Top 4 Names in the Music NFT Space
One thing about NFTs is that despite this being a boom year, with collections auctioned off at Sotheby’s and Christie’s, and the NFT space attracting the attention of stars from Paris Hilton to Tony Hawks, a lot of people are still not sure exactly what NFTs are, and what real-life uses they have.
Part of the issue is that because we’re dealing with an emerging technology, there’s still no saying for certain, even among people who make NFTs, exactly where it will all lead.
Right now, NFTs are closely linked with visual arts, and the main utility has been for artists and designers to get their work out to the public, and get paid for it. All good, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the music industry could also get shaken up by NFT technology. It’s still early days for music NFTs, but here are some people and projects to look out for.
Created by Ditto, a global music distribution company, the Opulous platform was an early mover, operating at the intersection between DeFi, NFTs, and the music industry.
The music NFT aspect allows artists to tokenize their music assets, enabling shared ownership, and giving holders a fractionalized slice of future royalties. As a musician, you raise funds directly. As an investor, you identify potential, claim passive income, and trade assets. And as a fan, you support the artists you like.
On the DeFi side, which runs on the Algorand blockchain, investors can stake their crypto assets to fund a loan pool, and generate returns. From this, artists can gain access to funding, using the value of their existing royalties and past revenue as collateral. Essentially, this system cuts out the middlemen, as all good DeFi should.
The native token of this ecosystem is $OPUL, which, incidentally, has been on something of a run lately.
2. 3LAU & Royal
A high-profile musician who’s rapidly become a web3 pioneer is DJ and EDM producer 3LAU. On his music NFT-utilizing platform Royal, he’s set up a system similar to that on Opulous, by which fans can buy tokenized part-ownership of songs and receive part of the royalties, thereby supporting artists, acquiring a collectible that incorporates financial returns, and becoming part of a community.
It’s an operating model with incredibly disruptive potential, enabling something almost like fans buying shares in an artist and their work, and with clear benefits for both musicians and collectors. The first release on Royal was 3LAU’s own single, Worst Case.
One more to mention is Audius, a decentralized streaming platform built around the web3 ethos. It’s constructed on Ethereum and Solana, and is powered by its native $AUDIO token. Audius partnered with TikTok in August, and there are some big-name artists on the platform such as Deadmau5, Diplo and Weezer.
Although NFTs are not a core component of how the site works, Audius allows users to integrate and display NFTs, linking up not only with Ethereum wallets, but with Phantom, the Solana NFT wallet.
Audius, though, is a key player when it comes to blockchain-based music industry changes. It aims to facilitate direct connections between artists and listeners, and to help artists monetize their work.
The native token, which looks buoyant on the markets, acts as a governance token when staked, meaning holders have a say in determining future developments on the platform.
For an interesting individual project now taking place, which explores the creative potential of NFT technology, take a look at what music industry superstar Timbaland is working on.
The famed musician and producer is releasing a collection of NFTs that takes songs from his upcoming EP, Opera Noir, and splits them into their component elements. Anyone who collects the NFTs can then take on the role of producer, playing around with and remixing the tracks.
Initial NFTs from the project were auctioned November 2nd, through Monegraph, but it was just the first drop, and there will be further releases in the coming weeks.