What is an NFT in Music?
NFTs (Non-fungible Token) is a cryptographic rave of the moment with their unaltered and non-fungible unique properties that stand alongside other blockchain technology such as Bitcoin. NFTs are digital assets representing internet blockchain technological-based collectibles such as music, arts, and games backed with rarity and proof of ownership.
Music industry has seen significant changes and transformations starting from the 20th-century themed compact disks, cassettes, tapes, and recordings to the more advanced and contemporary downloadable streaming platforms spearheaded by Spotify, apple inc., and others in the 2000s.
The advent of new age streaming platforms only covers the cracks of profitability problems, which has become a draining theme for all artists and the music industry. Most musicians make peanuts from their music royalties despite the increased reach, visibility, and streaming numbers from downloadable streaming platforms.
Nft music plugs the revenue leakages. Music nfts usher in the total distortion to the status quo of music collection, sale, and royalty sharing formula through a unique one-of-a-kind tokenized format that allows the minting of music videos, albums, and songs on blockchain networks.
Types of music NFTs
Music is the number one and the most popular means of entertainment, coupled with the current and potential success of nfts have made music nfts a must-have jewel in the music industry. This has culminated the research that leads o the advancement in the creation of different types of music NFTs.
- Songs and Music album NFTs : Music NFT is for those so attached to their favorite musicians they can purchase and own any single or alum of their favorite artists in the form of an NFT. It is made possible by the ingenuity of various artists that have begun to mint their music in NFT to be available for their teeming fans worldwide.
- Autographs NFT: To every music lover, the autograph of their favorite artiste means a lot to them. NFT music has made it possible to have an NFT autograph of their cherished musical star that can be owned and preserved to increase their value.
- Video NFTs: Concert videos, musical visuals, and others can be transformed into NFT. Video is a delightful item for music lovers due to its treasured stored moment that exhumes values that can be resold at a more lucrative price.
- Music related artworks: Digital artworks triggers our emotional closeness and involvement with our loved ones. This also applies to music artwork such as the album poster of our favorite musicians, concert pictures, and others that are turned to nfts for sale at premiums.
Music NFT Platforms
There are several NFT platforms that specialize in music, offering a way for artists and fans to buy and sell unique digital assets. Here are some popular NFT music platforms:
- Audius: Audius is a decentralized music streaming and hosting platform that uses blockchain technology to allow artists to sell their music and other digital content directly to fans. It has its own native cryptocurrency, $AUDIO, which is used to power the platform and incentivize users to contribute.
- Royal: Royal is an NFT music platform that allows artists to sell unique digital assets such as concert tickets, merchandise, and access to exclusive content to fans. It uses blockchain technology to ensure that each NFT represents a unique and verifiable asset.
- YellowHeart: YellowHeart is an NFT platform that specializes in event tickets, allowing artists and event organizers to sell tickets directly to fans using blockchain technology. This ensures that each ticket is unique and verifiable, reducing the risk of counterfeiting or scalping.
- Foundation: Foundation is a general NFT platform that also supports music NFTs, allowing artists to sell unique digital assets such as recordings, compositions, and other creative works. It has a strong community of artists and collectors and a user-friendly interface.
- Nifty Gateway: Nifty Gateway is an NFT marketplace that allows artists to sell unique digital assets, including music-related NFTs such as concert tickets and exclusive content. It has partnerships with several high-profile artists and is known for its user-friendly interface.
- Opulous: Opulous is an upcoming blockchain-based music platform that aims to provide a new way for artists to monetize their music and connect with fans. The platform is designed to help independent artists and labels fund their music projects by allowing them to sell shares of their future royalties to investors through the use of NFTs.
How does NFT music work
Music NFT follow the basic methods of other NFTs. The process starts with the artist creating a unique musical masterpiece attached to any blockchain network, such as Ethereum, for its minting and transformation into a digital asset. The chosen blockchain network eliminates the 21st-century reliance on downloadable streaming platforms by incorporating intelligent contracts that serve as a transactional bridge between the artists and their fans ad listeners.
The musical asset is another immutable phenomenon that eliminates theft and forgery from a third party. Music creator owns the exclusive right of usage and listing on the platform they please without interference.
Each artist's catalogue is the go-to spot for fans to purchase their music nft. Each music nft token has its uniqueness and rarity index because of its attachment to a song in the artist pack. The purchaser uses the token to assess the music it is linked with.
The ultimate decision on the number of music nft copies falls solely on the music creator and the choice nft exchange through which they would be sold. Furthermore, it is ideal to note that the nft buyers assume complete mastery and usage of the nft.
Additionally, an intrinsic law of demand and supply is attached to the trading function of music nfts. This is plausible because the more buyers purchase copies of a song, the more the copies reduce supply and availability, which leads to an increment in the value of the NFTs.
How can musicians create and sell NFT
There is no complexity or form of ambiguity in creating and selling nfts. Even a non-techy person can carry out the ultra-simplified process of NFT creation. The first step to achieving this is to craft a digital file for the music with any audio editing software in the market. The next step is to decide on the blockchain network to upload the digital file. We have various blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, fantom, polygon, Solana, and others that support nfts. The most popular among them is the Ethereum network, and the one that promotes free minting is the Solana network.
Once you successfully upload your digital file, the following agenda is the creation of an intelligent contract which have so many distinct purposes, such as your terms of sales and the link between you and the buyers over the price of the token and others. You build on the creation of smart contracts by carrying out the minting process, which is the creation of a unique token that represents your music.
The final process is selling to your fans by listing on any NFT marketplace of your choice, or you can sell them directly. You can join millions of people following this NFT minting and selling process on the open sea, variables, and others to digitize their music files and get full royalties.
The first music NFT was released by Kings of Leon. In March 2021, they released their eighth studio album, "When You See Yourself," as a series of three unique NFTs.
How NFT is revolutionizing the music industry
The transformational tenets of NFT and blockchain technology have caused widespread disruption to the existing unbalanced working process of the music industry. Various teething challenges have engulfed the music business, which looks like they will be around for a while; among them is the unequal distribution of royalty, excessive imprint intermediaries, piracy issues, and others. Nft music has come about with a more holistic and revolutionary approach to stem these issues through the following ways:
- Royalty payment: Often we have seen many occurrences where artists have it worse concerning the royalty-splitting formula. The traditional way of doing this is parasitic. The majority of the time, music artists only have to do with a measly 10% of the total accrues profits from their music sales; this can be linked to the fact that other players like the producers, publishers, and others also have a stake in the revenue. NFT brought a new lease of life to this archaic royalty-sharing method through its built-in transparent mechanism.
- Content control : The incursion of NFT in the music industry has brought about a paradigm shift related to the issue of masters and content ownership. NFT gives music creators the ultimate say in their craft, which affords them the chance of traceability regarding their music content distribution.
- Reduces piracy: Piracy has been so what tagged as endemic in the music industry. Every key player and government agency has tried various means to stem this calamity. NFTs are blockchain-based digital assets that stand out with their uniqueness and immutable properties. The music business has tapped from these properties, which have come out to eliminate the threat of illegal copies and distribution by the so-called miscreants.
- An independent ecosystem: Blockchain technology data storage model has lowered the risks and workloads that come with mixing music creation with the business aspects of it. The blockchain distribution ledger enables musical artists and their management companies to focus and readjust their business models to create elite music.
Process for Buying and Selling NFT Music
Buying and selling NFT music follows a similar process to other types of NFTs. The first step is to find a marketplace that supports the buying and selling of NFTs, such as OpenSea, Rarible, or SuperRare. These marketplaces offer a range of NFTs, including music tracks, albums, and other digital assets.
Once you've found the NFT you want to purchase, you'll need to have a compatible cryptocurrency wallet, such as MetaMask or Trust Wallet, that supports the blockchain on which the NFT was created. Most NFT marketplaces will guide you through the process of setting up a wallet and connecting it to the marketplace.
Once you have a wallet and are connected to the marketplace, you can place a bid on the NFT or buy it outright, depending on the seller's preferences. If your bid is accepted or you purchase the NFT, it will be transferred to your wallet and you will become the owner of that unique digital asset.
When it comes to selling NFT music, the process is similar. The artist or owner of the NFT will need to list it on a marketplace and set a price or accept bids. Once a buyer is found, the NFT will be transferred to the buyer's wallet in exchange for payment in cryptocurrency.
Legal Implications of Selling NFT Music
Selling NFT music raises several legal implications that artists and buyers should be aware of. One issue is ownership rights. When an artist sells an NFT of their music, they are essentially selling the rights to that digital asset, but it's important to note that this does not include the underlying copyright of the music.
For example, if an artist sells an NFT of their latest album, they are not selling the copyright to the songs on that album. They are only selling the unique digital asset that represents that album. This means that the buyer of the NFT does not have the right to reproduce, distribute, or perform the music without the artist's permission.
Another legal issue is intellectual property rights. If an artist uses samples or other copyrighted material in their music, they need to ensure that they have the proper licenses and permissions to use that material. Selling an NFT of music that includes unauthorized samples could result in legal action against the artist or buyer.
Royalties for NFT Music Sales
Royalties for NFT music sales work differently than traditional music sales. In a traditional music sale, such as a digital download or physical album purchase, the artist earns a percentage of the revenue generated by that sale. With NFT music, the artist earns royalties every time the NFT is resold or traded.
This is possible because NFTs are built on blockchain technology, which allows for smart contracts that automatically execute certain actions when predetermined conditions are met. In this case, a smart contract can be set up to automatically pay the artist a percentage of the sale price every time the NFT is resold.
This has the potential to create ongoing revenue streams for artists and could be especially beneficial for those who have a loyal fan base that is willing to pay a premium for unique digital assets. However, it's important to note that the percentage of royalties earned by the artist will need to be negotiated between the artist and the NFT marketplace, as well as any other parties involved in the creation and distribution of the music.
Another potential issue is royalties is the lack of standardization across marketplaces. Each marketplace may have its own rules and regulations for how royalties are distributed, and it can be difficult for artists to track and manage their earnings across multiple platforms. This could lead to disputes and legal issues down the line, so it's important for artists to thoroughly research the marketplace and negotiate a clear agreement before selling their NFT music.
In conclusion, buying and selling NFT music can be a complex process with legal and financial implications that both artists and buyers need to be aware of. However, it also has the potential to create new revenue streams for artists and provide fans with unique digital assets that they can own and trade. As the technology and market for NFTs continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see how NFT music fits into the wider music industry landscape and what new opportunities it brings for artists and fans alike.
Is NFT music copyrighted?
In general, yes, NFT music is subject to copyright protection, just like any other form of music. The copyright in a musical work generally belongs to the creator of the work, or to their publisher or record label if they have assigned their rights.
When an artist creates an NFT music work, they are essentially creating a new digital asset that can be bought and sold by collectors. However, the underlying musical work is still subject to copyright, and any reproduction, distribution, or public performance of the work without the permission of the copyright owner could be considered copyright infringement.
That being said, the ownership and transfer of NFTs can be complex, and there are many legal and practical considerations to take into account. For example, if an NFT represents ownership of a specific recording or performance of a musical work, that may be subject to separate copyright protection. Additionally, the use of NFTs in the music industry is still a relatively new phenomenon, and there may be legal issues that arise as the technology continues to evolve.
It is important for artists, collectors, and platforms involved in the creation and distribution of NFT music to understand the legal implications of copyright and to ensure that they are complying with applicable laws and regulations. In some cases, it may be necessary to obtain licenses or other permissions from the copyright owners in order to create and sell NFTs based on copyrighted musical works.
There is no gainsaying to try and restrict the music industry's evolution to the current stage because of its constant state of improvement that aligns with every means of human technological advancement. The integration of NFTs into their music sector has propelled it to a sensational height that has changed how music is consumed and distributed.
Music NFTs have to bring in fresh ideas and shed light on the clouds that cover the eyes of every stakeholder in the entertainment realm. There is no need for music artists to relinquish their music to recording labels, downloadable streaming companies, and major distributors. Also, the introduction of NFT DAO has further reinforced the oneness and cooperative culture between new and veteran musical talents and their fans nationwide.
This and many more show the possibilities of NFT music through better and connected communities, fans having a closer relationship with their favorite artist, music artists' empowerment, and others.