You’ve most likely heard the stories… NFTs selling for MILLIONS of dollars!
Well, it seems that some musicians/artists have started to explore the music NFT marketplace and are having some success with it!
Of course, we’re mostly talking about popular musicians/artists…
However, I personally believe that the concept of NFTs is just as valuable to the independent artist.
That’s why I’ll be showing you to release your music as NFTs and explaining to you why I personally believe it’s better than music streaming and even traditional music licensing!
We’ll also be looking at some of the platforms available to us independent artists.
So, are NFTs truly the future for musicians and artists?
- How does a music NFT work?
- How do you buy/sell music NFTs?
- How to release your music on OpenSea
- How are musicians using NFTs?
- Why NFTs are better for independent artists
- Summary: How To Release Your Music as NFTs
How does a music NFT work?
For starters, NFT stands for “non-fungible token”.
It uses the same technology as cryptocurrencies which we refer to as the blockchain.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself… Why does any of this even matter?
Well, to answer that question we’ll need to understand what problems/issues music NFTs are solving and why so many artists have opted into this new model.
In short, music streaming services are CENTRALIZED.
Even the collection of music royalties isn’t completely transparent and to be quite honest, it’s incredibly messy and disorganized (why MILLIONS of dollars are lost yearly).
That’s why blockchain technology is revolutionary!
Imagine this… Each time your music is used, reproduced and/or sold it’s recorded on the blockchain for everyone in the world to see.
It’s DECENTRALIZED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.
With the use of “smart contracts”, the original creator can also program the NFT to collect a percentage of the sale each time the NFT is sold (and resold).
It’s even possible to program splits into the NFT (i.e 50/50).
You can also limit the supply of your music NFT to rarify it (and increase its potential value).
So, there you go! The potential of music NFTs is only growing, but now we need to learn how the buying/selling process works.
That’s what we’re talking about next!
How do you buy/sell music NFTs?
It’s possible to buy/sell music NFTs on marketplaces such as OpenSea, OneOf, etc…
We’ll be talking more about these in the coming sections!
First, we need to understand that NFTs enter the realm of cryptocurrencies.
That means you’ll need to know the basics of how exchanges like Coinbase and Binance work. You’ll also need to know how to store and protect your crypto assets.
For example, you’ll need to use Ethereum (ETH) to purchase NFTs on OpenSea.
Ethereum can be purchased on Coinbase and stored in a “wallet”. In the case of OpenSea, they recommend using MetaMask (which we’ll be talking about in the next section).
Obviously, if your music NFT is being sold for ETH, you’ll be getting paid in ETH.
If you intend to use that money in the real world, you’ll also need to know how to transfer your funds from your wallet to an exchange (like Coinbase) and convert it to your currency.
That’s essentially it though.
Now, let’s get more specific with each NFT marketplace/platform…
How to release your music on OpenSea
Out of all the platforms/marketplaces I’ve seen so far, OpenSea has got to be my favourite!
It’s pretty straightforward to release NFTs on OpenSea, but it doesn’t have advanced options.
Also, it’s only possible to limit your supply to 1 for the time being (i.e one-of-a-kind).
You can think of OpenSea as more of a gallery. That being said, you’ll need to be visually appealing if you want to succeed in this marketplace.
Some of the most creative collections I’ve seen find a way to incorporate music with a distinct visual identity (like a theme).
So, here are the STEPS you’ll need to follow:
- Create an account on OpenSea
- Create a MetaMask wallet (or use another supported wallet)
- Link your wallet to your OpenSea account
- Click the “Create” tab on the main menu
- Follow the procedure to release your music as NFT
Once again, I highly recommend getting creative with the artwork.
GIFs are really cool and so are 3D Models!
Once you’re done, maybe you can share your profile down in the comments. I’d be more than happy to check out your NFTs!
How are musicians using NFTs?
Kings of Leon was one of the first bands to release an NFT edition of an album.
“When You See Yourself” had tokenized versions that included exclusive content and perks at live shows/events. However, the album was still released on music streaming services.
Some artists envision using NFTs to facilitate payment splits.
The transparency and speed of blockchain technology can guarantee that everyone will be paid what they’re due and on time!
In the case of marketplaces like OpenSea, musicians and music creators are using NFTs to “rarify” their music while combining it with a unique visual experience.
In all honesty though, we’ve only seen a FRACTION of the potential of NFTs (especially for music). To have complete control, one would need skills in coding/programming.
I personally believe that NFTs can streamline and decentralize rights management which would be a HUGE innovation for independent artists…
Why NFTs are better for independent artists
For the time being, music NFTs are still relatively new.
I definitely recommend exploring the options that are currently available, but I’m more excited about the future.
I truly believe that blockchain will revolutionize rights management for independent artists.
I also believe that NFTs could increase the value of seemingly “worthless” digital art.
If I had to make the choice between streaming unlimited copies of my music on streaming services and selling a limited quantity of NFTs for a single, guess which one I’d choose!
That’s why paintings sell for so much; they’re one-of-a-kind.
So, that’s why I think NFTs are going to be important for independent artists.
It’s true that music distribution services have made it possible for independent artists to release music on the same platforms as the top-charting artists.
However, it also severely reduced the value of the merchandise.
You’d make more money selling one CD at your show than most independent artists make in a year from streaming their music.
So, let us know in the comments if you’re considering releasing your music as NFTs!
Summary: How To Release Your Music as NFTs
I hope you enjoyed learning how to release your music as NFTs.
We’re only beginning to explore the possibilities of music NFTs, but for the time being your options will still be limited.
If you don’t already have a following, you might find it difficult to penetrate the market.
Remember, NFTs are “symbolic”. Your fans are essentially buying shares of your music.
In other words, there needs to be a perceived sense of VALUE.
That being said, I still encourage any musician, band and/or artist who is serious about the future of the music industry to invest in NFTs.
Maybe you disagree though… Will the NFT “craze” simply fade out at some point? Let’s start a discussion down in the comments section.
Let us know what you think about music NFTs and share your experiences with us!