Another big crypto deal in music, as Opulous inks NFT partnership with Japanese giant LINE

The music industry is getting cozier and cozier with the crypto world.

There have been plenty of headlines around NFTs in 2021, of course – with artists selling Non-Fungible Tokens for millions of dollars. There’s also been other major stories, like UnitedMasters’ recent deal with Coinbase, allowing indie artists to get paid in cryptocurrency.

One of the earliest movers in this space was Opulous, which specializes in tokenized music assets, particularly NFTs that offer buyers a share of a song / recording’s future royalty earnings.

After launching back in February via the co-founder of distribution and services platform, Ditto Music, Opulous (operating as BlueBox) then powered the first ever split music copyright sale by artists via NFTs.

Since then, Opulous, built on the Algorand blockchain, has raised millions of dollars and inked partnerships with big names in crypto such as Binance and Republic – deals which have in turn led to partnerships with artists like Lil Pump and Lil Yachty.

(Speculation is now rife over who the next big-name artist to work with Opulous will be: apparently, whoever it is, they’ve got over 40 million monthly listeners. The platform’s founder is certainly confident about the caliber of artists and investors now coming on board; he suggests that Opulous will “be the biggest music platform since Spotify”.)

Today (October 26), there’s more big news: Opulous has announced a new agreement with tech giant LINE Corporation via its Tech Plus division. LINE is the owner of Japan’s biggest messaging app (LINE) as well as the nation’s biggest domestic streaming platform (LINE Music).

To give you a sense of the scale of LINE Corporation: In 2020 alone, the company generated the equivalent of $1.5 billion in revenue, or around $4 million a day.

LINE’s messaging platform alone had 89 million monthly active users (MAUs) in Japan as of June 2021, and 188 million MAUs around the world. Across all of its business divisions, LINE counted over 400 million registered users as of 2014.

Opulous has inked a strategic partnership with LINE’s Tech Plus division (LTP) to co-develop Non-Fungible Token (NFT) products. LTP is the operator of LINE’s cryptocurrency and blockchain-related businesses.

The two parties are also discussing the integration of Opulous Music NFTs with LINE’s NFT Market to provide LINE users with more NFT choices and “to help spur the growth of the NFT market”.

In addition, LINE Tech Plus says it will provide support to Opulous regarding the development of blockchain services based on the LINE Blockchain Developers platform.

The partnership comes as a part of LINE’s plans to continue growing its token economy and expand into NFT markets.

Recently, LINE BITMAX Wallet launched a beta version of an NFT market in Japan, where users can manage and trade digital assets and NFT products using LINE’s digital asset LINK, all through a simple login using their LINE ID.

Lee Parsons

“Being the first mover in the Music NFT space, it is important to us to work with high caliber partners. I’m proud to say that we have found one in LINE Tech Plus.”

Lee Parsons, Opulous

“We look forward to providing interesting NFT products to music lovers everywhere, utilizing our blockchain technology along with Ditto Music’s NFT services,” said Woosuk Kim, CEO of LINE Tech Plus.

Lee Parsons, CEO of Opulous and Ditto Music, said: “Being the first mover in the Music NFT space, it is important to us to work with high caliber partners. I’m proud to say that we have found one in LINE Tech Plus. We are looking forward to reshaping the music industry and NFT markets with the opportunities blockchain technology provides.”

In addition to its copyright-backed NFT business, Opulous offers artists DeFi loans which the company claims can transform the financing of musicians’ careers.

The platform is comprised of three main functions: (i) the NFT Launchpad, which aims to power a new revenue stream for creators in the form of music copyright NFTs; (ii) the NFT Exchange, which allows anyone to invest in music and trade copyright shares; and (iii) DeFi Loans, which are backed by future royalties and, says Opulous, “will replace the unfair deals traditionally forced on promising artists”.

LINE joined the Z Holdings Group, one of the largest internet service groups in Japan, following the completion of a business integration in March 2021.Music Business Worldwide