NFTs are Music to their Ears: Musicians are Making Big Bucks and Attracting New Followers

Club DJ Steve Aoki, legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne, and Taiwanese pop star/actor Jay Chou may not share the same taste in music, but they have quickly shown that their passion for NFTs might overshadow their music careers, and make them more money too.

Aoki makes more in NFTs than albums

Aoki, one of the most popular DJs in the world, recently shared that he made more money from his NFT sales in the past year than from his six albums over the past decade. He holds several of the exorbitantly priced Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs and sold his “hairy” NFT for $888,888.88 last year. He even launched his own concept of metaverse called A0K1VERSE, which gives its citizens access to on-chain and physical experiences like free mints of Aoki NFT releases and free tickets to his concert dates worldwide.

Jay Chou brought the NFT craze to Asia

Long before his foray into NFTs, Jay Chou showed the world his talents were multifaceted. He sold 30 million Mandopop records, becoming one of the best-selling artists in Greater China. He then introduced himself to Western audiences via Hollywood as an actor in The Green Hornet and Now You See Me 2.  When he set his sights on NFTs, his comment “Ape in the West, Bear in the East” played a huge role in triggering traffic from Asian countries to the NFT space.

In January, Chou debuted the PhantaBear NFT series on a brand new NFT platform called Ezek. The series of 10,000 NFTs sold out in less than 10 days, shattering the global sales record previously held by The Bored Ape and Cryptopunk NFTs. Building off of Aoki’s work of blending on-chain and physical experiences, PhantaBear owners receive ticket access to virtual concerts in addition to the digital artwork.

Ozzy’s NFT success marred by scammers

Not one to let baby boomers be left in the dust, Ozzy Osbourne released his Cryptobatz collection of 9,666 NFT bats in January. Each Cryptobat gives collectors the opportunity to birth/mint an additional NFT, which allows their purchase to “bite” and mutate with another NFT from their digital wallet.

While the Prince of Darkness showed true ingenuity with his line of NFTs, they have already fallen victim to a phishing scam, which resulted in buyers losing tens of thousands of dollars. The Cryptobatz team changed the URL of its Discord channel from to but failed to delete previous tweets promoting the old URL. Scammers promptly registered this oversight and brought in 1,330 users to the false Discord and served them a phishing scam.

Musicians are using a proven NFT playbook

While these musicians have experienced success in the NFT space individually, they followed a similar script.

  • Community - All three musicians built a community around their upcoming NFT collection. This was likely easy for them to do since they already have millions of fans and followers.
  • Whitelists - Discord was used to discuss the status of the musicians’ NFTs, assign roles and whitelist members who are highly active in the group (Whitelist is an incentive for Discord members to stay active by giving them early access to mint an NFT before the spike in price or sometimes pre-approve them to get a free NFT).
  • IRL experiences - After launch, NFTs represented access to concerts and parties at a discounted rate to their holders.
  • Roadmaps - The creation of project roadmaps, which included NFT holders getting a free NFT from collaborations, brought more traffic to the community. This all, in turn, increases the floor price. Whether or not this model is sustainable depends on demand, health of the community, and adherence to a proper road map.

The key takeaway is that the artists quickly adopting NFTs are making big bucks and attracting hordes of new followers. Long term, these musicians are betting that NFTs will spark a revolution in the music business that transfers power away from labels and back to artists.

Disclaimer: Be careful about connecting your wallet to any Discord group, as scam requests are frequent. Many discord groups recommend switching off direct messaging to avoid falling prey to such scams.

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