Ready or not, Web3 is here, and it demands our collective attention. For some, this is the latest chapter in the hellscape of late capitalism, while for others it will reshape the world.
In the face of such polarized reviews, it seems difficult to separate the true potential of Web3 from various fintech terms and the like.
One thing’s for sure, though: Web3 is emerging as a space where more and more musicians seek to forge new paths, build communities, and push the limits of high-tech creativity.
More and more music artists are getting involved
Part of the appeal of Web3 is the wealth. The booming crypto economy has turned the NFT market into a true “gold mine,” allowing artists such as Grimes and 3LAU to reap huge profits from their sales.
Seeing the success of these music artists in the NFT field, many musicians have jumped on this irreplaceable trend train, who can blame them? Compared to the dwindling revenue most artists receive from streaming royalties, NFTs are likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to monetize songwriting.
High-profile NFT collections have attracted a lot of attention, but that’s not where Web3’s true disruptive potential lies.The real revolution is happening in artist sponsorship, copyright, curation, and monetization.
As far as sponsorships are concerned, it used to be mostly backed by record labels and is now being implemented in Discord servers. Through direct community engagement, music artists are experimenting with a new form of sponsorship, where fans come together to invest in new music. If the resulting music becomes a commercial success, the fans who participate in the investment will benefit financially.
This series of processes is backed by so-called “smart contracts,” in which terms are written in computer code and deployed openly and transparently on the blockchain, after which basic business transactions between artists and fans, such as royalty payments, can be automated.
When it comes to managing some of the ongoing issues or decision making in music projects, we are seeing more and more applications of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations).
DAOs are actually strongly human-driven systems in which teams are able to make decisions collectively without traditional hierarchies.
Rather than retaining individual control, the artist turns fans into teammates, giving fans who support their music a say in the artist’s future development and music monetization.
Then there are artists who go beyond new business practices and use Web3 technology as a creative tool.
Los Angeles-based Julian Mudd is one such musical artist. He releases his debut single in 2021, “Growing Pains,” which takes a computer-generated and Web3-specific approach to pop music. Mudd said:
For me, it was a tumultuous time growing up, when I didn’t even know what an NFT was. Later, I stumbled across some generative art NFT projects and I was inspired to release this single that way.
You can actually listen to the song on all the usual streaming platforms, but if you choose to buy the NFT version of the track, a computer algorithm will partially select, mix, and post the accompaniment, and you’ll get a Unique final version of NFT works.
Buyers even get a unique generated album cover. Aside from the fact that you get something truly unique, the point here is that you don’t know what version of the song you’ll end up with. In Web3 parlance, this process is called “blind minting”.
Holly Herndon has been at the vanguard of experimental electronic music since the release of her debut album Movement in 2012.
Her latest project, “Holly+,” offers fans Herndon’s “deepfake” vocal models for use in personal creations. As long as fans upload their creations to the “Holly+” website, they can get works sung in Holly’s voice.
In addition, there is a DAO, which is used to incentivize the curation of fan-made content. Works approved by the DAO can be minted as NFTs. 50% of the profits go to the creators, 40% to the DAO members, 10 % is owned by Herndon.
She described the “Holly+” project as a “virtuous circle” in which “the best artwork and licensing opportunities are approved by DAO members, and the profits from these works go to the artists who use the tools, the DAO members, and the DAO’s treasury for Further support for tool development”.
Of course, not every music artist is technically savvy enough to take advantage of the more adventurous advantages of Web3.
That’s why companies like Audius are stepping in to create a more user-friendly bridge between the traditional streaming infrastructure that many artists rely on, and the decentralized, direct-to-fan engagement that Web3 revolves around.
Artist Dillon Francis interface on Audius platform
The user interface of the platform is very familiar, while the platform also brings many gamification features to the community, promoting user acceptance and use of the platform by distributing the platform’s own token $AUDIO.
The technology that hides behind it, and is as deeply divisive as cryptocurrencies, is the Metaverse.
Sami Tauber seems to have been living in the future for a while now, and now that we’ve finally caught up to her, she’s happy to welcome us.
Since 2014, she has been building a forward-thinking music career centered on the “super-sentient superheroine” VNCCII.
I’ve always expected that the future of music will be multimedia, including games, digital avatars, and extended reality. The future I envision will build multimedia Metaverse-native franchises and redefine and enhance (artist) relationships with fans and communities through co-creation experiences. I’m an independent artist, so I own the IP of all my content, the NFT and blockchain space is a natural culture in the spirit of VNCCII.
As Tauber said, at present, the world is undergoing a huge transformation, and artists are regaining power, IP and communication (sovereignty). Innovations such as game development, blockchain technology and avatars are some of the key drivers for the visible future of the music Metaverse.
With the withdrawal of power comes responsibility. In addition to writing songs, independent artists now have a complex set of commercial, legal and marketing responsibilities to master.
In the Web3 space, the need to interact with online communities takes on a new dimension, which is no longer just a fan club for musicians, but now fans are also investors and stakeholders.
Producer Daniel Allan’s album Overstimulated was an investment from his fan base, and he spent months connecting with his fans, eventually securing $140,000 in funding. Allan said:
In many ways, this limits my ability to make music. Actually, the best time to make music isn’t between 7 and 9 in the morning, but it’s the only time I can do music right now because my afternoons are full of phone calls.
However, Allan also made it clear that he thinks the tradeoff is worthwhile.
I like to do this because at the end of the day, if more people can hear about the community we’re building, then I’d be happy.
Tauber expressed a similar sentiment, stressing that while communication is a key part of the Web3 business, it is very different from the impersonal and overwhelming echo chamber effects of social media.
The echo chamber effect means that while network technology brings convenience, it also creates a closed and highly homogeneous “echo chamber” for people.
That’s the cool thing about the Web3 community. You don’t need to have millions of followers on the Web2 social media platform. I find that fans and connections in Web3 are more human-oriented, as they invest directly in your NFT, brand, and project, and get a financial, cultural, and social return on investment for believing in the artist or project early on.
the other side
Of course, it’s not all good. Turning fans into investors only adds new complexity to an already delicate relationship.Venture capital is not for the faint of heart, and there is a certain chance of failure in this type of business.
Notably, many of the contracts being drafted between artists and fans are very vague, largely based on personal trust, and lack clear enforcement mechanisms.
For emotionally engaged music lovers, associating some of their wealth with the rise and fall of a favorite artist is not without risk.
There are some serious problems with the cryptoeconomics that underpin Web3 transactions, and perhaps Web3’s biggest downside is its staggering environmental impact.
Every artist working in this field is trying to chart a path that balances artistic and economic potential to “resist” the energy-intensive “proof-of-work” model.
Many creatives dabbling in crypto have highlighted their efforts to use Web3 in an environmentally friendly way, often through some form of carbon offset program.
Most people are pinning their hopes on the “Proof of Stake” (PoS) model, which is a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly system. Mudd said:
Ethereum will soon be upgraded to proof-of-stake, so I’m not concerned about the long-term impact of blockchain on the environment.
A broad shift to a proof-of-stake model would be an important step forward, but ethereum has been committing to a move to proof-of-stake since 2017, but there doesn’t seem to be a firm date yet. Hopefully pressure from artists and other members of the community will speed up this transition.
Tauber, too, shares Mudd’s optimism, stating:
The Web3 space and ecologically conscious NFT platforms and marketplaces need improvement and development, and I believe we are heading in the right direction. Focusing on the environment without stifling innovation is key.
Looking at the big picture, it’s clear that blockchain technology is enabling artists to break away from old career models and do something completely different.
Direct-to-fan engagement, collective investment and management, gamified music platforms, augmented reality concerts, and virtual entertainment spaces are fundamental paradigm shifts across the music industry.
Currently, there are a lot of trials going on, what works and what doesn’t, and there’s a lot to figure out. If there’s one constant in the Web3 and Metaverse community, it’s enthusiasm.
According to Tauber, “The open Metaverse represents a new era in which we are all creators and builders of finance, technology, and culture together. Fasten your seat belts, because the Metaverse It will be a special journey.”
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/web3-nfts-the-metaverse-and-the-future-of-the-music-industry/
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