Chain Insights - How NFTs are Unlocking New Opportunities in the Music Industry

A Growing Number of Artists are Beginning to Explore NFTs, as Streaming Services Pay Next to Nothing in Royalties

Since the very first recording of sound in the mid-19th century, the music industry has advanced at an expeditious pace, and is now regarded as one of the most dynamic industries in the world today. The industry has evolved over the years in a variety of ways, from the way we consume music, to the technological advances that have made it easier to create and distribute it. In the past, music was primarily released on physical formats such as vinyl and cassette tapes. Purchasing a physical album was the only way to access music, and the process of creating one was often expensive and time consuming.

The invention of the CD revolutionized the music industry, as it allowed for larger amounts of music to be stored on a single disc, and for music to be played on CD players. CDs also allowed for a wider distribution of music, as they could be easily sent to stores and distributed around the world.

However, it was the digital revolution of the early 2000s that changed the way we consume music forever. With the launch of the iTunes Store in 2003, music could now be purchased online and downloaded directly to a computer. This made music much more accessible and easier to share with friends. Over the past decade, digital music services such as Spotify and Apple Music have also made it even easier to discover and listen to new music. But with the widespread adoption of music streaming, artists have taken a substantial pay-cut in royalties from streaming downloads, than they did with physical formats. This opened the door for musicians to experiment with NFTs and find new ways to connect with fans, while directly monetizing from their work without a record label or streaming platform present.

A New Way to Monetize Records

The next phase of the music industry’s evolution is starting to lean towards “Non-fungible Tokens'', or “NFTs”. NFTs are digital collectibles that are stored on the blockchain and can be used to represent ownership of digital art, music, and other digital collectables. NFTs have become an increasingly popular way for mainstream musicians to monetize their work and gain recognition for their creative output.

While NFTs have been gaining traction in the digital art space for a while now, many people are beginning to recognize their potential to revolutionize the music industry as well. Since NFTs are digital assets that live on a blockchain and have an individual, unique identifier, this makes them incredibly secure and difficult to replicate or counterfeit.

This opens up a range of possibilities, from creating digital music albums to virtual concert experiences. As mentioned earlier, NFTs enable musicians to directly monetize their work, and allow them to earn royalties and receive payments faster than ever before. At the same time, music fans are able to invest in the music they love. By buying and trading music-related NFTs, fans can gain access to exclusive content, special limited edition items, and more. They can even purchase virtual tickets to upcoming concerts, allowing them to enjoy live music from the comfort of their own homes. The possibilities for Music NFTs are seemingly endless, and it will be exciting to see how this technology continues to shape the music industry in the years to come.

How Musicians Are Embracing NFTs in Modern Times

In 2021 alone, several major artists have already used NFTs to launch their own music projects. For example, Grammy-winning artist Grimes, released her album “Miss Anthropocene” as an NFT, while rapper and producer YBN Cordae released his latest single “Rack City'' as an NFT. The use of NFTs by mainstream musicians provides fans with a unique way to engage with their favorite artists and to show appreciation for their work. NFTs also offer musicians a way to generate income from their creative output without relying on traditional streaming services or record labels.

NFTs also provide an opportunity for artists to experiment with new formats and concepts. For example, artist 3LAU recently released an album of remixes as an NFT, while producer and DJ deadmau5 released a music video as an NFT. NFTs are becoming a growing trend in the music industry, and it’s likely that more mainstream musicians will begin utilizing the technology in the near future.

Additionally, NFTs enable a much closer connection between fans and artists. For each of their songs, albums, or even tickets to virtual or live performances, artists can produce a distinctive NFT. Fans can then buy these digital assets and experience their favorite songs in transformative ways. As a result, there is a stronger bond between fans and artists, and artists can engage with their fan base in a more meaningful manner.

We saw this engagement unfold with the Bored Ape Yacht Club community during the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, one of the most iconic music events of the year. Bored Ape holders and legendary musicians in the rap game, Eminem and Snoop Dogg, used their respective NFTs to create a legendary and innovative performance. The two rap superstars each used their own distinct Bored Ape NFTs to create an engaging visual experience for the audience; with a combination of images, animations and graphics to bring their performance to life. The visuals were projected onto giant screens behind the stage, and they were synchronized to the beat of Eminem and Snoop Dogg’s movements. This gave the audience a truly unique experience and allowed them to see the performance in a way that has never been seen before.

Snoop Dogg and Eminem performing as their Bored Apes at the 2022 MTV VMAs

Decentralized Streaming Services and Musical NFT Marketplaces

One of the more exciting developments in the technological advances of the music industry is the emergence of decentralized streaming services, and music NFT marketplaces. Decentralized streaming services are powered by blockchain technology and smart contracts, and offer artists a new way to monetize their music while giving listeners an unprecedented level of access and control. Meanwhile, Music NFT marketplaces provide a platform for musicians to create and sell digital tokens representing their music, allowing fans to purchase and trade them in an open and secure environment.

Decentralized streaming services are powered by the blockchain and offer a range of benefits over traditional streaming services. For example, the use of smart contract technology enables automated royalty payments to be made directly to the artist, cutting out the middleman, and resulting in a more efficient and transparent process for everyone involved. This also opens up new possibilities for artists, such as creating their own streaming services or setting their own pricing.

Additionally, decentralized streaming services also offer listeners more control over how they consume their music, such as the ability to purchase individual tracks rather than whole albums.

NFT Adoption is Already Taking Off

Music NFTs are the future of the music industry due to their ability to provide musicians with an opportunity to capitalize on the digital music revolution. Artists will no longer have to wait months or even years to receive their royalty settlements, and fans can continue to support their favorite artists in a unique way.

Musicians and artists aren’t the only ones taking advantage of owning their own creations. High-end retailers such as Tiffany & Co. and Dolce & Gabbana have stepped into the NFT realm as well.

After a recent NFT project launch with Chain, Tiffany & Co. released 250 unique “NFTiff” pendants modeled after their client’s CryptoPunk artwork. Chain’s NFT-as-a-Service supports legacy brands in building their own digital collections on the blockchain by providing them with the necessary tools to create, manage, and deploy their own NFT projects.

Chain provides its partners with access to its global network of developers, so they can get the help they need to get their projects off the ground. With Chain, traditional businesses can leverage the power of the blockchain and create their own NFT projects quickly and efficiently. To learn more about the comprehensive services Chain has to offer, visit

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