The shape of music/Web3 tooling is more exciting and diverse than ever before. New platforms are launching weekly to help artists leverage NFTs, social tokens and DAO infrastructure to create new economic models around creativity and fan engagement.
Despite headlines about big sales and big possibilities for artists’ futures in Web3, a close examination of fan onboarding tactics suggest there will be numerous hurdles before this possibility becomes a reality.
As a follow-up to our myriad studies of fan sentiment around music/Web3 projects in Season 1, we embarked on a survey analysis of how artists and music-industry professionals were feeling about Web3 across its numerous forms, including NFTs, DAOs and social tokens.
This project began as an effort to create a “simple” music NFT contract template, as a follow-up to our high-level research from Season 1 on issues facing the music/Web3 ecosystem. Our modular template guides the user through different paths based on their answers, and outputs a custom PDF file that they can then attach on- or off-chain to their NFT releases.
In this article, we aim to encapsulate the various strategies that music NFT platforms use to attract, onboard and retain their fans, collectors and artists in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
More than 30 online music and creator communities now self-identify as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Over the last two months, we interviewed more than 15 leaders from a wide range of music DAOs to gain perspective on possibilities for their respective organizations in this emerging framework, using Web3 tools and strategies unavailable to the traditional music industry. Ultimately, we found the leaders we spoke with viewed the concept of a DAO not as technical infrastructure, but rather as an abstract social signal to mobilize online communities. Their approach and perspective differed — sometimes vastly — from the token-focused or on-chain-dependent ethos common to many protocol-centric DAOs that came before them.
RAC DAO is the community of holders of independent electronic artist RAC’s eponymous social token, $RAC. In February 2022, he worked with HIFI Labs to launch a custom web portal known as “racOS” for his Web2 fans to claim $RAC tokens and access token-gated tracks and other exclusive content perks down the line. That same month, $RAC also became the first artist social token to be available on Coinbase Exchange.
Holly+ is an artist DAO, built around the eponymous machine-learning tool that allows anyone to clone the voice of experimental electronic artist Holly Herndon. At its heart, Holly+ hopes to use a combination of emerging technologies to decentralize creativity.
Well, it’s safe to say, nobody saw this one coming. Yesterday Epic Games (the blockbuster gaming studio behind Fortnite and Unreal Engine) announced that they are acquiring the much-loved independent music marketplace Bandcamp.