Most of us know NFTs as digital art images and collectibles, while it includes many other NFT trends ranging from gaming NFTs to NFT TV shows. Meanwhile, celebrities such as Snoop Dogg started incorporating NFT into their music albums, in his case Death Row Records, which has made music NFT the next big NFT trend.
But how could it be possible? It is clear that buying a music NFT is totally different from purchasing music from the iTunes library or Amazon. Buying music from the usual online platforms means only purchasing the right to listen to the music, but buying a music NFT gives you the ownership of the piece.
NFT music even can do much more than that, as it has boundless potential for changing the music industry. In the following, we provide details about music NFT to help our readers have a better understand about how NFTs can revolutionize the music industry and what it brings to the future.
What is a music NFT?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are built on blockchains and each NFT is unique since there is only one token for each asset. Recently, NFTs have been used in various industries including real states, gaming, fashion and music.
Music NFTs are a new way to collect, sell and share music. Like any other NFT, a music NFT is a unique, one-of-a-kind token that can be sold on the blockchain as a song, a music video, or even a whole NFT album. Music tokens can also be used as currency for concert tickets, merchandise, etc.
Music NFTs also allow musicians to monetize their work through creating unique digital assets and trade them on NFT marketplaces. Some music NFT platforms like Royal provide artists with royalties from the possible future resell of their NFTs, based on the smart contract recorded in the blockchain.
On the other hand, music lovers who purchase and own music NFTs can show their love and support for an artist, as well as getting some financial benefit from ownership of the NFT. Buying a music NFT is beyond buying a digital file; in fact, you buy something unique to you, which no one else has. Music NFT is a precious asset that can be widely traded on NFT marketplaces.
Types of music NFTs
There are three major kinds of music NFT drops, and each comes at a different level of exclusivity.
A 1/1 NFT (or one-of-one) means that the NFT is issued as a single, unique item. Therefore, it is completely exclusive and only one of it exists. Being rare, 1/1 NFTs usually carry a much higher price tag than NFT editions.
An open edition NFT comes with an unlimited number of editions to be minted. Open editions usually must be minted in a set period. No new NFTs can be minted after the set time.
A limited edition is restricted to a predefined number of editions. Therefore, there is a limitation to the number of NFTs to be minted. These collections usually consist of 10,000 editions.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each kind of these drops. A 1/1 is the most expensive due to its rarity. Editions lead to less scarcity, but they are perfect for community building and increasing fan loyalty.
Most musicians, though, prefer to mint their track on an album as a 1/1 and auction them individually. There are also some tracks that are minted as limited or open editions.
How Do Music NFTs Work?
Like any other NFT, music NFTs are also built in a blockchain. First, an artist creates a unique piece of music and, then, it is transformed into a digital asset by signing smart contracts in a blockchain. NFT for music can then be purchased in NFT marketplaces. Being recorded in a blockchain, it will be secure and immutable, so no one can ever copy or steal it from the owner.
Each music NFT is unique, and is linked to one song or other composition from a certain album. Thus, the owner can access the piece that the token represents.
A music NFT creator can decide about the number of copies of the digital token, and sell those copies through an exchange. Owners can trade them on any crypto exchange that supports NFT trading.
The more people buy copies of a digital song, the number of available copies reduce, and the value of the music NFT increases.
The benefits of music NFTs for artists
Many people find music NFTs a way of better way to empower and financially support the favorite musicians. Considering the dominance of label or streaming service on the music industry to get a song circulating, artists seem to prefer to mint their own music to a blockchain and sell their NFT independently.
In this respect, music NFTs provides a great opportunity to bring power back to music artists so that they can create entire ecosystems through Web3 community building. Besides, decentralized platforms and organizations such as Friends With Benefits, SongCamp, Zora, etc. invite artists to break into the Web3 music space and own their unique fan bases through NFTs.
Therefore, musicians and singers can also benefit from smart contracts provided for music NFTs built on blockchains.
How Can Music NFTs Change the Music Industry?
Right now, music NFT is a distinctive type of musical art that cannot be replicated or interchanged. This fact allows music NFTs to make big changes in the music sector in several ways.
First, music NFTs help artists better monetize their music piece. We already know that traditional music streaming services play the role of a third party, and typically artists receive a very small percentage of the total revenue generated. Attending NFT marketplaces, musicians can directly sell their music NFTs to fans and retain a greater revenue share. Music NFTs can widely increase the incomes of many struggling musicians.
Second, music NFT can be a solution to reduce music piracy. Since NFTs are unique and cannot be replicated, illegal copies and distributing album art will significantly decrease. Therefore, music NFT can save the music industry, which has been struggling to combat piracy for many years.
Finally, music NFTs create a direct connection between artists and fans as token holders. Creating a token community, artists do not need to communicate with their fans through an intermediary, like a record label or streaming service. This causes an intimate, direct relationship between artists and their fans, leading to a vibrant and supportive music community.
According to the discussion above, it is clear that music NFTs have the potential to positively transform the music industry for both creators and listeners, improving artist incomes, reducing piracy, and creating a direct and supportive relationship between musicians and fans.
How to Create and Sell Music NFTs?
To create an NFT, first you need to own a digital wallet and connect it to a blockchain app. Then, you must create a digital file for the music. You can use virtual audio editing software to make the digital file. Once you have the digital file, it is time to upload it to a blockchain platform that supports NFTs. There are several different platforms including Ethereum, Fantom and Polygon.
As the music NFT is uploaded to a blockchain platform, you need to create a smart contract to specify the terms of your sale, such as the price of the music and how it will be delivered to the buyer. Then, you must mint your NFT. Now, you create a unique token that represents your music file.
Once the NFT is minted, it can sell it to fans. You can do this directly, or list it on an NFT marketplace for a Buy Now price or in an auction. The process is the same if you wish to create a music NFT album.
Music NFT Marketplaces
Almost all large NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea, Rarible and Nifty Gateway, cover music NFTs. However, most musicians are more interested in music NFT marketplaces, like Royal and Opulous, that provide a niche service for those wishing to invest purely in music NFTs. Let’s discuss some of the popular music NFT marketplaces.
Royal helps creators co-own their music with their fans. It allows not only artists but also fans to earn royalties every time a work is sold.
On Opulus, creators can earn royalties from their work by staking it on the platform and earning a share of the platform’s transaction fees. Opulous also provide artists with earning royalties on their work.
Catalog mixes a streaming service and an NFT marketplace. On Catalog, artists can add a record to Catalog’s open music library. Fans can purchase music NFTs with a “buy it now” price, by participating in an auction, or by making an offer. Providing high scarcity, Catalog is a great place to collect a unique, one-of-a-kind music NFT from all artists.
Sound.xyz also combines streaming and minting. Here, artists can launch a listening party for new song releases with a series of open or limited edition NFTs. The platform is not limited to single tracks and covers full projects. Sound.xyz has hosted mixes like Soulection+, which featured 18 different artists.
Async Music is the music-focused arm of the prominent NFT platform Async Art. In this music platform, each track (guitar, piano, vocals, percussion) is uploaded separately based on different versions. Async Music allows artists to mint music in a dynamic way that lets fans collect specific layers, piece by piece, in order to form one master track.
Mint Songs is only dedicated to music NFT and is not closed or invite-only. Thus, a wider variety of artists are selling their music NFT on the platform. With a core mission to help artists build a sustainable and livable income from creating music, Mint Songs is a great place to find innovative artists to support. Mint Songs also runs on Polygon, which makes it accessible with the absence of high transaction fees.
OneOf is built on Tezos blockchain. The platform does not allow for independent minting at the time of writing, but it acts as a base for many high-profile NFT drops (like Doja Cat, The Game, Alesso, and others).
Music NFT DAOs
Music NFTs are supported in DAOs, which also reshapes the way music is produced. Rather than the music labels, DAOs are in charge of an artist’s music direction. DAOs provide a platform for everyone to cooperate in a less hierarchical manner, meaning that there is a more direct connection between artists and fans.
In music DAOs, fans not only support the music by buying it, but they also further support the musician’s creative process. They gain even greater success with setting a better image of their favorite artists.
Music DAOs can be different. For example, NoiseDAO, invest directly in the artists, while MusicFund offer grants to the fans. Others, like Audius has a special grants program for music artists.
The future of NFT sound art
There are lots of changes that NFTs has brought to the art world, including fine arts and music. Artists along with musicians are taking the chance to adapt their art to the new technology and launch them as NFT projects. As we mentioned above, benefits of music NFTs are obvious for musicians and listeners and there are more people interested in owning music NFTs. Thus, many musicians chose to launch their music albums as NFTs and join the stream of the music NFT. These all makes NFTs a definite part of the future of music industry and music sale.
NFT music FAQ
Why to buy a music NFT?
Music NFTs allow fans to invest in artists they believe in. They also recieve financial gains from the music NFT they own.
Which NFT marketplace is best for music?
NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, or the ones dedicated only to music, like Async Music, are available to trade music any time.