Key Points

  • How the NFT space has altered the production of music and the distribution of it as well
  • The future of how music will be produced and how artist will change their style to adapt to new trends

By now, you would be forgiven for being skeptical of, if not outright exhausted by, the entire concept of NFTs, the cryptocurrency-adjacent digital vouchers that took over the art world last year and quickly infiltrated the music industry. In March 2021, the album heralded as the first to be released as a non-fungible token was Kings of Leon’s barrel-scraping When You See Yourself—and people who bought the shiny new digital widget got their actual copies of the record as, guess what, old-fashioned MP3s and vinyl records. Snoop Dogg announced that his newly acquired Death Row Records, a hip-hop brand venerable enough for the Super Bowl halftime show, would become the first NFT label. Ozzy Ozbourne fans bought CryptoBatz NFTs, only for hackers to take a bite out of them; Mr. Baby Got Back himself, Sir Mix-A-Lot, even released a series of Bit Butts NFTs, to benefit—no kidding—colorectal cancer awareness.

For the most part, these were business endeavors by artists with vast experience in branding, household names simply lending their imprimatur to NFTs the same way they might license songs for car commercials. Meanwhile, everyone from predictable venture capitalists to respected multimedia artists has argued that the technology had the potential to save independent music, too. But for all of the endless talk about how NFTs might someday revolutionize the music business, let alone the world, nothing that their most equipped proponents have done with them so far feels very revolutionary.


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