We recently heard about it with Booba, some music artists are turning to NFTs to make money. At a time when music is mostly streamed, and therefore generates very little revenue, are NFTs a goldmine for artists?
Industry, cruel industry
Let’s remember one fact first, the music industry is extremely difficult for new artists. On a CD or vinyl sale, an artist generates only a very small percentage (between 10 and 20%) and it is the label and the other actors who get the most revenue. Today most 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. So are NFTs worth?
Money money money
Many artists are now selling NFTs, after a particularly strong craze during the year 2021. It was truly a historic first for the Kings of Leon group who premiered their new album “When You See Yourself” – first and foremost, in the form of an NFT. There were different types 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 perks such as front row concert seats. Of these famous gold tickets only 6 were auctioned, while the others were set aside with the hope that over time they would acquire value. With this sale, Kings of Leon generated $ 2 million.
This sale was a partnership with YellowHeart, an online NFT sales platform. Platform CEO Josh Katz said NFTs are a great opportunity for artists to regain control of their musical creations.
It’s not just albums or VIP tickets that you can buy from artists. Shortly after the Kings Of Leon deal, also in March 2021, singer Grimes raised nearly $ 6 million by selling her NFT. She offered for sale 10 works of art, 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 NFT tomorrow at 2pm EST. enters the void pic.twitter.com/l9fNFUCheX
– ?????? (@Grimezsz) February 28, 2021
An opportunity for young artists?
However, these are still the most famous artists who dominate the NFT world. To help the little ones, the Audius platform was born on the blockchain (a storage and transmission technology) in 2021. His plan was to be a streaming service that offered a fairer remuneration for artists. Behind this platform there is a complex operation which, in the end, leads to the possibility of being able to tip the artists whose work we wish to support. However, we hear very little about this platform at the moment, and the cryptocurrency world still looks like a new way to help the rich get richer.
And the fans in all of this?
As mentioned in our Booba article, NFTs pose problems. Scams, addiction and an 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 sector. It would help artists to be more independent from labels and closer to their fans. However, the process lacks clarity and bias to seem honest. Especially since last spring, when the price of the cryptocurrency plummeted.
Perhaps we would rather see a revolution in the music industry that treats its artists better than a digital revolution that isn’t very accessible. More attractive appear the other changes observable in recent years that allow artists to generate more revenue (great return to fashion for vinyls and CDs, increase in tours, etc.). Even if, once again, it is always the same toast.
Visual: © CactiStaccingCrane – CreativeCommons – Wikicommons.