NFTs! NFTs! NFTs! this acronym has been a trending topic in the global arts, finance, music and tech communities for almost a year now. If you have been hearing about this buzz and wondering what it’s all about, then worry no more, you’re in good company as we’ll learn more about it together now.
NFTs has become the biggest craze of recent in the global digital market place, with a lot of artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, and musicians of all calibers cashing in on this fascinating trend.
In the news space, there have been mentions of several music artists (both international & local Nigerian artists) making thousands, and in some cases millions of dollars from NFTs and this has gotten the attention of both independent, local and major label artists quickly.
In Nigeria there are several music artists who have joined the craze in launching NFTs and crypto projects, a few examples include; Nigerian musician BNXN (formerly Buju) who created an NFT project called “HeadsByBNXN“. He says his aim is to build a community around his fans, reward them and connect with them better. The project is a collection of 10,001 unique NFTs of his face. Holders of this NFT would get access to physical and virtual concerts hosted by BNXN, merch items, and a part of the revenue he makes from specific music projects.
Another example is talented rapper, Barzini who is the first Nigerian music artiste to launch an NFT project with his second studio album “Beloved Vol.2”.
In other news, Mavin records / Jonzing world singer Rema announced that he would launch an NFT project for fans based on his debut “Raves & Roses” album released this year.
Even just recently, Nigerian rapper, Falz launched an exclusive NFT collection on Binance NFT marketplace in line with the release of his new single, “Ice Cream“. Other examples of Nigerian music acts who have jumped in on this craze include Don Jazzy, M.I Abaga, Leriq among others.
But dear, without going too fast, let’s start with the concept behind this trend to catch you up to speed.
Firstly, what are NFTs? NFTs also known as Non-Fungible Tokens are digital certificates that authenticate a claim of ownership to an asset, which could be an art, music, video clip and more, and allow it to be transferred or sold.
In simple terms, you can think of NFTs in terms of a digital art collection for instance; “you can have a print of a famous painting in your house, but it would cost you a lot more to have the original! And in most cases, there is usually only going to be one original, or at least a limited number of them. Therefore, an NFT is creating a new digital type of art scarcity. It gives bragging rights to the original owners of an art collection.”
On the other hand, what are Music NFTs? A music NFT is a certificate of ownership of unique audio or a musical piece that can be bought or sold. Through NFTs, artists can claim full ownership of their music without having to share their projects with intermediaries like music labels.
Now, overtime there have been some loopholes and problems with the way musicians make the bulk of their revenues. At the moment artists make a large share of their revenue through online streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. But after all of the talent, creativity and hard work they put into their music, an artiste gets only 12% of the revenue generated from their music on these streaming platforms.
An artist makes only approximately USD .0006 per stream on these platforms, combined with only 12% of the revenues going towards them personally, therefore If an artist manages to put out a song that has 100 million streams, the streaming platform will make USD 60,000, but the artist will only see USD 7,200 of that income. And keep in mind that getting 100 million streams is no easy feat.
From the time it takes to stream a song until the time the artist actually gets paid for that song typically takes about 3 months.
In the music industry, having cash on hand is imperative especially for indie artists who don’t make as much money as major labels. They need to be able to invest the money they make back into their business to have a solid chance of achieving their music goals.
This is where the genius behind the use of NFTs come.
With NFTs, music artists began jumping on the opportunity to create additional income streams. Since they can now make huge sums of money by creating a single digital item (which could be a track artwork, a song or even a video clip) and decide to sell at any amount they wish.
Take for example, just recently Canadian Pop musician and lover to Elon Musk, Grimes reportedly sold animations she made with her brother, Mac, on a website called Nifty Gateway for over $6,000,000! In February this year Grimes released ten exclusive NFT that made her millions. These NFTs consisted primarily of videos, some of which had exclusive songs.
So you see, Artists can create a single digital item and decide whether to sell it exclusively or copies of it. Then the world becomes their marketplace. They can easily sell their NFTs to fans around the world, shipping logistics and fees excluded.
Now how can a Nigerian music artist make, sell and earn from a music NFT collection.
Before talking about how much one can earn from music NFTs, it would be helpful to know the different forms of music NFTs an artist can dive into. Below are a few different types of NFTs in the music space:
1. Songs & Albums NFTs: More and more artists and musicians have started using NFTs to connect with their audience by releasing exclusive songs and records. Some Nigerian artists who have done this include Barzini with his album ‘Beloved Vol 2’, Rema with his ‘Raves & Roses‘ album, Falz with ‘Ice Cream’ single and BNXN with ‘Italy’.
2. Digital Artwork & Photos: Digital artwork and pictures can include limited edition album covers, posters and exclusive behind-the-scenes images from concerts.
3. Tickets for Gigs: Exclusive access to in-person perks, luxury items, and even concert tickets are one of the many use cases of music NFTs.
4. Video Clips & Animations: An example of this is the instance of Pop musician, Grimes who reportedly sold animations she made with her brother. The idea was that buyers would have certified copies of her animated clips that no one else would have.
To the real deal, here’s how you can make, sell and earn from a music NFT collection as a Nigerian artist.
Artists can use sites like Nifty Gateway to make NFTs. They handle all the technology behind making sure you’re presenting them with an original work to distribute to buyers. You can apply for an account with them in about 10 minutes.
They’ll ask for things like your social media links, portfolio, email, what style of project you’re looking to release and more.
Also, If you’re an artist who’s looking to set up your own NFT, you can sell your own unique NFT to your audience via Binance NFT Marketplace and create additional revenue from your creations.
One exciting thing about NFTs is that the original creator can still make money from resales. Let’s say you sell only 1 original NFT for $10,000. And in the original contract you state you’ll receive 10% of all future sales in perpetuity. If the second owner sells it to someone else for $20,000, you’ll get paid $20,000 x .05 = $1,000. So on and so forth.
Where do you sell your NFTs?
Apart from Nifty Gateway and Binance NFT marketplace, you can as well sell your music NFTs on;
- Audius: Audius is another frontrunner, creating a space especially focused on streaming unsigned artists to incentivise potential investments.
- Songcamp: is testing out an innovative concept dubbed Songwriting Camp, in which artists collaboratively work on songs from scratch, visual artists create a cover artwork for these songs, and project operatives “create and execute a web3 distribution plan” for said music. The song is then sold off as a 1/1 NFT.
How to make sure people want your NFTs.
It’s one thing to join in the craze and create an NFT and then it’s another to get people to love and eventually buy them. If there’s not much demand for your product, you can’t expect to cash out. In order to get demand from your desired audience you need to have the proper marketing and promotion behind your brand.
So ensure you analyse your audience properly so you can create something they would love to buy. Then you step up your marketing and promotion game before launching your NFT project. You can reach out to the Legit9ja team for help with this.
No matter where you stand on NFTs and their role in the music industry, it’s certainly a marketplace to keep your eye on. The potential of NFTs as not only an income stream, but a means of audience growth, is only in its elementary stages. As a Nigerian music artist I advise you jump on the NFT train to increase your income stream more importantly. With the way NFTs are disrupting different industries, we could see an era where artists reclaim full ownership of their work by forgoing intermediaries like music labels and streaming platforms to independently release their music to the public.