Music NFTs Explained

Published in
5 min readMar 17, 2022

What are music NFTs and how are they disrupting the music industry?

Photo by Marcela Laskoski on Unsplash

Web3 is revolutionizing the music industry 🔥

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken the world by storm. While most people may relate NFTs with digital art, their use cases grow by the day. The popular musician, Grimes, sold NFTs worth a total of $6 million all related to her music last year. The sales came from NFT versions of music videos, with prices as high as $389,000 for one video.

Grimes isn’t the only one to have profited from the digital asset revolution either. Hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg recently acquired Death Row Records and announced his plans to make it the first known Web3-powered record label. Snoop’s Death Row Mix Vol.1 recently sold out on popular music NFT marketplace and platform in a matter of hours, and their website even crashed due to the traffic! NFTs have already generated over $60M for musicians and are shifting the entire paradigm.

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What are NFTs and how do they relate to music?

Non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies go together but differ in subtle ways. Both rely on the blockchain and can be bought, sold, and exchanged between users. However, cryptocurrencies are fungible assets, for example, a bitcoin will always have the same value as another bitcoin.

NFTs are unique, or non-fungible, so one NFT will not have the same value as another. This gives NFTs the ability to represent specific items such as artworks, collectibles, and music. Since NFTs are powered by blockchain technology, their ownership and authenticity are publicly verifiable and secure.

Music has rapidly evolved into one of the most prominent use-cases of NFTs. This ranges from albums and songs to personalized videos and concerts. Musical artists have been able to give their fans newer experiences by digitizing their art and content and offering them up for sale. This brings up an interesting development of artists monetizing their work without the need for record labels or large media partnerships.

Music NFTs benefit both musicians and fans

Musicians have been fighting for equitable profits stronger than ever over recent years for various reasons, including record labels taking a large chunk of their earnings and the rise of musical streaming services. The growth of these services has reduced the need for purchasing physical albums or records, and they take large chunks of artists’ revenues. Additionally, some record-label-backed artists have strategic partnerships with streaming services, giving them bias over more rising and independent talents who may not want to sign with a label. For example, less than 8,000 musicians make profits of at least $100K or more via streaming services.

Musicians selling their music as NFTs introduces a variety of benefits and transparency. Rather than relying on a record label or streaming for distribution, they can connect with their fans directly and bypass all the intermediaries, resulting in higher profits. Music NFTs also introduce newer incentives for superfans — now artists can offer their superfans premium experiences with limited-edition music mints, merchandise packages, exclusive and early access to new music, and even opportunities to comment and give direct feedback. The best part is these transactions live on the blockchain, so artists can easily trace them and get paid in real-time.

The fan experience is changing

What it means to be a fan is tremendously changing due to the intersection of music and web3. Fans can now support their favorite musicians in newer and more intimate ways while seeing their positive impact firsthand, and sometimes even getting rewarded for it! Through various NFT marketplaces and platforms, fans can support musicians by purchasing digital records, unique artwork collaborations, entering exclusive streaming parties, and even giving a say in the direction of an artist. As a fan, your money is not going to a record label or streaming service first, it is instead flowing directly to the musician and they can verify you are the one supporting them. Lastly, by getting involved in the trading or reselling of music NFTs you own, a resale royalty will be sent back to the musician who created it, so you can continue to show your love!

How can you get involved?

Whether you are a fan or artist, there are a variety of innovative NFT music platforms that can help you tap into Web3. Sound has enabled musicians to profit over $1M cumulatively since their inception and is making headlines across the globe. This NFT music platform allows non-established music performers to make money by selling songs as NFTs. Their vision is to empower high-quality, lesser-known acts to break into the mainstream music scene while earning true profits.

Catalog.Works: Fans have paid their favorite artists over $2M on this “blank canvas” digital record shop. Catalog is a digital record shop and music community for artists to press and sell one-of-one digital records, and for fans to listen to, discover, and directly support the music they love.

Audius: The future of music streaming — this decentralized service allows all musicians to keep 100% of the revenue they earn and do not take any cuts. Audius is a blockchain-based decentralized music streaming platform. The project aims to give artists and curators more control over their music creations via NFTs.

Music NFTs and NFT Ticketing 🎟

As music NFTs continue to disrupt the music industry, NFT ticketing is already reimagining global events and soon to overlap into the music industry. NFT ticketing platforms service all kinds of events, from small music shows to large conferences and festivals. The basis of this revolutionary technology is to give event creators such as musicians, venues, and teams more control on how their tickets are priced, sold, and resold, and most importantly new personalized experiences for fans — through NFTs. Similar to music NFT platforms, creators can motivate their fans to purchase NFT tickets to their live event by including records, special access, merchandise, and much more all within the ticket. Additionally, the fan has the unique digital artwork of the ticket which cannot be found anywhere else.

Wrapping it all up

It’s no surprise that Web3 continues to shape the future of music, streaming, and what it means to be a fan. From music NFT marketplaces and platforms to NFT ticketing, musicians and creatives of all sizes now have new opportunities to retain the profits they deserve, give their fans personalized experiences, and not have to rely on any intermediaries — taking more control of their career!

We are Tixy, a European and US-based startup comprised of musicians, crypto enthusiasts, and sports fanatics on a journey to help event creators and fans of all sizes leverage NFT ticketing! Sign up for early Beta access here.

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