After cassettes, cds, downloads and streaming, we will move on to the era of NFTs (non-fungible tokens, ownership certificates registered on a computer network named blockchain)? In any case, this is the French startup’s ambition Flatness.
While streaming now largely dominates the music industry, it is often criticized by musicians and accused of making the music artist profession more precarious. The civil society for the administration of the rights of artists and performing musicians (Adami) estimated in 2021 that in France, with a streaming subscription of 9.99 euros per month, an artist who is not his own producer receives only 0 .46 euros when intermediaries (producers, record labels, streaming platforms) receive 6.45 euros.
A serious deficit for artists that prompted Simon de Kinkelin, a young electronic music producer to create an alternative to streaming to allow musicians to earn. The entrepreneur has created, with Kevin Primiciero and Lancelot Owczarczak, two former students of the 42 coding school, a sales platform for NFTs musical.
The Sound of Music
that is how Flatness saw the light, with an official launch last July. This platform was inspired by the idea of the footballers’ digital card sales site “Sorare” to adapt it to the world of music. On this site, an artist can create a file NFTs and accompany it with a piece of music that can be purchased by fans of the artist. If the latter decides to publish the piece of him only in the form of NFTsonly fans with these digital certificates will be able to hear it.
” Like Sorare, fans can buy NFTs in euros with a credit card and then store them on the site or they can buy them in cryptocurrency and then send them to their crypto wallet. [un support permettant de garder des cryptos et des NFT sans dépendre d’une plateforme] », explains Kevin Primiciero, co-founder of Flatness. If this medium already made headlines when it was used by Booba in November 2021, it remains very marginal in the music world. Flatness it therefore has the ambition to democratize it. To do this, the platform has chosen to register the NFTs of its artists on “chain of blocks” Arweave » « because it allows you to store data such as songs, which would be very expensive on a blockchain better known as Ethereum », justifies the co-founder. This blockchain will also be used by Instagram to store its digital images.
Attractive fee for artists
Through the platform Flatnessartists recover 80% of the sale price of theirs NFTs (the remaining 20% goes to the platform) and even receives royalties (8% of the price) when their buyers resell their NFTs in the secondary market. This principle called resale right is allowed thanks to the ability to track the NFTs. This sales method and these rates of remuneration therefore prove to be advantageous for some artists. ” I have sold NFTs for 100 euros but also some for 1,000 euros and, for me as I make electronic music, which is not very popular on streaming platforms, NFTs bring me more money than streaming “says David Duriez, artist and founder of the Brique Rouge label.
A tool for archiving and distributing music that justifies its price by the fact that it can bring even more than just the right to listen to a song for buyers. ” Artists who issue NFTs will be able to associate them with exclusive content, ranging from the vinyl that will be sent to the buyer to VIP concert tickets or access to an artist recording session in the studio. “, presents the head of Flatness.
Since November 15, the startup has even entered into a partnership with the Society of Music Authors, Composers and Publishers (Sacem) to develop a regulatory framework with it around this still new technology. ” This partnership is a new illustration of his desire to collaborate with Music Tech players, in order to develop new ways of bringing music to life in the digital world, declares the organization in a press release that estimates it NFTs are now a nascent market, but everything indicates that their use will increase in the near future. »
NFT’s long journey to revolutionize the music industry.
The concept of Flatness it immediately appealed to both artists and fans. For now, the platform is currently counting 25,000 sales of NFTs from more than 1,000 artists registered on the platform for a total of 2 million euros in turnover in a few months. A good start but which remains a long way from the 861 million euros in turnover generated by the French music industry in 2021 according to the National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing (Snep).
So that Flatness revolutionizes the music industry and reshuffles the cards of artist remuneration, it is still necessary that the NFTs democratize. Due to the difficulty of using technologies blockchain and scandals that splash the crypto ecosystem, only 5 million French people (8%) hold cryptocurrencies and less than a million French people (1%) NFTs according to a study by the Association for the Development of Digital Assets (Adan) and KPMG released in February 2022.
A drop of water compared to the 14 million French subscribers to a paid streaming offer estimated by Snep. A balance of power that poses no problems, according to artist David Duriez who believes that ” NFTs are complementary to streaming platforms. For me, these tokens will become a medium for digital collections like vinyl does for physical collections.. See you, therefore, in a few years to find out if the NFTs the good course of vinyl will follow.