Independent musicians have a tough time sustaining themselves in the industry and earning a living from their music. It is no secret that artists are underpaid for their talent and efforts. Record deals that musicians sign when approached by record labels, strengthen this arrangement. Famous musicians like Kanye West have spoken out about the power dynamic between the record company and the artist. Web3 can change that.
Web3 is quickly becoming the go-to destination for musicians looking to develop new routes, form communities, and push the boundaries of high-tech innovation.
Benefits of Web3
The financial aspect of Web3 is appealing. NFTs have become a veritable goldmine thanks to the burgeoning crypto-economy, allowing artists like Grimes and 3LAU to profit handsomely from their sales. Many artists have hopped on the non-fungible bandwagon. In comparison to the ever-shrinking revenue that most musicians receive from streaming royalties, NFTs could represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to monetise their music. What can be tokenised is almost limitless. Music tracks, artwork, literature, apps, files, and even physical objects like concert tickets or one-of-a-kind goods can all be accompanied with their own NFTs, allowing musicians and content creators to provide unique experiences to their fans.
What used to require major-label backing is now being accomplished on Discord servers and DMs. Artists are experimenting with a new type of sponsorship where fans come together to contribute to the creation of new music through direct community engagement. In exchange, these fans stand to profit financially if the produced songs are commercially successful. The use of so-called “smart contracts” facilitates this crowdfunding strategy. These self-executing legal agreements have the potential to automate critical economic activities such as royalty payments between artists and fans.
With this newfound freedom comes great responsibility; independent artists must now manage a complex set of business, legal, and marketing obligations, whilst writing and releasing music. Digital fatigue is becoming an increasingly serious issue for ‘plugged-in’ artists, and the necessity to communicate with your online network takes on new dimensions in the Web3 arena. These aren’t just musician’s fans anymore; they’re also their investors and stakeholders.
McEvoy, C. (2022, March 16). Web3, NFTs, the metaverse, and the future of the music industry. MusicTech. https://musictech.com/features/opinion-analysis/web3-future-of-music-industry/
Tengblad, M. (2021, October 29). NFTs are revolutionizing the music industry too. Fortune. https://fortune.com/2021/10/29/nfts-music-industry/