Web3 Music Market

category - music
sector - media & technology
type - market focus
Market Focus
In a bid to reform its fractured systems, the music industry is embracing the Web3 space to empower musicians, digital communities and real-life fans

Drivers: what’s happening

The streaming industry is in dire need of reform. Corporate giants such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube only pay artists a fraction of a penny per stream.

This means that just 0.4% of musicians in the UK can make a living from streaming, most of whom are signed to major labels (source: Intellectual Property Office). The industry’s extreme fragility was further exposed during the pandemic, when musicians were forced to cancel live performances and lose their primary source of income as a result.

In response, a new wave of Web3-native platforms and disruptors are harnessing blockchain technologies to give artists better tools to manage their careers, be more resilient and retain more agency.

‘There’s a seismic shift happening now where artists are reclaiming power, IP and communication,’ explains artist Sami Tauber. ‘Innovations like game development, blockchain technology and avatars are some of the key drivers for the music metaverse’s tangible future.’

Published by:

18 May 2022

Author: Abi Buller and Lavinia Fasano

Image: House I Built by Snoop Dogg, US



Music collectibles

Tuning into demands for creative ownership, a wave of platforms are emerging to promote music-related assets as digital collectibles. One example is Catalog, a marketplace for single-edition music non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Primarily aimed at super-fans, the concept allows musicians to monetise their music as an object that costs more than the traditional mediums of CDs, vinyl or streaming subscriptions. For fans, the ownership model allows them to signal their devotion to artists, while also feeling empowered to sell their NFT whenever they want. Elsewhere, Sound.xyz, runs daily drops where collectors or traders can mint editions of a music NFT. Offering an interactive element, the platform also features the functionality of allowing owners to comment at a certain moment in a given song. When an NFT is traded, new owners can overwrite the token’s original comments.

Digital fandom

Beyond music collectibles, entrepreneurs are exploring how emerging technologies can help create more reciprocal relationships between musicians and fans. Demonstrating an evolution of our research into digital fandom, cryptocurrency platform Rally is enticing creators with customisable cryptocurrencies, or social tokens. Through the platform, users can launch their own tokens that can include programmable features such as access to private Discord channels or exclusive event invitations. Also banking on the importance of fandom communities is Temple, a membership platform presenting exclusive content across multiple platforms. The idea is to encourage creators to make content that is exclusively available to subscribers, who can pay for that content with social tokens and NFTs.

‘With current membership platforms, fans don’t get financially rewarded for being a fan, despite the fact that they are so crucial to the success of that community’
Omar Ismail, co-founder, Temple

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