The music industry has changed drastically in recent years, from how sound is recorded to how it’s distributed to fans, and how artists make money.
Big Tech names such as Spotify, Apple and Amazon have been at the forefront of the music streaming industry for a long time, attracting consumers by the millions. But musicians haven’t always had a smooth relationship with these platforms.
Taylor Swift famously yanked her music from Spotify in 2014, arguing that the platform undervalued her work and that of other writers and producers.
“I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free,” she told Yahoo.
“I thought, ‘I will try this; I’ll see how it feels.’ It didn’t feel right to me.”
Swift was also at the center of controversy when Ticketmaster’s website prevented hundreds of thousands of fans from buying tickets to her upcoming tour, highlighting the problems of centralization in the ticketing industry and amplifying calls for decentralized alternatives.
Streaming platforms have also often been criticized for not offering enough financial support to independent and lesser-known artists, who have a tough time making a living from streaming royalties alone.
Many musicians have turned to Web3, offering fans new forms of engagement other than just listening to their music. True fans would rather own collectible music, so just as you would open Spotify to crank your favorite tunes, you can just as easily buy a music NFT and become something like an investor in the project.
Read more: The Investor’s Guide to Music NFTs
Mastercard Music Pass
Under an Artist Accelerator program, Mastercard launched a free Music Pass NFT that gives holders certain benefits including exclusive Web3 music tools, learning opportunities and experiences with artists. The payments giant is partnering with Polygon for users to join and mint their free music pass.
Audius adds NFT gating
Decentralized music community Audius added NFT-gating to its platform recently. The feature allows artists to give only certain NFT collectors the option to access certain songs and mixes.
Users would have to link a third-party wallet like Metamask or Phantom to their Audius wallet to enable NFT-gating.
Winamp-inspired Web3 music app
Spinamp, a music NFT aggregation platform, is an easy-to-use popular app that seems to have become the preferred way to check out music in Web3. With a clean user interface and retro visual style, the product supports Ethereum, Polygon and Solana to convert music NFTs into audible files. When a user clicks on “Collections,” Spinamp collates and displays all the music NFTs stored on your crypto wallet.
Web3 music project Sound recently announced a DeFi-inspired feature allowing users to sell editions of their favorite songs and optimizes earnings for musicians.
The functionality allows for one-click collection and sales of music NFT editions, allowing collectors to mint editions even after a primary sale is over. NFT drops conducted through Sound Swap begins with a 24-hour open edition release, and each edition is priced at 0.005 ETH. Musicians get to earn 95% of the proceeds at this primary phase. The project rewards collections for being early.
Tuning In NFTs
Web3 collective Tuning In NFTs, launched in January, hopes to support upcoming and independent artists. It aims to be a community-centric platform, prioritizing how independent artists are discovered and supported.
“I was interacting with these artists and realized how much they were laboring,” founder Samantha Stein said.
“Their focus is creating music, yet they are forced to concentrate on sales and marketing. I felt like I could do something to help artists, so I founded a community that acts as a venue for artists to exhibit their work and establish a direct connection with music fans.”
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