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In music’s Web3 future, everyone can be an investor, backing their favorite artists and projects. This shift towards an open and democratized support system between creator and collector has the potential to change the economic structure of the music industry and the artist-fan relationship — for the better. Much better, if things unfold properly.
With each passing day, more artists are coming up with creative ways to offer non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Since June 2020, there have been 1.68M music NFTs sold, generating just under $100M in primary sale revenue (Water & Music, Jan 2022). It would take ~23.7 Billion streams to generate that same revenue for artists.
One type of NFT offering with real disruptive power is the royalty-bearing NFT (sometimes referred to as S-NFTs); those in which artists offer a portion of their royalty share to collectors. This mechanism allows collectors to own a fractionalized portion of a song, album, or even catalog, and share in its future success. For artists, this atypical influx of capital can jumpstart their careers, fund their creative projects, build community, and detach them from the traditional, often predatory, economic structure of the music industry.
Royalty-bearing NFT drops have been met with intense excitement recently as the earliest drops from platforms Royal (Nas and 3LAU) and Opulous (Lil Pump and Soulja Boy) sold out in minutes.
On Monday, Royal announced their next drop: 39% of the streaming royalties in Vérité’s single “He’s Not You”.
Thus far it seems only established artists are being featured in these early S-NFT drops. This makes sense as it’s early days — but in order to empower creators of all sizes with these resources, we need new tools for discovery and understanding value.
If music’s Web3 future doesn’t solve discoverability, then NFTs will only enrich artists with preexisting name value and community. This isn’t the future we believe in.
We are building data-driven ai models that look at audio patterns and incorporate insights from our research on the neuroscience of music enjoyment$^1$ to find songs that push boundaries optimally and are positioned to over-perform expectation if given the right attention. As the space becomes flooded with more S-NFTs in the coming years, we believe this technology will shine a light on the hidden gems and connect them to supportive collectors, so that all sides can fairly share in the rewards.
It is difficult for collectors and creators to understand the future royalty value of these NFTs. We have created a platform that fills this need — dopr — where collectors will be able to value, discover, and track music NFTs.
dopr provides 5-year forecasts for streaming and royalty earnings (by quarter), cumulative stats, and a recoupment calculator which breaks down the number of streams and length of time needed for a token-holder to break even.
To view the full forecast and get early access to dopr click here.
The drop offers Gold, Platinum, and Diamond tokens, which all have different costs, royalty shares, and additional benefits. dopr shows the expected royalty earnings for each token over a five-year period. dopr estimates that the tokens wouldn’t be recouped through royalties for more than 200 years (Gold), 125 years (Platinum), and 80 years (Diamond).
The recoupment calculator displays the costs associated with each token, cost per 1%, royalty share, and streams and time needed to breakeven. On its face, the tokens’ pricing and expected revenue to be generated for ‘he’s not you’ don’t seem to align.
However, much of the craze resonating among music S-NFT collectors isn’t focused on the royalty payouts. For a portion of collectors, their value is realized through fandom, social badging, scarcity, and even private experiences, such as the 1:1 video chat Vérité is offering the five Diamond token owners. Each token level has additional benefits beyond the % royalties owned:
For her biggest fans, the chance to have a 1:1 video chat may be priceless. This is in addition to the value these tokens may maintain on the secondary market (attached to royalty value), or in the intangible value of supporting, community, and collectorship.
Ultimately, supporting artists and the platforms aiming to empower them in this space has much value in its own right.
We envision a future where the 50M worldwide music creators are funded directly from supportive collectors, with all sharing in the rewards. Help us make this a reality.
Get early access here.