The global music industry has been ripe for innovation since big-name superstars like Prince, Chance the Rapper, and Taylor Swift shined a light on the exploitation of artists by record labels and distribution agents rampant in the industry.
Several artists have taken sued their record labels over ownership of their music.
The labels argue that since they basically bankrolled the recording, production and distribution, they are the owners and have every right to use the music how they see fit.
While the artists believe that music is their intellectual property since they are the creatives. While we may never get a satisfactory ending to this debate for both sides, the entire debate is rendered moot by one of the latest technologies in the crypto space, NFTs.
Since NFT technology went public, several artists like 3LAU, Steve Aoki, Dillon Francis, and many others have forgone the mainstream path of producing music through record labels, production companies, distribution agencies and released their music directly to the fans.
The music NFT have done well that many are sure that is the end of the music industry.
3LAU released his most popular album, ‘ULTRAVIOLET,’ as an NFT in March of 2021, which auctioned for over $11 million US Dollars. Steve Aoki launched a collaboration project with Antoni Tudisco in which they minted as an NFT and auctioned for over $800,000 US Dollars.
The exciting thing about Steve Aoki’s project was that it was not an album or even an entire song. The NFT simply featured a clip of Aoki’s song and a blue and purple figure.
The success of these NFT pioneers in the music industry has led many to believe that this might be the big break that musicians, especially the independents, needed.
It is also an excellent opportunity for artists to release unique multimedia projects like Steve Aoki’s that would not be supported by mainstream record labels.
Furthermore, minting music as NFTs gives the fans a chance to own in part or wholesome of their favorite music while still crediting the creatives behind the work.
As a result of this breakout success, many artists and producers are scrambling to learn how to create music NFTs, so they don’t miss out.
This article describes how even an independent, never heard of artist can create music NFTs and distribute it directly to fans and collectors. However, before we get into how you can create your own music NFTs, let’s first understand what NFTs are.
What are NFTs?
A Non-Fungible Token is a blockchain-based representation of a digital asset. The digital asset can either be tangible or intangible items like sports cards, works of art or a tweet.
While collectibles had to exist physically in the past, i.e., a work of art had to exist as an oil painting on canvas or something else equally tangible, NFTs help developers create virtual assets and collectibles that are unique items that can be exchanged for value.
What makes these digital collectibles unique is the distinguishing information that exists with every NFT. Information like the identity of the creator, the unique number of the NFT if it is part of a series, the previous owners and the current owner.
This ability to identify itself as a unique item makes an NFT a good digital collectible.
They can be distinguished from each other as no two NFTs have exactly the same information, and they are also easy to verify authenticity.
As a result of their uniqueness, verifiability and tradability, NFTs have quickly become the go-to release format for many artists and musicians.
The highest selling NFT at auction to date was Beeple’s work of art; Everydays- The First 5000 Days, which was auctioned by Christie’s Auction House for $69 million US Dollars.
How to create your own music NFTs in a few simple steps
It is worth mentioning that there are different ways to make NFTs with various platforms.
Our aim is to share with you what we believe to be one of the easiest ways to create music NFTs and give you enough information to find the format that suits your unique needs.
Below are the steps to create your own music NFTs;
Get a crypto wallet
The first step to creating your own music NFT is to get a cryptocurrency wallet.
This wallet would enable you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, swap them for other digital assets as well as manage your crypto holdings. Having a crypto wallet will enable you to mint an NFT since you need to pay a ‘Gas fee,’ which can only be paid in a cryptocurrency.
So you will need to get a crypto wallet and put in enough money to pay the gas fee in order to mint. Your proceeds from the sale and resale of your music NFT will be paid here.
The most popular crypto wallet on the market is Metamask. Metamask makes it easy for you to receive almost all cryptocurrencies and exchange them for others.
You can also easily integrate Metamask with most NFT marketplaces, so you can sell your NFT on any platform without requiring another wallet.
Choose a blockchain network
Before minting your NFT, you must choose a blockchain network. This is because each blockchain has unique token protocols, cryptocurrency, marketplaces and integrated wallets.
It is essential to do your research before committing to any blockchain network because you might limit your options. Another thing you need to keep in mind when choosing a blockchain network is the user traffic and the size of the infrastructure and marketplace.
Regardless of how promising a network is, your best chance of getting the most attention and traffic to see your music NFT is if you put it on a popular network like Ethereum.
Get an account on an NFT marketplace
Once you have your crypto wallet and have chosen a blockchain network, you then sign up on a marketplace. The marketplace is not just to sell your music NFT but also to mint it.
Once you have created an account on a marketplace, you should attach your crypto wallet. Ensure you have enough money in your wallet to pay the ‘Gas fee’ to mint your music NFT.
The ‘Gas fee’ is a one-time payment you need to make to compensate for the computing energy required to process your smart contract and mint your NFT.
To mint your NFT, the platform will ask you for various information such as artist’s identity, the cover art, the percentage commission from the resale of your work, among others.
Set a reasonable price for your NFT
Another crucial factor in getting your music NFT sold is the pricing. While the market was extremely bullish in the early days of NFT technology, investors have become a bit savvier. So it is unlikely we will see the inflated prices of Nyan Cat and CryptoKitties’ Dragon.
For you to appropriately price your music NFT, you should research NFT marketplaces and see what comparable artists’ NFTs are selling for. If you have an artist or group of artists you compare yourself to, looking up their NFTs could help you price your own.
It is worth noting that NFT collections often sell more than individual pieces. So instead of selling a single NFT song, minting a collection would increase your chances of attracting more interest and raising more money.
Develop a marketing strategy for your NFT
Like any other marketplace, you have to develop a sales and marketing strategy for your music NFTs. Many artists trying to sell their music as NFTs will sign up to various Web 3 creative communities to grow their following and get amicable returns.
You can also apply to submit your NFT music onto platforms like Audius and other music players on the various blockchain networks. This will get your music in the hands of fans and collectors, increasing traffic and attention to your NFT sale.
Your marketing strategy should identify your target audience and buyer persona. Where are you most likely to find these buyers, and how will you get them interested?
Keep in mind that conventional digital marketing tactics like paid influencers and content marketing still work for NFT music. Deploying mainstream marketing tactics could help your music NFT cross into the mainstream media channels where it can sell for more.
Mint your music NFT
After you are done sorting all the above out, you are ready to mint your music as an NFT. If you don’t have a lot of prior Web 3 experience, it might take a while for you to adjust to the world of cryptocurrencies and NFT art, but it will be worth it once you do.
NFTs and cryptocurrency are likely the future of the music industry. So start minting your music as NFTs now to maximize your ability to take advantage of this new market and model of music creation, ownership and distribution.