Since we’re no experts on NFTs for musicians and we wanted to give you the best information and advice, we’ve called Xcelencia who is an artist but also an expert in this field.
We have asked him some questions about what NFTs are, how are they valuable for musicians and how could you sell them.
Let’s start with the basics and explain this like we’re five.
1. What is a Music NFT? How do they work?
Here’s a great summary.
“NFTs make it possible for creators to retain ownership of their content. As a result, NFTs have the potential to change the ownership model of media—offering creators a viable alternative to platform-driven monetization.” Cooper Turley
You may also think of NFTs as a new file format because of the underlying technology (blockchain) that allows the creator to be the platform rather than depending on the platforms and models we are accustomed to.
Music NFTs are tokenized audio files minted on a blockchain, represented as a .mp3 or .wav. To clarify, from inception, Music NFTs do not transfer rights, ownership, or license to the respective collector or community. In the future, this may change and be utilized as an incentivization model.
They represent scarce or unique versions of a song or album dependent on the format or platform you decide to release on.
2. How are they valuable for musicians?
Music NFTs are a great way to build communities and are essentially bringing back the idea of collecting and valuing music outside of the traditional mass consumption system, where we directly measure a song’s success based on metrics such as views, streams, or likes.
It’s also an indirect way to bet on an artist’s career.
It values music as memorabilia in the same way fans value merchandise, posters, concert tickets, and vinyl records but in a digital world.
Another powerful feature of NFTs is the ability to set and automate the splits from the moment you create the NFT, without an intermediary like a label or distributor. This allows for transparency and automatic payouts to creators without having to rely on antiquated accounting systems.
For the skeptics that ask why they should collect digital music, I like to use a simple example: In 2020 for his album YHLQMDLG, Bad Bunny sold out cassette tapes directly to fans on Bandcamp. How many of those supporters do you think actually have a cassette tape in their home?
3. How/ where could I sell them?
There are various marketplaces with distinct models. Some are curated, some gated and there are also open, permissionless platforms where you can sell your music or content as an NFT. I will list a few below so that you may check them out!
https://beta.catalog.works/ – Unique 1 of 1 Music NFTs typically sold to one collector.
https://www.mintsongs.com/ – Editions: allows for multiple collectors. Think of these digital downloads as verifiable collectibles. Great for patronage and community building.
https://zora.co – Open, permissionless protocol to sell NFTs.
https://opensea.io – Not necessarily hyper-focused on music as NFTs but you can mint music as NFTs and set pricing, model, and include unlockables or downloads tied to the NFT (stems, video, discord access).
4. Do people buy them or are they a myth? Final thoughts?
There are experienced collectors, investors, and even other creators that buy NFTs. The beauty of the blockchain is the transparency that it enables, you can view NFT sales publically and most of the time the collector that supported the NFT.
Although there is a lot of misinformation in regard to NFTs by multiple media outlets it’s still important to not only do your own research but also follow standard best practices, like digital wallet security and risk management to avoid phishing attempts and scams.
There are also valid environmental concerns, however, there is a mission set on blockchains like Ethereum, one of the most used for NFTs, on becoming carbon neutral. The incentive and work to move away from energy incentive computation to energy-efficient and carbon-neutral models are currently in the works and there are already blockchains with NFT marketplaces that are energy efficient.
Here’s some more reading!
- Top 21 Music NFT Moments of 2021 – NFT Now
- Independent Musicians are Making Big Money Through NFTs – TIME
- Crypto Will Fix the Music Industry – Bankless
Thank you very much, Xcelencia! If you’re interested in this kind of content, don’t hesitate to follow him on social media. He is always giving valuable information regarding this field.