The music sector achieved record revenue of $25.9 billion in 2021, which is equivalent to a growth of 18.5% since 2020, according to the IFPI “World Music Report”. Of this nearly $26 billion, streaming drove the majority of the growth, up 24.3% from 2020. These patterns are great news for the emerging class of NFT musicians and highlight the demand for streaming content. audio and video.

Even if the way streaming is done changes from centralized platforms like Spotify to decentralized NFT marketplaces, streaming is here to stay. The rise of streaming is part of a broader transformation of media and entertainment towards digital content: print media is fading fast. Digital media began to replace print media years ago with profound effects on the industry. Economists find that the move towards national digital media is related to the decline of local newspapers and partially explains the focus on national issues and increased politicization.

But we have an opportunity to do things differently in the emerging era of Web3. We are now starting to see the rise of individual musicians minting their own NFTs and marketing them, keeping most of the revenue for themselves, rather than passing it on to record labels or other middlemen.

Related: Web3: Onboarding the Next Billion Users: The Way Ahead

building community

Many commentators have already pointed out that community building is important to the success of NFT projects. In the absence of a centralized platform to help spread content at scale, NFT artists have to rely on their own personal networks and connections to spread the word. In many ways, that requires a different set of skills than music production, namely a lot of soft skills and some financial savvy, at least enough to know when to say yes or no to an opportunity.

However, such skills are not taught in traditional music programs. Instead, they focus heavily on voice technique and music history, which are helpful to varying degrees, but not sufficient on their own for a successful career as a musician. That’s part of the reason record labels and centralized entities were so helpful: they helped fill a gap that many musicians had through no fault of their own.

But, building a community isn’t just a means to the end of NFT sales, it’s also a highly interactive and dynamic process that feeds into an artist’s underlying art. Unfortunately, the usual centralized model for media and entertainment not only requires musicians to part with most of their potential income, but also their rights and governance. They can’t even make decisions governing their own music without getting the approval of their controlling entity.

While some people may still agree with that, artists in general are loathe to give up that kind of autonomy and creative control, especially when they’re not well compensated for it. Performers’ wages are projected to see limited growth over the next several years, suggesting that little will change unless we change the current trajectory.

Related: The Metaverse Will Change The Live Music Experience, But Will It Be Decentralized?

Music was never designed for centralization. Artists create experiences for others to enjoy with others. Although record companies talk about building a community, the proof is in the pudding: musicians in general struggle, and often it’s not due to a lack of talent, but rather a lack of financial and business experience that leads them to sign. contracts with record labels that don’t. not serve their interests. Fortunately, we are seeing a rise of decentralized options, including the most recent announcement of MuseDAO, which aims to bring together classical musicians and spearhead local gatherings and meetups with the goal of enjoying and growing the culture.

Immersive digital experiences

Previous Cointelegraph coverage has already highlighted the financial benefits music NFTs offer artists through the initial sale. We don’t need to look far to see the windfall that talented musicians have brought home, most notably Justin Blau, known under his stage name 3LAU, as one of the early movers behind his Ultraviolet NFT release last year.

Related: Blockchain Journeys: 3LAU, DJ and Producer

What the latest streaming numbers highlight, however, is that there is a growing audience for music NFTs beyond streaming; if that was all there was, then we would expect to see steady growth, not exponential growth. Instead, we saw continued momentum as consumers seek out more audio and video content to consume and enrich their lives in lieu of traditional print media.

NFTs have the potential to unlock an incredibly exciting new market in the creative economy. If we think of artists, and content creators in general, as people who help create experiences for others, NFTs become the vehicle for transmitting and authenticating unique artistic content.

While there has been talk of buying music-related NFTs in the Metaverse, most notably for fashion, imagine if creators came together in the Metaverse to create immersive digital experiences that combine audio, images, and potentially other forms of content simultaneously. The creative options are limitless and NFTs can be used to facilitate more than just leisure activities – such immersive experiences can also directly promote educational and training needs.

Although there are now several examples, Arizona State University, in partnership with Dreamscape Immersive, launched the Dreamscape Learn project in 2020. As Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, said:

“We have always known that there is great potential to unlock new realms of learning for students by merging virtual reality, and all that it educationally and socially empowers, with advanced and adaptable educational experiences.”

The latest streaming revenue and the expansion of the music sector is great news for content creators in general. Data shows that there is more demand than supply, so NFT and Web3 tools are poised to help creators take advantage of these trends to not only be financially sustainable, but also to create even more engaging and immersive experiences on Metaverse for entertainment. society in general.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Christos A. Makridis is a research affiliate of Stanford University and Columbia Business School, and the CTO and co-founder of Living Opera, a Web3 art and multimedia technology startup. He has doctorates in economics and management sciences and engineering from Stanford University.

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