The jury’s out on whether non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a music industry fad – or a transformative harbinger of the business’s future. Either way, they’re booming.
Last month it was reported that the digital collectables had generated over $100 million in sales in just 30 days across various entertainment formats.
Now, NFTs are starting to gain mainstream traction in the music industry, as evidenced by the flurry of news in the past few weeks from superstar artists selling millions of dollars worth of the digital assets to their fans.
Additionally, just today, MBW reported that video games brand Atari is getting into the NFT business in a huge way, partnering with Bondly, a peer-to-peer e-commerce platform for digital assets, to launch NFTs across gaming, music and other areas.
Atari’s ultimate goal is to combine these NFTs into a new crypto gaming platform called the Atari Metaverse that will allow creators to mint and distribute their own NFT collections to their fans, which adds a new element to the argument that NFTs are becoming a force for democratizing the music industry.
Here’s a recap of just some of music’s (and musicians’) recent NFT sales, which add up to total revenue of at least $25 million in the past month alone.
- At the start of February, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda raised $30,000 via an NFT auction and on February 22, YouTuber and musician PelleK released what they claimed to be the very first NFT music album, which sold out at pre-sale in less than two hours for $160,000.
- Also last month, Grimes auctioned off almost $6m worth of digital artwork via Nifty Gateway, a popular channel for NFT sales.
- Between February 25-28, Justin Blau, aka musician and producer 3LAU, sold a NFT collection for $11.6 million via an online auction. His management company, YMU, now says that it is lining up more NFT auctions for other artists on its roster.
- In the first week of March, DJ superstar Steve Aoki sold an NFT art collection for $4.2m, which included an $888,888 sale to John Legere, the former boss of T-Mobile in the US.
- Elsewhere, says Rolling Stone, Latin star Ozuna made more than $456,000 from an NFT auction in 15 minutes.
- Kings Of Leon have this month generated $2m from the sale of their new album When You See Yourself as an NFT, via blockchain platform YellowHeart.
- And on Wednesday (March 10), ‘global party brand’ Space Yacht announced that its Iconography Collection Volume II NFTs had sold 579 units for a total of $482,000 via Nifty Gateway. Space Yacht co-founder and DJ LondonBrige stated that “we’re starting to see NFTs as a new form of story-telling and expression for our brand”.
- Another artist to collaborate with blockchain company Bondly recently was independent rapper and producer Tory Lanez, who last Thursday (March 4) released three previously unreleased tracks as NFTs via auction. Those tracks, Lady of Neptune, Distance, and Y.D.L.R. generated more than $400,000 in initial gross sales and resales from over 300 fans.
- Other artists to launch NFT auctions this month include Shawn Mendes, Post Malone and Deadmau5.
Meanwhile, in the crypto-art world, prices are spiralling even beyond the biggest fees above.
A digital artwork from artist Beeple – Everydays: the First 5,000 Days – this week sold as an NFT for a total price of $69.3 million, reports Bloomberg.
NFTs use blockchain technology to authenticate and designate an official copy of a piece of digital media that allow artists, musicians, influencers and others to commercialize digital goods, or in other words, digital collectables.
A record of each NFT transaction is kept on a blockchain, making it part of a permanent public record and serving as a certification of authenticity that cannot be altered or erased.Music Business Worldwide