Streaming is f🙃🙃ked. Web3 & Music NFTs probably won't help.
Ash Fishman
January 30th, 2023

Music streaming is fooked.

This isn’t news.

It pays 70% of a cent per 1000 streams (or $0.003 per stream).

I think there are 2 main problems with music streaming today

  1. It pays artists shit (not sure there is a true fix for this yet)

  2. Data is somewhat incorrect.

Let me explain :

"It pays artists shit"🥸

This is just a fact.

The reason why I think it is very hard to pay artists well from streaming is because the business running the streaming service still has costs.

Spotify for example, still has not hit the green (pun intended).

(P.s in case you didn’t get that last joke, it means that they are still not profitable).

Not sure what the solution here is. I don’t think Music NFTs are the solution.


One very simple reason is because right now, every person in the world can pay 10 USD a month (approx) for an unlimited amount of music.

Good luck trying to tell them to pay .1 ETH for a single song.

And no, I don't think creating a streaming service with tokens will work.

Time will tell what the solution here is.

Reason 2: “Data is somewhat incorrect" 🫣

Not every listener on Spotify is a true fan, let alone a regular fan.

A lot of listeners are passive (they listen without true intention).

Also the "number of streams" you get is not necessarily execution-able business data (aka repurposable for target market, superfans, etc)

Today, music is one of the few industries that does not really use/take advantage of demographics and data in the day to day business.

What does this mean exactly?

It means that most of the industry is focused on somewhat and meaningless metrics when it comes to actionable data.

Most people in the industry will focus on how many streams or views an artist gets.

Now, that might sound fine but let’s pretend you are have an app or a website.

What if I told you that you had 10,000 visitors a day on your platform, but you didn’t know a single thing about them?

Your reaction.
Your reaction.

Chances are you would think that is totally insane.

Welcome to the music industry.

This is why streaming can be very deceptive when it comes to getting a true idea where artists stand in their careers.

So where does Web3 come into play? 🤔

For streaming: hard to tell. Possibly not at all.

But here is what people are still missing:

We are still not there. Web2 is still by far the strongest form of distribution.

Which means that it’s still very much needed.

But also: this “true data” issue, is still a huge problem in Web2. So there is still work to be done there.


Having your actionable superfan data on Web2 is only half the picture.

You having the ability / knowledge to know who is supporting you (aka paying that 0.1 ETH), what they are doing, and what else they like from wallet info, is the other half.

It is also a half that will only get bigger.

So I do believe that you can use web3 fan data to help paint a clearer picture of where your journey as an artist needs to go.

Pair that with correct fan data and you have a much much stronger chance for a successful career.

Let's not forget that all artists are businesses. They are startups. And like every other business, data helps steer the boat.


I think we can have a future where every song is an NFT, and every owner of that NFT can get streaming royalties, VIP Access, and more.

But I don’t think web3 will help the current streaming service business model (at least anytime soon).

But it can very much help with superfan data, and extra monetization methods.

And every artist could use a few mores shmekels .

And they surely do deserve it.

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