We heard about it recently with Booba, some music artists are turning to NFTs to make money. At a time when music is mainly streamed, and therefore generates very little revenue, are NFTs a gold mine for artists?
Industry, cruel industry
Let’s first recall a fact, the music industry is extremely difficult for new artists. On a sale of CD or vinyl, an artist only generates a very small percentage (between 10 and 20%) and it is the label and other actors who recover most of the income. Today, the majority of the population listens on streaming platforms, and on these the income is more than minimal. For listening on Spotify, an artist earns an average of 0.0039 euros. So are NFTs worth it?
Money, money, money
Many artists are now selling NFTs, after a particularly strong craze during the year 2021. It was indeed a historic first for the group Kings of Leon who had proposed their new album “When You See Yourself” in preview- first, in the form of NFT. There were several kinds with more or less exclusive content, and prices that varied. In addition to the basic NFTs which contained only the album, the group offered 18 “golden tickets” which gave access to VIP benefits such as front row seats in concert. Only 6 of these famous golden tickets were offered at auction, as for the others, they were put aside with the hope that they would gain in value over time. With this sale, Kings of Leon generated $2 million.
This sale was a partnership with YellowHeart, an online NFT sales platform. The platform’s CEO, Josh Katz, said NFTs are a great opportunity for artists to regain control over their musical creations.
It’s not just albums or VIP tickets you can buy from artists. Shortly after the Kings Of Leon affair, still in March 2021, singer Grimes raised nearly $6 million with her NFT sale. She offered 10 works of art for sale, produced in collaboration with her brother Mac Boucher. 9 of these works sold out in just 20 minutes. Note that part of the revenue from this sale was generated for the Carbon 180 association.
Dropping NFTs tomorrow at 2pm EST. enter the void pic.twitter.com/l9fNFUCheX
— ?????? (@Grimezsz) February 28, 2021
An opportunity for young artists?
Still, these are still the most well-known artists dominating the NFT world. To help the little ones, the Audius platform was born on the blockchain (a storage and transmission technology) in 2021. Its project was to be a streaming service offering fairer remuneration for artists. Behind this platform is a complex operation but which, in the end, leads to the possibility of being able to tip artists whose work we wish to support. However, we hear very little about this platform now, and the crypto world still seems like a new way to help the rich get richer.
And the fans in all this?
As we mentioned in our article on Booba, NFTs pose problems. Scams, addiction and interest in money rather than art, what are artists really selling to their fans? If we think positive, we could say that this is an opportunity to directly support a musician and give him money without going through the other players in the industry. This would help artists to be more independent from labels and closer to their fans. However, the process lacks clarity and bias for it to appear honest. Especially since last spring, when the price of cryptocurrency plummeted.
We would perhaps prefer to see a revolution in the music industry that treats its artists better than a digital revolution that is not very accessible. The other changes observable in recent years that allow artists to generate more income (great return to fashion for vinyl and CDs, increased tours, etc.) appear more attractive. Even if, once again, it is always the same ones who toast.
Visual: ©CactiStaccingCrane – CreativeCommons – Wikicommons.
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Artists and NFTs, an advantageous partnership? – Whole culture
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