From Napster to iTunes to Spotify, the music industry evolves alongside technology. Today, streaming platforms have the majority of music consumers, but with the emergence of a decentralized music industry, this might change.
This time, we will do something different. While many people are familiar with NFTs, there are other less popular web3 concepts. This article focuses on Web3 music initiatives that are not solely related to NFT.
Music Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
Just like NFTs, DAOs are starting to attract many musicians. A DAO is a blockchain-based collective governed by smart contracts that cannot be changed unless voted upon by the DAO members.
In short, it is an alternative way to build what we traditionally thought of as an organization.
Quick History Lesson
To better know why musicians are interested in this concept, let us go back in time to 1999. The year Napster was introduced. At that time, peer-to-peer file sharing and correspondingly pirating copyrighted material became popular.
Content owners, therefore, were forced to adapt. However, they have done so in a way that empowered the intermediaries at the expense of creators.
And boom! We ended up in a reality where the CEOs of music companies make money while the artists struggle to get their work out into the world.
I hope this was quick as promised. However, if you are looking for details about this, check out what Hashim says in this video.
DAOs For The Musicians
Since DAOs might change how we form companies and organizations, you can see why musicians are considering them as a potential solution to their most pressing problem.
DAOs could act as collective decision-making bodies for the music industry. It can allow artists, consumers, and other stakeholders to interact directly with one another without the need for third-party intermediaries.
In other words, DAOs could contribute to rectifying the imbalances in the music industry by giving artists a direct say in how to consume their work and giving the audiences a direct connection to the musicians they support.
MODA is a DAO dedicated to the adoption of Web3 in the music industry.
Their Music3 framework is designed specifically for the metaverse and play-to-earn era. And is dedicated to the adoption of Web3 in the music industry via NFTs, micro-licensing, DAO governance, and DeFi.
Music3 will give artists complete control over their catalog. Additionally, MODA DAO will be providing grants and tools for artists to create and release their music.
There are many other DAOs dedicated to music or creators in general. Friends with Benefits is another famous one. But before joining a DAO, buying an NFT, or really doing anything on the internet, you should always do your due diligence.
Decentralized Music Sync Licensing
Dequency is a platform that claims to be the first-of-its-kind decentralized music licensing marketplace for music and visual creators.
It enables music creators to upload their work to the platform and directly license it for use in visual art projects.
Decentralized Music Radio Stations
loft.radio might be the first decentralized radio station. It simply plays music 24/7 from artists within similar genres, mainly lo-fi beats. On the other hand, it enables fans to tip them directly with ETH.
Lofi is great. It helps get you in the right mindset to work, study, or relax. We play it in the background all the time, and we did – passionately – write about it here. Read the article and find out if lofi is what you need for that creativity boost.
Decentralized Music Labels
Imagine a growing universe of knowledge, resources, and spaces for cultural collectives. That is what Metalables is. A group of people working for a common purpose: to release.
Metalabel aims to provide the tools, resources, funding, community, and support for culture labels that extend beyond music.
It is worth mentioning that their founding team includes the founders of Kickstarter, Ampled, and Etsy.
Melodity is building an ecosystem consisting of play-to-earn (P2E), listen-to-earn (L2E), and Metaverse platforms. Here is a little more about each one of them:
A music-oriented metaverse, where users can enjoy their time playing, learning, creating, and interacting with each other or participate in live events. It intends to draw the music and gaming community by combining DeFi, blockchain technology, and NFTs — as well as a play-to-earn model (P2E) — into one unique package.
DoDuet uses a listen-to-earn model to create a contest platform that gamifies music and provides visibility and an easy-access prize pool for artists. It rewards the participants in the contest in exchange for listening to tracks and voting.
Web3 protocols For Music
Audius is a decentralized protocol for audio content, which consists of five main components:
- A token economy powered by the platform token AUDIO, 3rd-party stable coins, and artist tokens.
- A decentralized storage solution and ledger for audio and metadata.
- A unique track encryption scheme paired with a programmable mechanism to unlock user-specific proxy re-encryption keys for content.
- A discovery protocol for users to efficiently query metadata.
- A decentralized governance protocol for artists, node operators, and fans to contribute to decision-making regarding protocol changes and upgrades.
Floppy is afree-to-play decentralized audio workstation (DAW) and first-person sampler (FPS), Floppy hopes to foster a community around creativity.
It aspires to fill the gaps between artists, fans, and collectors while allowing us to step into a new economy of art and play as co-creators.
The project intends to enable users to capture the value of the culture they generate.
The team behind it wants the platform to serve as a stress-free and entertaining introduction to a niche Web3 environment regardless of the users’ level of blockchain or music production know-how.
Decentralized Ticketing For Music Events
Yello Heart is a web3 protocol that is changing the ticketing industry and transforming how artists and fans connect, Yello Heart is a decentralized peer-to-peer ticketing and entertainment ecosystem facilitated by HRTS, a utility token.
For Music, Web3 is beyond NFTs
May I take you back in time again? Remember when we said Napster introduced us to digital file-sharing? Similarly, when iTunes came, it drove MP3 sales, and later, Spotify brought streaming mainstream. Technology brings change to music. And what Web3 seemingly bringing is – drum rolls – exchange!
You see… the change Napster, iTunes, and Spotify brought to the industry is all related to fan consumption. However, Web3 represents a new opportunity for an interactive artist-fan relationship that is way beyond a like, a retweet, or a follow.
With Web3, the relationship between artists and their fans can reach a point where fans offer patronage, participate in making decisions, and become part owners of the income generated by their favorite artists, making it a mutually beneficial relationship between creators and their admirers.
Additionally, Web3 infrastructure will make managing music metadata, licensing deals, and royalty investment agreements more streamlined.
Web3 can potentially empower creators to the extent that they can have their own social tokens. Fans who own the tokens of their favorite actor may have access to perks that may even include governance rights over certain decisions related to the career or creative process of the artist. Rally and P00LS are platforms that help artists create their own digital economies.
Concers About Web3 In The Music Industry
We said it in the previous articles, and we need to repeat it. Web3 is still new. We do not know if any of this will stay for the long haul, and there are still many things to be figured out.
For example, in the case of owning a share of the work, one of the main existing hurdles is the interface between the existing royalty distribution system and the current blockchain capabilities. In other words, we need to know how smart-contract functionality will ensure that royalty payments can get from a payor to the wallets of verified IP owners.
Relatedly, a dynamic connection between existing accounting, reporting, and tracking systems of the current music royalty system and the blockchain is also needed.
And then comes the enforcement issues. If those arise, handling them will probably be an expensive, drawn-out process that often requires legal expertise.
Not to mention the legal issues that may arise due to the globalized nature of the blockchain.
So, even if we agree that blockchain smart contracts are unbreachable and thus never need to be enforced, there is not yet a seamless integration between the non-blockchain financial system and the smart-contracts contained on the blockchain. And there is not yet a way to ensure that people who have control of the revenue streams will actually move the royalties to the blockchain.
Music artists want to break down the complexity of the current system. And keep a fair percentage of royalties. Web3 represents a possible way of doing so.
In addition to minting artwork and selling it as NFT, artists can use Web3 to have community funding, where fans can participate in funding projects in exchange for perks that can be as lucrative as a share of the royalties.
We might also see decentralized ticketing and streaming platforms where technology replaces the middleman, and artists have more control over the rates and retain most of the money. We might also see play-to-earn models, where the listeners also get rewarded.
As for the potential, the sky is the limit. But we are still at the early stages and can not be definitive of anything yet.
Are you an artist who wants to make the internet work in your favor? Mello Studio can help. Talk to us today!