The music industry remixes itself for NFT adoption
Future. Musical acts like Kings of Leon and DJ Justin Bleu are remaking music distribution and monetization with non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The tech allows artists to directly monetize fans, build a dedicated community, and pocket a greater ratio of revenue than they did from traditional record contracts. In an era where top artists have nonstop access to fans through social platforms, NFTs pave the way for musicians to go independent and rely on NFT releases to make money.
Ultimately, Kings of Leon is not making mad money from these NFTs, but it’s definitely a start… and the music industry at large is keeping a close eye on how NFT adoption will increase from here. Sony/RCA, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group have all reportedly set up “task forces” to get crypto-educated.
More alarmingly (to music labels, that is), DJ Justin Blau sold $20 million in NFTs since last fall, and is already in talks with Billie Eilish, Metallica, and Madonna to join the “first blockchain music auction to be hosted at Christie’s, the London auction house.”
Could NFTs be the modern-day Napster? A tech that totally disrupts how music is distributed and monetized? Yes, but also with “digital rights protection built in (like iTunes).” That’s great for artists and fans… and maybe less so for label execs.
The golden ticket?
Kings of Leon may be the opening act to the music industry’s adoption of NFTs.
- Back in March, the band sold their newest album, When You See Yourself, through a digital token called “NFT Yourself.”
- Priced at the Ethereum equivalent of $50, the token included the band’s album, a piece of original art, a gold vinyl, and musical outtakes.
- In two weeks, the band sold 6,500 tokens for a total of $2.2 million. It also sold six “Golden Tickets,” which included a lifetime VIP concert ticket for one show per tour, for $100K each.
And, since creators earn a fee every time a token resells on the blockchain, Kings of Leon has already made 10% of the $246K in trades among fans.