The music industry since the digital-only format has all but ended the physical product fans once sought out in support their favorite artist. Piracy has become widespread cutting into the profit potential for recording artists to make a living coupled with recording companies taking a cut being in the music industry became a lot tougher. Music in NFT form is now providing a way for musicians to earn a living selling directly to their fans without the middleman platforms.
NFTs Go Beyond The Copying Feature of Conventional Digital Environment
It hasn’t been a long time since the concept of NFT entered our lives. In this short while, it developed rapidly with the dynamic structure of technology and showed its presence in various sectors. One of the sectors most affected by NFTs is undoubtedly the music industry. In February 2021, DJ and producer 3LAU sold some of his works online for a record $12 million as NFTs. After this record sale, the eyes of the music industry also turned to NFTs. So why did NFTs come to the fore in the music industry and what are their effects on the course of this industry?
NFTs, as known and as we have mentioned before in our previous articles, refer to individual unique tokens on any blockchain. This definition itself recalls the works of art which stand out with their “uniqueness” and “originality” features. Unlike other crypto assets, NFTs go beyond the copying feature of the conventional digital environment, and even if copied, they stand out in the way that the original asset is “certified” in the digital environment which is unique to its owner. For this reason, they are used especially by artists to save their works in digital mediums. Thus, artists can register the originality of their works in the digital environment. Therefore, in the registration of ownership, NFTs act as a kind of official land registry. NFTs also carry the security, openness, and registration features of the records in the official land registry on the blockchain where they were created.
The development of the music industry with NFTs was an expected development due to the structure of NFTs. Nowadays in today’s digital world, artists can save their works as NFTs on the blockchain, and these NFTs can be transferred on the same blockchain. The way musicians circulate their works in this way has an important difference from circulating them in the physical world: NFTs provide a direct bridge between musicians and listeners on this ground. This means that intermediary elements such as production companies and broadcasting platforms (such as Spotify, iTunes) that are between the musician and the listener and who also get the big slice of the pie are withdrawn from the contact between the musician and the listener.
Musicians Can Tokenize Work By Converting To NFT
NFTs also have other advantages for the musicians. While NFTs are created on the blockchain, they are coded with smart contracts. Although smart contracts cannot contain comprehensive provisions like conventional contracts, certain features can be added to smart contracts. For instance, it is possible for the musician to tokenize his work by converting it to NFT and connect it to a smart contract, and by adding a provision to this contract which encodes the payment of a certain percentage of the sales price to the musician as a commission for each sale of the token. Thus, once the musician has created and sold his work as an NFT, he/she does not have to get out of the picture at this level, he/she gets to be included in every circulation process. In addition, in exchange for purchasing the musician’s work as NFTs through smart contracts, various other privileges can be provided to the owner of the relevant NFT, such as the ability to enter every concert of that musician as a VIP guest. Thus, musicians have a different digital distribution network to deliver their works to their listeners thanks to NFTs.
As seen, the use of NFTs in the music industry contributes to musicians maintaining their ties with their works at every stage and thus continuing their journey of seeking rights on their own.The fact that musicians can carry out these processes related to their works on their own is an advantage, especially since it allows small-scale and not yet well-known artists to grow without any intermediary institution.
With the development and growth of the Metaverse, the world is rapidly evolving into a multi-verse in which internet, games and other virtual universes are collectively together. The fact that the originality of the original works that do not have a physical presence in the metaverse can be registered only through NFTs in the existing technology has also increased the value of NFTs. Thus, it became possible for musicians to exhibit their works in the metaverse. It is also possible for the features added to the above-mentioned immutable tokens by smart contracts to be implemented in the metaverse universe. Musicians can organize concerts in the physical universe and in the metaverse at the same time, and some advantages can be provided to tickets purchased as NFTs through smart contracts as mentioned above.
As seen, musicians can go beyond from the boundaries of the physical world and exhibit their works in other universes, by converting their works and elements related to their works to NFT, and make their voices heard in physical and digital environments to a much wider audience. The development of the ever-growing metaverse whose boundaries are still unclear, and the impact of this development on the music world has already begun to excite artists.