The word NFT probably isn’t new to you by now…
You might have seen it on your social channels, heard it on the radio, or maybe even seen it on TV but… There might be one big question that you can’t seem to find an answer to:
WHAT THE HELL ARE NFTs AND WHY SHOULD AN ARTIST CARE?!
I’m here to help you answer that question 🙂
Let’s start at the beginning:
What is an NFT?
NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” it is an irreplaceable and unique digital token that can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or items in video games. Owning the NFT proves ownership of that digital asset.
I understand that most of the above still might sound a bit technical and nerdy but these are the facts. If you’d like to know more about the technical aspect of everything I’d advise you to take a deep dive into it but since most of you most likely won’t care, I’ll just try to make things clearer by showing some practical examples of how you can leverage NFTs as an artist.
Example 1: Music
As an artist, you release music. If you’d like to release a song you have two options at this moment: You release it with a label or you do it yourself. Most labels are lacking to provide value to your release at this moment, that’s why DIY releases are becoming more popular every year.
If you release music by yourself, you will own 100% of all the rights. If you release it with a label, chances are pretty big that you’ve signed away 50 to 70% of those rights and therefore income.
Now let’s say you would release your music by yourself and sell it as an NFT through a platform like Royal from 3Lau. This would mean that you are basically selling royalty parts of your release to your fans which puts your fan in the position of having the opportunity to invest in you. It’s simple… If you grow, they grow.
Fans are able to show their support directly to the artist by buying the NFT (and therefore buying some sort of equity in the artist). If a fan believes that you will become bigger in the future, buying an NFT at an earlier stage becomes really interesting. So it becomes really important for the artist to prove that they are a great investment. That they will do anything to grow.
I can understand that this might sound a bit too ‘business’ or ‘money-minded for most artists but if you take a look at how the music industry works at this moment, it’s the same exact way. The artist has to prove to a label that he or she is interesting enough to sign and give him or her the opportunity to release on your label. The only difference here is that the revenue will be divided between the artist and the label (from which, in most cases, the labels take the biggest cut of the revenue).
Isn’t it a smarter and fairer idea to share your revenue with the people who are responsible for your growth and have been supporting you from day one? (a.k.a. your fanbase)
Example 2: Artwork
Every song that you release has artwork attached to it. Artwork is something that people may like. They might even like it so much that they would like to own it or print it, hang it in their living room or use it as a background for their phones.
When it comes to creating an NFT from an artwork, I see two options:
- Consider it to be art
- Attach a utility to it
If you consider selling your artwork as an NFT it means that you could make a really unique 1/1 edition or you can create multiple editions of it to make it more accessible for your fans.
By doing it like this, it’s not much more than an extra stream of revenue for the artists and a nice extra attachment for the fanbase.
If you decide to attach a utility to it, things change. You could for example say that you sell 10 versions of the artwork and that the people who own the NFTs will be eligible to have dinner with you once a year. Redeemable at their convenience or at a scheduled date you’ve planned. Now the value of the NFT has shifted from ‘just an artwork’ to ‘having a real-life experience with your favorite artist and owning a beautiful artwork’.
Example 3: Practical Utilities
Utilities might be the biggest thing that NFTs bring to the table if you’d ask me. As mentioned above in example 2, utilities open up doors that take the connection with your fan base to another level. You will also be able to create priceless experiences for your fans.
Here’s just a brainfart of what you could do as an artist…
Create an NFT that is eligible for:
- a trip to one of your shows, including backstage access – all expenses paid.
- a guaranteed guestlist spot at all your shows, worldwide.
- 30 minutes of facetime with you
- getting a mentorship program from you
- receiving gifts every quarter of the year
Imagine how valuable this could be for your fanbase. How cool would it be if you could own one of these NFTs from your own favorite artist?
Another cool thing you can do with NFTs is ‘airdropping’. This means that you can drop NFTs into someone’s wallet. Consider it to be a present 🙂
How cool would it be if you give away an NFT every month to a random NFT holder of your community?
The connection between you and your fanbase will only become stronger and closer.
The End Result
All of the above-mentioned options are only the tip of the iceberg. The NFT world is developing at a rapid pace and will bring a lot more amazing options and opportunities in the future.
Right now, I believe that NFTs can help you to create a stronger community and brand. Aside from that, it will also help artists to create an extra stream of income aside from the streaming and their gigs.
If you’d like to know more about this topic, make sure to check out our NFT For Artists course in the online academy.