Cryptocurrency News

NFTs democratize music industry and redistribute song rights


The music industry continues to find inventive ways to integrate decentralized technology into new releases to benefit both artists and their fans. 

Electronic dance music (EDM) artist R3HAB and blockchain-based music community anotherblock released a single on Aug. 19 with the idea of “democratizing music rights.” The nonfungible token (NFT) included in the drop allows holders to earn royalties based on streaming popularity.

The single, “Weekend on a Tuesday,” debuted bundled with an exclusive NFT. Each of the 250 NFTs available entitles the holder to a 0.02% share in the streaming revenue. Anotherblock’s platform provides a value tracking tool so holders can estimate payouts and overall value.

Many artists have been using digital assets as a way to connect with their fan base through extra exclusives tied to the NFT. Typically extras include artwork, additional music, or behind-the-scenes material.

Anotherblock CEO Michel D. Traore told Cointelegraph that this way of implementing NFTs allows those who create value around songs to take part in receiving some of it back.

“Music rights’ value is created by people loving and listening to the music, and doing things with it. Why shouldn’t [they] be able to own rights if they create the value by listening to it. They should be able to get some of the upside as well.”

The idea behind this vision of spreading the value from primarily record labels and music catalogs to include more of the artists themselves but also the fans can be looked at as “democratization” of the music industry. 

“The middle ground of more and more people owning rights is what’s missing today, and I think lead to positive effects.”

While it’s easiest to introduce these ideas with larger artists like R3HAB and Steve Aoki, this only paves the way for up and coming artists to enter into the industry with these ideas prior to committing to a restrictive contract.

Related: Musician Grimes’ debut NFT auction generates $5.8M in 20 minutes

In an interview with Cointelegraph R3HAB highlighted the aptitude of EDM fans towards new “cutting-edge” technology like NFTs. R3HAB said his team had been looking at fans’ interest and engagement with Web3 based-platforms.

This is where I got the confirmation to dive into the NFT space and provide my fans with this opportunity.”

According to Traore, anotherblock polled its Discord community on music genres of interest for NFTs and EDM scored highest followed by HipHop and R&B. Moreover, a recent report from Ripple revealed 55% of major financial institutions are interested in music-related NFTs.

As the crypto industry refines itself in light of the market crash, projects without real value and utility are being cleaned out. Traores sees the connection to value in the real world with music rights NFTs as a sign for something lasting.