness.
Once they are tokenized and listed on the blockchain, NFTs can be traded for cryptocurrencies or even fiat currency in some cases and exchanged for other NFTs on dedicated exchanges.
What Are Music NFTs?
A music NFT is a specific type of non-fungible token linked to music-related content. These tokens can encompass a wide range, from an artist’s songs or albums to exclusive experiences such as live concerts or virtual meet-and-greets. Each NFT is a unique form of digital art, minted on a blockchain, capturing the essence of a musical piece or experience in a secure, digital format.
For artists, music NFTs present a novel opportunity to document their creative output and earn revenue. Fans benefit too, as purchasing these NFTs not only supports their favorite artists but may also provide perks like access to exclusive content or discounts on future events. It’s crucial to understand, though, that owning a music NFT does not grant copyright of the music itself; rather, it signifies a special digital connection to the artist’s work.
Why Music NFTs?
A common question arises: “Why should I buy music NFTs instead of just streaming or downloading music online?” The key lies in the concept of digital ownership. When you use a music streaming app, regardless of whether it’s a paid or free service, you don’t actually own the music; you’re simply licensed to stream and play it. Music NFTs, on the other hand, offer a form of digital ownership that is more engaging for fans, promoting a deeper connection with the artist.
Purchasing music NFT illustrates a unique form of shared ownership between you and the artist. Notably, artists often receive significantly higher royalties from these sales compared to traditional streaming platforms. This is especially beneficial for upcoming artists, who can now rely on a dedicated fan base rather than needing a vast following to start earning from their music.
For fans, investing in music NFTs isn’t just about supporting their favorite artists; it also opens doors to exclusive experiences, such as special concerts and fan contests. This dynamic creates a rewarding ecosystem where artists can thrive creatively and financially, while fans enjoy a closer, more interactive relationship with the music they love.
Types of Music NFTs?
Music-only NFTs are music singles or audio files created as an NFT by an artist. These NFTs have no visual component to them; it’s just like streaming music online, with no video, only sounds.
Music and Visuals NFTs
Music and visuals NFTs include both audio and video components. It’s like a cassette disk with music, 3D-dimensional objects, live and audio animation. The visuals accompany the sounds from the music.
Music and Community NFTs
The blockchain space is community-driven, focused on the benefit and good of community members. Music artists, such as Snoop Dogg, who turned his music into NFTs, can reward his fans by giving these NFT holders exclusive lifetime access to all his concerts and events.
Music NFTs Marketplaces
NFTs are slowly gaining popularity; however, Music NFTs are new and still gaining ground, resulting in a few dedicated Music NFT marketplaces. Music NFTs can also be traded on common NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, Blur, LookRare, and others. Here are some dedicated music NFT marketplaces:
Catalog is both a streaming service and an NFT marketplace. It is a primary Music NFT marketplace, known for its unique offerings and high rarity value. Most music on Catalog consists of single tracks, and with its open-source music library, artists can record their music, allowing fans to purchase it either by making an offer or at the buy-now price.
Mint Songs are the best music NFT platform for artists, especially upcoming artists. Built on the Polygon blockchain, the platform shows its dedication and support to artists and creators with its low transaction fees, making it easily accessible to all.
Royal NFT Marketplace
Royal is a high-class NFT marketplace for top producers/DJs. It gives its NFT holders access and rights to songs sold on the platform. This means that Royal NFT holders receive a portion of royalties made from each music streamed across all streaming platforms (iTunes, Spotify, etc.). Royal NFTs can be bought using crypto or fiat from credit cards.
Sound.xyz is both a streaming and minting music platform. Here fans get to attend a listening party launched by the artist for new releases. Sound.xyz unlike catalog isn’t limited to single tracks but full song releases and projects.
Why Create Music NFTs as an Artist or Creator?
NFT season came and we saw people make millions of dollars from jpegs of cats and monkeys whose value is intrinsic. Now imagine music, a creative art loved by all, turned into an NFT with thousands of fans being able to access and support their favorite artists by purchasing and holding their NFTs as loyalty badges. This is a new twist for artists and creators in turn as they get rewarded for their every feat.
Why Buy Music NFTs as a Fan?
Music is soothing to the soul. And as fans, we love artists that create music that resonates with us. We love to attend their concerts, shows, events, and meet-and-greets. So, with music NFTs, you move from being just a random audio fan to a loyal fan. Also, you get to share the rights to your favorite music tracks with the artists. Not to mention, you get exclusive access to all concerts, events, and shows hosted by the artists.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Music NFTs
Music NFTs offer benefits to artists, creators, and fans alike, while also presenting certain drawbacks. Some advantages include:
- Full Ownership Rights: Artists receive complete control over the rights to their music and digital content.
- Increased Income: NFTs provide artists with a higher revenue potential compared to traditional streaming platforms.
- Immortalization: NFTs enable artists to permanently preserve their music and digital artwork.
- Ownership Opportunity: Fans can own unique pieces from their favorite artists.
- Community Building: NFTs foster a community of dedicated supporters, enhancing fan interaction.
Future of Music NFTs: Will They Fizzle Out or Stay?
Imagine a world where every piece of music you love is preserved forever, each note and melody accessible for generations. This isn’t just a fantasy; it’s a potential reality with Music NFTs. By leveraging the blockchain’s immutability and extensive storage, Music NFTs could act as enduring archives for treasured musical pieces and memories. While the initial surge in NFT popularity, particularly in music, might have slowed, this technology is still in its early stages. There’s significant room for innovation and growth in the world of NFTs and Music NFTs, indicating a promising future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do Music NFTs contribute to an artist’s income compared to traditional streaming platforms?
Music NFTs offer a significant advantage for artists in terms of income potential. Artists receive a higher percentage of earnings from the sale of NFTs compared to the royalties paid by streaming platforms. This model empowers artists, especially newcomers, to monetize their work more effectively and build their careers without the need for a massive following.
Can Music NFTs also include live performances or virtual events?
Music NFTs can encompass a variety of music-related content, including live concert events and virtual meet-and-greet sessions with artists. These unique experiences provide fans with additional value and a closer connection to their favorite artists.
Can I buy Music NFTs with fiat currency?
Some platforms like Royal NFT Marketplace allow purchases with crypto or fiat from credit cards. This is still a relatively new introduction to the space.
What is the difference between streaming/downloading music and owning a Music NFT?
Streaming or downloading music only provides the right to play the music, not ownership. Music NFTs, on the other hand, transfer ownership, allowing fans to share ownership with the artist and access additional benefits.
Where can I buy Music NFTs?
Music NFTs can be purchased on both general NFT marketplaces (OpenSea, Blur, LookRare) and specialized music NFT platforms like Catalog, Mint Songs, Royal NFT, and Sound.xyz.
How did NFTs become popular?
NFTs have been around since 2014 but gained significant popularity around 2017 with Ethereum’s “Cryptokitties.” The real momentum, however, came around 2021 with high-profile projects like Beeple’s $69 million auction, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Crypto Punk.