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How Musicians Can Use NFTs to Avoid Record Labels

The future of music looks positive. Blockchain technology and NFTs are altering music and how it is created and consumed. Thanks to them, independent music production or fan engagement is possible for musicians. It has never been a better time to be a musician.

Written by
June 15, 2022

How Musicians Can Use NFTs to Avoid Record Labels

Photo by xtrovarts on Pixabay

New incentive structures are reshaping the music industry. The blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT) craze has given a new lease of life to musicians who don’t want to be signed by a record label or just want to release their own music independently. Within this context, we’ll see how Non-Fungible Token technology is changing the role of record labels. Let’s take a look at how NFTs can help musicians avoid record labels.

We know how record labels work, why don’t we use them?

Record labels are centralized intermediaries that manage the production, publication, distribution and marketing of music albums. They offer an array of services, such as arranging recording sessions, securing distribution deals, and finding ways to promote music. The record label collects a percentage of sales, and is responsible for paying royalties to artists. Labels are also in charge of collecting rights to music and its copyright. In exchange, the label covers the costs of producing albums and the various costs related to the launch of an artist’s music. For example, record labels often invest in music videos, marketing campaigns, radio promotions, and tours.

How do NFTs work?

NFTs are non-fungible tokens. This means that every single item or asset represented by a token is unique. This makes each token infinitely traceable as it is linked to a specific person or identity. If a token is stolen or copied, it is rendered useless. In particular, NFTs can be used to create and manage music copyrights. Once the music is tokenized, it can be tracked, traded and exchanged. Thanks to blockchain technology, the music industry can be decentralized and democratized in a way that it has never been before.

Music Publishers as Record Labels

In an era in which music copyrights are managed by NFTs, large music publishers can play the role of record labels. They can offer a producer’s contract with an artist (the signing of a publishing deal) based on a percentage of the artist’s future earnings. The publisher can then provide all the services that record labels do and get a percentage of the earnings of the artist. All this can be done digitally, with smart contracts and NFTs.

Musicians who want to retain creative control over their work

One of the main benefits of blockchain technology and NFTs is the fact that they allow artists to retain creative control over their work. The artist can decide who gets to hear their music, how it is distributed, and at what price. The artist can also retain ownership of their work, and be fully rewarded for their intellectual property. Musicians can create their own token based on their music and distribute it among their fans. They can even accept payments in NFTs.

Musicians who want to go independent with no intermediaries

The peer-to-peer (p2p) blockchain model allows musicians to release music independently. They can, for example, create their own token based on their music and distribute it among their fans. Most importantly, artists can share their own token as a reward for their fans’ help in spreading the word about their music. In this way, the artist can create a new form of engagement with their audience. You can choose to maintain control over your own token and keep it private. If you do that, you won’t be able to sell your token. If you do decide to make it public, the token can be sold and traded on the blockchain.

Summing up

The future of the music industry looks bright. New incentive structures are reshaping music and the way it is created and consumed. Musicians can now go independent, or engage with their fans in new ways thanks to blockchain technology and NFTs. There’s never been a better time to be a musician.

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