It’s no secret that the music industry is in a state of flux. With the advent of streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, artists and record labels have seen their profits dwindle. This has led to many musicians turning to alternative methods of monetizing their art, such as selling merchandise or releasing singles through cryptocurrency platforms. So, let’s explore how cryptocurrencies and NFTs are changing the music industry.
What exactly is an NFT?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, use complex cryptography to create digital assets that are unique and cannot be replicated. They are often used to represent physical objects, such as artworks or collectables. Cryptocurrencies are required to purchase NFTs with Etherium usually the coin of choice, as they are used to pay for the transaction fees or ‘gas fees’ associated with buying and selling NFTs. These cover the processing cost of the cryptography required to complete and verify each sale on the decentralised network.
Which artists have been selling NFTs?
One of the first artists to sell an NFT was Snoop Dogg, who released his single “Doggystyle” as an NFT in February 2021. The song was sold for $69 million worth of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency. This sale made headlines around the world and sparked interest in using NFTs to monetize music. Other artists who have sold NFTs include Shawn Mendez and Grimes.
Where can I get crypto?
There are loads of marketplaces and crypto exchanges vying for your custom. Even banks and big companies like Paypal now allow you to invest in crypto right from their app, but because there’s so much competition, it’s definitely worth shopping around for the best offers. If you want to use your crypto to buy NFTs, you’ll need to make sure the platform allows you to withdraw your coins to crypto wallets hosted elsewhere – many big-name companies only allow you to invest within their own ecosystem and you can’t withdraw funds without converting them back to USD or another ‘fiat’ currency.
One such option is Aqru.io, which allows you to easily invest in a variety of cryptocurrencies and even earn free crypto just for signing up or holding an investment with them. They’ll allow you to withdraw your cryptocurrency to an external wallet, so you’ll be able to use your coins to buy with crypto across the web.
Where can I buy songs as NFTs?
Artists usually expect or intend that their NFT buyers will mostly be formed of their biggest fans, the dedicated type of fans you’d expect to buy limited edition collectable editions of their physical releases. So if one of your favourites does decide to try their hand at dropping some NFTs, you’ll likely hear about it first on their official social media pages.
Alternatively, there’s a multitude of NFT marketplaces online and lately, some dedicated to music NFTs have sprung up, including sound.xyz and a relaunched Limewire.
The sound.xyz music marketplace was one of the first platforms to allow musicians to sell their songs as NFTs. The platform was launched in March 2021 and allows artists to set their own prices for their songs. So far, the platform has been a success, with many artists making significant profits from selling their NFTs.
As the use of NFTs and cryptocurrencies grows within the music industry, it is clear that they are here to stay. For artists and record labels, these new technologies offer a way to increase profits and reach new audiences. For fans, they provide a way to support your favourite artists in a whole new way.