For Brooklyn-based rapper and art curator ARTZ, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been transformative. He recently became the first in his field as an artist and music producer to facilitate the sale of an NFT he created at a large art auction house. Since that initial success, he has embraced the power of musical NFTs.
The aforementioned collection, “I See Future,” brought together modern art icons such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Banksy. For lesser-known ARTZ, the NFT sale was a way for listeners to “buy shares” in him as an artist and “get downstairs”.
With a CV that now includes six NFT collections and over 60 collaborations, ARTZ has shown “how artists can create with each other through different mediums”. His NFTs often include his original music and the visual art of his collaborators. For example, an NFT, titled EARTH Q Woke, combined the ARTZ song “The Purple Suit” with a painting of Frederick Douglass by JJ Weinberg. To continue supporting other creators, ARTZ is organizing Free Real Estate, an online gallery for NFTs.
ARTZ is far from being the only musician to come across musical NFTs; musicians Kings of Leon, Shawn Mendes and Grimes all created theirs. Tory Lanez released a tokenized album, and it became the first to achieve platinum status on the blockchain. Like Solo music Founder and CEO Barron Solomon says, “There is an immediate opportunity for everyone in this new space. “
So what is this opportunity regarding musical NFTs?
You say you want an evolution?
Think about the best concert you’ve attended. The roar of the crowd, the rush to see an artist looking directly at you. Now consider purchasing their latest album or a unique t-shirt at this event and wish you could do more to support the artist. NFTs allow fans to do just that, while also allowing sophisticated investors to profit.
The rise of non-fungible tokens has created a market in which artists have the opportunity – and the incentive – to create digitized assets. And while many still roll their eyes at the bustling NFT space, now there’s a reason to change perspective. Like Blockchain co-investors Managing partner Matthew Le Merle argues that NFTs would be better called “certificates of digital ownership for assets that are scarce”.
Much like traditional vinyl records, digital collectibles allow individuals to place a value on an artist and their associated content. Do you want to be a collector and keep something for life? Or do you want to strategically buy NFTs from artists who are about to gain popularity? There are two ways forward in this emerging reality.
While this clearly shows the appeal to investors, what do artists take out of the NFT equation?
The short answer, it seems, is power. The longer answer revolves around the specific ways in which artists choose to participate in blockchain-based music.
The two basic components of musical NFTs are the original audio recordings and the original artwork. Emmersive Entertainment, a subsidiary of Vinco Ventures (NASDAQ:FAT), recently announced the “charity drop” of an NFT entitled Music4ClimateJustice, an asset that features an original song recorded by artists Steven Van Zandt, Bootsy Collins and Chew Fu, as well as an exclusive cover designed by Gilbert Driver. The majority of the profits will be donated to the non-profit organization Music4Climate Impact.
In early 2021, alternative rock band Kings of Leon became the first artist to release an entire album as NFT when their album When you see yourself was released by Yellow heart. Priced at $ 50, the tokenized assets included enhanced media that Rolling stone described as “kind of like an alternate, moving album cover” – complete with a digital download of the music and a limited edition vinyl record.
The two essential components are well represented in the work of ARTZ. “These things are playing [hand in hand] with each other, ”he noted, reflecting on the concept of digital assets versus physical assets. The artist and investor argues that adding physical assets to a TVN increases its value.
Musical NFTs empower artists
According to Pastel Network co-founder Anthony Georgiades, one of the biggest benefits of releasing exclusive audio on the blockchain is cutting out middlemen. Artists like Lanez releasing an album on the blockchain can avoid relying on record companies for the sale and distribution of their records. This means that they can mint and sell as many or as few copies as they want. “NFTs can decentralize the music industry to put power back in the hands of artists and creators,” Georgiades told InvestorPlace.
Besides the change in power dynamics described by Georgiades, there are two other main advantages. The first focuses on artists who connect with fans. Never has the link between the two been so direct as in the era of NFT.
“The idea of being able to use an NFT to create a direct relationship with a fan is just a whole new way for artists to connect with their fanbase,” Lunar walk said co-founder Greg Consiglio. “It’s really just another tool for an artist to come out and give their best fans, or any fan for that matter, a new way to interact with artists and feel closer to the artist. artist, which is always part of what every artist tries to do.
The other main benefit for artists concerns authentication issues in music and merchandise sales. CNBC reports that more than 5 million counterfeit concert tickets are sold each year. This highlights a clear need for additional verification as tickets are issued digitally, verification that can likely be streamlined through NFTs as their presence increases in traditional music circuits.
ARTZ also highlighted the importance of TVN as a tool for artists as the industry evolves. Due to the exposure he received through his NFTs, the rapper was able to raise lesser recognized artists.
“I think hand in hand this is how music and this technology is going to work together,” ARTZ said. “It’s technology, it’s our music, it’s all in one but at the end of the day it’s just another tool for people to express themselves and a new business model for artists to express themselves. ‘addressed directly to the consumer. “
Enter the general public
As NFTs continue to move from obscurity to mainstream, more artists and investors will continue to join. TikTok recently made waves by announcing an NFT collection. And while some artists have spoken out against digital assets, focusing primarily on environmental concerns, it looks like the market is only growing.
This comes, above all, at a time when investors in general are betting on an increasingly digital economy. The Covid-19 has accelerated trends like cashless payments and electronic signatures. Consumer interest in DTVs is at an all time high. Decentralized finance has become one of the hottest trends.
Put simply, it’s not just what we value that changes, but the way we go about valuing it.
The rise in popularity of musical NFTs in particular indicates something else as well. For artists and fans, a key piece has been lost during the streaming boom that has engulfed the past decade. While platforms like Spotify (NYSE:PLACE) have become household names, fans no longer feel “special”.
“Streaming music has created a market where you are just another listener – another person who has uploaded a song,” Georgiades said. “There is really nothing special about finding and listening to music anymore. Musical NFTs and the resurgence of vinyl brought this unique quality back to the industry.
Therefore, it makes sense that investors in the NFT world are motivated in part by emotion, and not just financial incentives. This also exists outside of musical NFTs. Nostalgic YouTube videos were symbolized, along with wellness food items and early memes.
Victor Zhang, founder and CEO of Smart Token Labs, thinks that the emotional component of music is primarily what has driven vinyl sales as well as music-based NFTs.
“Fundamentally, music is all about emotion and experience,” Zhang said, citing the feeling of opening a record and placing it on a turntable. “You touch the record, interact with it physically before you feel it emotionally in the form of sound. “
As Zhang also noted, it is for the same reason that the popularity of NFTs is increasing. “There is a pride of ownership that spans all music and that can take a variety of forms, including the ownership felt over a band when you are one of the first to discover an emerging artist who eventually becomes widely known. “
The way forward for musical NFTs
From all the ways the NFT market has evolved, it is clear that it is here to stay and that its influence will transcend all artistic fields.
Some financial experts have expressed concerns about the speculative nature of DTVs. However, no market is immune to volatility, and through it all, interest in NFTs has only continued to increase.
It is natural to wonder what this new trend will mean for investment choices. While there is no doubt that the rise of musical NFTs threatens to disrupt entire industries, this should be seen as a new way for investors to expand their portfolios while helping artists, as ARTZ noted, to progress and pursue their career.
Musical NFTs have a clear appeal to investors with a distinct appreciation for pop culture who have the foresight to recognize this trend for what it is – an opportunity to make a profit while helping the artists they love.
Any unconvinced investor should remember how much money the Beatles collectibles are currently selling for. If DFTs had existed in 1969, those who purchased an exclusive digital version of Abbey route would probably have something incredibly valuable today.
It might be a crazy train, but investors shouldn’t be afraid to get on it.
At the time of publication, Samuel O’Brient had (directly or indirectly) no position in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to the publication guidelines of InvestorPlace.com.