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NFTs for Music Artists: What Modern Musicians Need to Know

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Jonathan Barbone
A closeup, side-on view of a monochromatic record turntable in action.

In 2021, just a few years since anyone had first heard of them, the market of music NFTs was valued at $1.24 billion — and it’s forecasted to grow to $42 billion by 2032. Blockchain technology has granted musicians a new way to monetize their craft, and this guide will show you how to be part of it. You’ll learn what NFTs for musicians are, why your business goals should include NFTs, and how you can grow new revenue streams with digital assets.

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What Are NFTs for Music Artists?

What Is Tokenization and Why Does it Matter?

3 Music Artists Capitalizing on NFTs

Jay-Z

Steve Aoki

Jon Christopher Davis

How Can Artists Get Started With NFTs Right Now?

Looking to expand your knowledge of music NFTs even further? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Music NFT Marketplaces.

What Are NFTs for Music Artists?

NFTs for music artists are digital tokens that represent ownership of songs, collectibles, or other unique assets on a blockchain. Why is this a relevant business model? When an artist creates a music NFT, they can sell it for a certain price. If someone purchases it, they now own that asset and can do what they want with it — including reselling it. The musician will typically receive a cut of those ensuing sales in perpetuity, because those terms are built into the medium itself.

Beyond selling music in this new manner, musicians also use NFTs as event tickets as well as counterparts for physical goods, such as exclusive vinyl albums. Music NFTs can even be used to enable the sale of one-of-a-kind physical-backed collectibles, such as concert-played instruments. These kinds of NFTs open the door to a diverse range of new ways for musicians to engage with and monetize their most passionate fans (as well as those who just love building out collections).

However, adding in a physical element to NFTs does introduce some new complexities: verification, storage, and insurance, just to name a few. Partnering with a dedicated tokenization partner will ensure your assets are brought to the market in a secure way that’s safe for your brand and your immediate bottom line, and Dibbs has the experience and platform to handle any kind of physical-backed music NFT. Partner with us today.

What Is Tokenization and Why Does it Matter?

Imagine taking your latest single and digitally pressing it a set number of times, rather than simply allowing copies of your digital recordings to be sold in perpetuity. You can then sell these pieces individually on a digital marketplace. Within the current music industry, normal contracts often snare artists through lock-in periods, lack of transparency, vanishingly small royalties, and loss of copyrights. However, with the tokenization of different assets like music copyrights, artists are taking back control of their earnings and their freedom.

When you tokenize your music, you’re able to put any percentage of your song on the blockchain to sell it for royalty revenue. Who would buy it? Diehard fans and crypto investors who believe your music will grow in value over time.

All of these business particulars are managed with smart contracts. These are automatic programs that take care of all the legal contractual aspects of NFTs for musicians like payment split and authentication of copyright. You can learn more about how smart contracts work in this article by Ethereum.

3 Music Artists Capitalizing on NFTs

Though it’s still a new medium, top artists as well as emerging talents have already begun beating the blockchain drum. Here are three prime examples.

Jay-Z

Jay-Z celebrated the 25th anniversary of Reasonable Doubt, his debut album, with an original piece of artwork released exclusively as an NFT in June 2021. A stylized triptych showing Jay-Z in an outfit and pose inspired by Reasonable Doubt’s album art, the piece sold at auction for about $139,000 at Sotheby’s. A portion of the sale benefited the musician’s eponymous Shawn Carter Foundation, a charity that helps people enduring economic hardships pursue higher education.

Steve Aoki

Following the NFT explosion, Steve Aoki released a music NFT project with 11 unique assets. The “Dream Catcher” NFT included music tracks alongside psychedelic animations. The NFTs sold for $4.25 million on Gemini marketplace, and will continue to generate revenue for Aoki for the rest of his life, thanks to smart contracts.

Jon Christopher Davis

Singer-songwriter Jon Christopher Davis connected the new world of digital music distribution with the timeless classic of vinyl in an NFT music collection that dropped in August 2021. Davis released a range of NFTs that each corresponded to physical albums for his song, “Vinyl Revival”, offering buyers signed album covers, clips of the song’s music video, and NFTs that can be redeemed for private concert event.

How Can Artists Get Started With NFTs Right Now?

So, how do you create NFTs for selling music? In order to begin reaping the rewards of music NFTs, you’ll need to decide on your choice of platform. You should also decide which smart contracts you’ll use to automate your NFT transactions. On top of that, much of the common creation process for NFTs is built to be digital-first, and they don’t automatically account for the extra possibilities (and intricacies) laid out by physical-backed NFTs.

Dibbs.io is the first and only regulated tokenization platform for physical to digital collectibles. It makes the process easy, but it’s no less powerful: Any physical merchandise you sell as a musician can be transformed into a digital asset through Dibbs’ platform. If you’re looking to future-proof your career as an artist, then Dibb’s predictable and intuitive platform will let you generate new revenue sources, delight your customers, and protect your music. Get started with Dibbs today.


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