What's a music nft?
While most of the NFT hype so far has been around digital art - and especially drawings of various animal profile pictures - new classes of NFTs are emerging all of the time. Some examples include digital land parcels (like in Cryptovoxels), digital racing horses or even battling hermit crabs.
All of these explore the possibilities of the utility of the NFT space and music NFTs are no different.
Music NFTs aren’t actually super new - 3LAU has been talking about them for over a year. But only recently have they properly blown up. A couple of big factors have played a part in this - Opensea (the largest and most popular NFT marketplace) has integrated them and huge artists have brought attention to the space.
But let’s rewind a second first - what is a music NFT?
What is a music NFT?
A music NFT is simply an NFT with an embedded audio file. This can be with or without an image, but usually (similar to a single song on spotify) it is bundled with the album art - you see the art, and can click a play button to play the audio of the nft. Simple, right?
Well, not always. While many musical NFTs are this simple (and many will argue that the music itself is the utility), there is, as always, more to explore in the NFT space.
An interesting idea emerging around music NFTs is the concept of automated royalties.
The idea is that with royalty-based music nfts, fans have the opportunity to buy into a percentage of a song or album (as an NFT) and share in its success. As royalties come in, smart contracts distribute funds to all NFT holders automatically.
While this is still being ironed out, and there are many legal puzzles to solve, it certainly seems that the royalty structure of the music industry will have a tide shift, entirely made possible by music NFTs.
While many folks on twitter are stating that the music itself is the utility of the NFT, there’s no reason why artists can’t add extra if they want to. Tokengating content, discord channels or websites is an easy win while some platforms are getting incredibly creative with creative track mixing on the blockchain. Like NFTs generally, the only limit for utility is creativity (and peoples attention span).
Why music nfts?
While it doesn’t seem likely that music NFTs will fully displace music streaming anytime soon, they do give a unique way for music fans and community to directly and quickly support artists they love. Whether that’s with inbuilt royalty collection, access to a special fanclub, or simply because they love the artist and their music, music nfts are here to stay.
And the good news is - we’re still early.