Premium Article

[LISTEN] Balancing niche and mainstream on the road to Web3 adoption

May 31, 2023

For many observers, it can feel like Web3 is in the grips of an identity crisis. As the floor price of NFTs have plummeted across the board, many Web3 builders and projects have begun to embrace more traditional, Web 2.0 growth metrics (like number of collectors, or number of NFTs sold) as key markers of success.

However, this approach has led to some tension within Web3 circles. Is embracing scale a necessary next step on the road to mainstream adoption? Or does it fly directly in the face of some of Web3’s more alternative, niche-oriented principles — which, for many early adopters, were the key driving force which inspired them to explore Web3 in the first place? Is the “Spotify/Apple/Amazon of Web3” an inevitability, or does the unique infrastructure of Web3 offer us the opportunity to explore different, more varied models for success? 

In this crossroads moment, we brought together four builders and thinkers from across Web3 for a mainstage roundtable at our Wavelengths Summit, to explore balancing niche and mainstream approaches, and to share best practices in the current market. This discussion featured moderator Sarah MacKenzie (Creative Director, MUTEK) and speakers Jeremy Stern (Co-Founder, Catalog), Sam Schoonover (Founder, Forward Studio; Innovation Lead, Coachella), and Melanie McClain (DSP consultant and Founder, Blurred Lines).

Listen to the full audio below, or read on for key takeaways from our conversation.

This event recap is available only to paying Water & Music members.

If you’re already a member, please sign into your account here.

If not, sign up today for a quarterly or annual membership plan to get smarter on music and tech and meet like-minded professionals in the industry. You can read more about our membership benefits here.