NFTs are one of the revolutionary industries next to cryptocurrencies that spawned out of the blockchain revolution starting in 2020. The actual market demand and value for NFTs has proven that as well. In particular, for art and collectibles NFTs, the market peaked at $11.2 billion dollars from 2019–2021, with a majority of those sales taking place in 2021.
Recently, the top 10 NFTs still include the big names such as Otherside, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Meebits, CryptoPunks, CloneX, and Azuki. But besides art, collectibles, profile pictures, and social flexing, music is one area that has integrated with NFTs and garnered lots of attention. The Kings of Leon rock band was one catalyst that catapulted the NFT music idea with them selling the world’s first album in the form of an NFT (in March 2021).
How Are Music NFTs Being Marketed & Used?
It’s still early days for music NFTs as the industry develops and works out different business models and structures. But many business practices have already come forward. For example, music NFTs have been used by artists to sell albums and singles, they’ve been used for daily drops, also for concert tickets and granting access to special areas.
Outside of the actual music realm, they’ve been used for other perks such as artist meetups, merchandise, and for limited edition music, to name a few. Moreover, on the technical side, and most importantly, music NFTs allow for better royalties and copyright claims. Lastly, with the proliferation of this industry we’re seeing numerous music NFT marketplaces pop up as well as music NFT DAOs and NFT music videos. So the industry is expanding outward in multiple ways and they’re all looking quite promising.
Artists Involved With NFTs
What Benefits & Innovations Do Music NFTs Bring To The Industry?
In line with the general theme of NFTs and the blockchain is verifiable ownership. Music NFTs benefit the artists by giving them more control over their work. Secondly, they give an artist and the musician more flexibility in being able to build an active community. Although Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud are great places for artists to grow an audience and gain credibility, they’re too big, too populated, too saturated, and too out-of-touch with the up-and-comers. These platforms are great for huge artists, but they severely disadvantage the “little guy.” So this is one solution that NFTs bring to the industry i.e., they have the potential to reverse the mass flow to centralized music steamers, and bring the game back to the individual.
Moreover, the next biggest complaint artists and musicians have about phone downloadable streaming platforms (DSPs) such as Spotify is that they exploit the artists of their copyright, their “cut of the pie,” and their future growth. So music NFTs have the potential to actually bring the artists more revenue from their music alone, rather than requiring the artists to do outside-the-studio-work like tours, merch sales, and partnerships through commercials and other branding. What this refers to is a special kind of music NFT called an LDA, which stands for limited digital asset. The goal of an LDA is to allow artists to share royalty rights with their fans, choosing a percentage of their choice, and encouraging rights holders to share and remix the music that they own.
So through music NFTs these artists can expand their game through album releases, selling beats and instrumentals, merchandise and other product sales, stock-type distribution offerings, and tokenization. Music NFTs thus allow musicians to build an active community, it lowers the barrier to entry, and fast tracks adoption.
Music NFT Marketplaces & Platforms
- Nifty Gateway
- Gala Music
- Sound XYZ
- Glass XYZ
- Mint Songs
Best Blockchain & NFT Music Platform Moving Forward
2021 was a great year for experimentation in the music Web3 NFT space, and at the beginning of the year Nifty Gateway was the dominant player in the market with a 60% share, but by year’s end OpenSea started rising as a big time player. Besides Ethereum, other blockchains have risen to the front in the music NFT market. For example, Tezos, the Binance Smart Chain, and layer-2s like Polygon started gaining more adoption. Algorand too turned out to be a great blockchain of choice for the music NFT people.
In the section below, we’ll take a look at two dark horse music NFT platforms and ecosystems: Algorand’s Opulous and the Internet Computer’s Canistore. Right now everyone is familiar with Ethereum-based applications, but it’s also important to take a look at the rising dark horses and the music NFT platforms that don’t have to deal with exorbitant costs and network congestion, along with other exciting offerings.
Algorand’s Music NFT Ecosystem: Opulous, LimeWire, & ANote Music
Algorand has been a strong player in the blockchain music NFT segment. It can pretty much be described as being only behind Ethereum. In particular, Algorand has three projects that are in this space: Opulous, LimeWire, and ANote Music, and each of these projects actually have some similarities and differences in their music NFT products.
Opulous introduced this thing called Music Fungible Tokens (MFTs), which are pretty unique, as well as a MFT and NFT exchange. LimeWire is a more recent announcement, where Universal Music Group dropped the news that they’re releasing NFTs on LimeWire’s Algorand Marketplace, and UMG is a pretty reputable label that features names such as Taylor Swift, U2, Kendrick Lamar, and BTS.
ANote Music seeks to build the bridge between music creators and financial markets. Thus, its platform is for people to invest and trade music, while providing a new funding method for the music industry. So it’s actually similar to Opulous in a way.
Opulous: Enter The Stage MFTs
Opulous is a platform that’s reshaping the music industry by introducing the world’s first Music Fungible Tokens (MFTs) and offering products such as exclusive Artwork NFTs and DeFi services. They’re bringing these products to the market to allow all individuals and music fans to invest in their favorite artists and own a real piece of the music they’re investing in.
Opulous has three primary offerings, a launchpad, an exchange, and DeFi loans. The launchpad is where investors can purchase MFTs and artwork NFTs to support the artists they like and earn a share of their royalties. The exchange is where investors can trade their MFTs and NFTs with other fans and users. As a result, users of this platform can build a fun and profitable portfolio of lucrative music NFTs.
What’s great about Opulous’s launchpad model is that first, this model of MFTs is really great for investors since they can buy a share of a single, EP, or an album’s music copyright. And from these investments users can generate monthly royalty revenue, so it resembles a sort of staking/investment interest earnings account. This MFT offering is also SEC approved, which means it has a foot forward on the regulatory front.
Algorand Music NFT Limitations
So yes, Algorand is an established player in the blockchain music NFT business, but its offerings at a closer look are still not as diverse as they could be. They’re mainly still limited to just a music platform only. This is where the Internet Computer’s Canistore comes into play. Canistore is a project on the Internet Computer ecosystem, and it’s an application that seeks to do more than just music, and offers artists and the community to engage with each other in more ways and in more creative ways.
Canistore: Create, License, Play
So what project has the greatest potential to make it into the multimedia and music NFT and crypto space? The answer is Canistore. Canistore is a decentralized media service provider tailored for content creators and musicians. One of the solutions Canistore offers is it being a solution to algorithm bias and platforms that threaten music creators. To combat these issues, Canistore sought to develop a next-generation social-store mobile application that allows creators to simplify the storing, selling, and sharing of photos, music, and videos.
Canistore is great for the music people looking to do more with their content than Spotify, Audius, Instagram, and platforms like these can offer. Canistore’s licensing protocol checks all the boxes: it allows creators to “make it” on the social, it allows for artist and listener ownership, it allows for better monetization opportunities through NFTs, and also serves as a platform for distributors. So it does more than platforms like Spotify, Audius, and Opulous.
In summary, through Canistore people can license content with no legal fees, there are better monetization opportunities, more improved ownership over content, fantastic security guarantees, NFT minting, music and video broadcasting and streaming, smooth sharing without having to fight the algorithms, all inclusive discovery opportunities to find content, secure data, and physical locations that support artistic and musician development.
Its services include licensing, audio streaming, video streaming, NFT creation, social networking, native tokens, and on-chain storage. Thus, it improves upon much of where the industry is currently stuck.
Music NFTs and the intersection of music and the blockchain have a bright future. However, there’s considerable competition in the market as it stands. Moving forward, platforms such as Audius, and blockchains such as Algorand will indeed have a future and a market. But there’s many other players out there looking to take their share of the pie, the Internet Computer and Canistore being one of them. At the end of the day competition breeds innovation, so it’s a healthy indicator for where the market’s headed. All researchers and analysts are looking forward to see which platform takes the King’s spot in the market.