Canadian Musician - March-April 2022 - Page 11

Our Lady Peace ’ s latest album for sale as an NFT via S ! NG Market video clips from his shows and collectible digital art that the DJ developed in collaboration 3D visual artist Sutu Eats Flies .
American group Kings of Leon were the first to release a major rock album through as an NFT . They produced $ 50 limited one-off NFTs for the album , plus six “ golden ticket ” NFTs , which granted the buyer four front-row seats to one show of their choosing for every Kings of Leon headline tour for life . That NFT auction via the company Yellow Heart earned the band around $ 2 million . Of course , since then , loads of examples with varying degrees of success have emerged . where other people are trying to drive up the prices . You can write in the smart contract whatever way you want [ and earn a share from each resale transaction ].”
When Our Lady Peace sold their latest album , Spiritual Machines II , as NFTs via the S ! NG Market , depending on the edition the fan purchase , the NFT could also unlock things like original demos , stems for singles , a physical signed album cover , and a personal video message .
The value of an NFT lies in the scarcity of the units that go out for sale , which is important , because scarcity is something that had largely been eliminated in the digital music economy . Digital content , such as artwork , music , text , or files are replicable or shareable in the digital realm . Original ownership is a hard determinant to attach value to the content or monetize creative work . NFTs disrupt that . They tell the time , ownership , and history of the work . The lower the quantity of NFTs with unique content that are put out there , the bigger novelty and potentially the financial worth of each digital unit is going to be in the open art-based content market .
What ’ s the Pitch ? / What ’ s on Offer ? A particular advantage to music artists is the idea of offering exclusive perks : NFTs can contain such things as lifetime concert ticket discounts ; long-term VIP backstage passes to concerts ; rare video footage ; unreleased studio recordings of demos , b-sides , remixes , or reworked edits of songs that are already out there ; signed pictures or commercial artwork ; transferable royalty percentages to an artist ’ s song , etc . The list is endless .
With the decimation of the live concert industry due to the COVID-19 , many music artists have seen a decline in their earnings and revenues . Songwriters and musicians have been unable to get a fair share of royalties from music streaming via their labels ’ deals with DSP giants like Spotify , Apple , Amazon Music , or YouTube . NFTs have potentially offered artists a chance to cut out intermediaries and middlemen that often take a significant share of the revenue pie before any monetary fruits of their creative labour is received . Record labels , distributors , publishers , or streaming services themselves can be subtracted from the equation , potentially increasing profit margins for indie artists in the future .
According to Hypebot : “ Decentralized crypto-based streaming platforms , such as Audius ( who recently partnered with TikTok allowing song transfers to their platform ), are now being created due to the boom of NFTs . Electronic music producers like Deadmau5 , Weezer , Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park , 3LAU , and many others are contributors to the new platform .”
NFTs have allowed artists financial and creative freedom to curate content and connect with fans on a more personal level . Cutting out the middleman and gatekeepers has the potential to allow independent artists to effectively keep their overheads really low and be in complete control of the distribution channels to their fans online . In an age where sales of CDs and digital downloads have declined , streaming has greatly diminished the value of recorded music for most musicians , resulting in them earning only a fraction of the royalties they would have in the CD , cassette , or vinyl eras . The built-in rarity of NFTs may instill a cultural shift in attitudes in people towards the worth of owning music and also valuing digital music as an owned asset . Even if it ’ s only superfans who feel the need to own something by their favourite artist , it still provides a wide range of money-making options for artists .
Who ’ s Made Success of It ? This year , deadmau5 collaborated with tech firm WorldWide Asset Exchange ( WAX ) to release novelty NFTs , containing limitededition content under the brand name RAREZ . These included never-before-seen
Is There Longevity in the Format for Artists ? The bigger concern that arises from the success of NFTs in the past year is : how long will this trending boom last for ? Is it here to stay for the foreseeable future , or will it fade away like any digital fad that peaks and fades in fairweather fashion ? NFTs are bought and sold with cryptocurrency , and the growing awareness and anger at the environmental impact of Bitcoin and Ethereum is a legitimate cause for concern .
It may also be argued that only collectors with deep pockets may be able to afford NFTs just for the pride of owning something “ rare ” by their favourite artists , thus bringing socio-economic dynamics into the fold of music ownership and consumption . However , vocalist Tobi O ’ Kandi from the band O . Children sees a brighter future for NFTs . He told the BBC : “ As an entirely independent musician , producer , artist , and all-round creative , I ’ m essentially building my future ( and hopefully others ’) as an artist in tandem with its rise . The thing no one gets about NFTs - for musicians or otherwise - is that the true value of an NFT lies less in music or artworks but simply in power . Essentially , NFTs open up a new perceived route of uniqueness and ownership .”
Maida reckons as much : “ The industry is being disrupted right now ,” he asserts . “ It ’ s no different to when Napster hit , and everything moved to DSPs and subscriptions . This is tilting back towards the artist again . Labels are going to be forced to reinvent themselves , and re-imagine how they partner with artists , and what they can offer artists . That ’ s progress .”
Only time will tell .
Ahmed Haroon is a Toronto-based writer and former Editorial Assistant at Canadian . Musician .
CANADIAN MUSICIAN 11