How Web3 Is Restructuring The Music Industry

  • Posted: 24.10.22

Some art forms connect with web3 seamlessly.

Take NFTs. Successful brands – like BAYC or Cryptopunks – took real-world ideas of art and brought them into web3 with little difficulty.

But what about music?

Web2 streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music help musicians reach new audiences, but not make a living. That’s unless we talk about Ed Sheeran or The Weeknd getting millions of monthly listeners.

The shift to web3 brings control back to the hands of artists. They get not only new opportunities to earn but also new ways to create and present new music.

The question is – is web3 really going to transform the industry? Or is it just another short-lived trend with a fancy name?

A growing number of analysts think web3 could signal a fundamental shift in new music production.

We think it’s bigger than that. The web3 music industry transformation has already happened, and the future is limitless.

Here’s what that means.

Early Indicator: High-Profile Moves

You’ve heard these headlines:

  • Snoop Dogg announces his plan to turn Death Row Records into an NFT label.
  • Universal Music Group forms KINGSHIP, the first NFT music band consisting of Bored Ape Yacht characters.
  • Mike Shinoda joined forces with Secret Garden to create a music NFT collectible Windchime.

Snoop Dogg is one of the most well-known and revered rappers in the world. In recent years, he has turned his attention to the world of web3, and specifically to the potential for using web3 to transform the music industry.

Snoop Dogg announced that he was creating a new web3 version of the infamous Death Row Records. This label would be based on the use of NFTs as a way to manage and distribute music. This move shows that Snoop Dogg believes that web3 can be revolutionary by giving artists more control over their work (something every artist is crying out for) and by providing fans with a more immersive experience.

Universal Music Group came up with something even more immersive:

KINGSHIP is Universals first web3 music band. Universal Music Group was able to create a band that is made up of virtual characters in the web3 world. These characters are controlled by the band’s members and can be used to interact with fans in new and interesting ways.

It’s easy to see how this type of experience would not be possible without web3.

Mike Shinoda, a musician best known for his work with the band Linkin Park recently created an NFT music collectible called Windchime in collaboration with Secret Garden.

This move shows that web3 can be used to create unique and lasting experiences that go beyond traditional music distribution models. It demonstrates the potential web3 has to create new ways of connecting with fans and creating a more engaging music experience.

The web3 music transformation is already happening and it looks set to continue in the coming years. With web3, artists will be given more control over their work, and fans will have more immersive experiences than ever before.

Artists have more opportunities to create and distribute music in new ways, while fans can enjoy a better quality of experience.

The potential for web3 to transform the music industry is tremendous – it’s up to us now to make the most of it.  It remains to be seen what web3 will bring to music in the future, but one thing is certain: web3 has already begun transforming the industry and its potential is limitless.

Big names make splashy moves for publicity all the time, but they also indicate where the market is heading. And in this case, it’s heading toward a web3/music mashup.

NFT Music Releases 

Music has always been irrevocably tied to technology. It’s no surprise big names in the industry were quick to adopt the NFT concept.

NFTs aren’t limited to pixel art and ape portraits – they can be songs, videos, or entire albums. Artists quickly realised they can sell unique, tokenized versions of their creations directly to their listeners, yielding higher profits by ditching third parties.

Kings of Leon generated over $2 million from their 2021 NFT album When You See Yourself.

This move shows that web3 can be used to create unique and lasting experiences that go beyond traditional music distribution models. It demonstrates the potential web3 has to create new ways of connecting with fans and creating a more engaging music experience.

Grimes became $6 million richer in just 20 minutes by selling her WarNymph Collection, Vol.1 NFT artworks accompanied by original songs.

In light of the success of her WarNymph Collection, Vol.1, Grimes has announced that she will be releasing a new collection of NFTs in collaboration with web3 music platform Musicoin.

This new collection, called WarNymph Collection, Vol.2, will feature 10 brand new songs as well as exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content. The songs will be available as NFTs on the Musicoin platform and fans will be able to buy and sell them using the Musicoin blockchain.

Grimes is just one of many artists who are using web3 to revolutionize the music industry.

But what’s in it for listeners? Why would anyone pay extra for NFTs when they can get Spotify for free?

It’s more than just “supporting musicians.” Sure, that’s important – but like most web3 concepts, the key idea is ownership.

Buy NFT drops, and you also get personal ownership of the musical piece.

That opens the door for perks unavailable to regular listeners, and expands the market to include secondary sales. There’s also the biggest benefit of all – the sense of ownership and superiority.


Web3 Music Platforms 

Being the sole owner of Whitney Houston’s unreleased demo is cool, but not everyone has $1 million in their pockets. If all artists start making NFT music, how would an average user afford it?

Music NFTs aren’t some exclusive entertainment for the rich. Web3 streaming services make them accessible to everyone.

YouTube and Spotify force you to pay to get rid of ads. Instead, imagine getting paid to listen to them. BitSong attaches ads to songs and pays both artists and fans for each stream.

OPUS gives artists 90% of the revenue and lets users earn money by creating playlists that disseminate music through the platform.

Some platforms don’t take a cut at all. Audius pays artists 100% of the revenue in the native token AUDIO – Katy Perry, Nas, Skrillex, and deadmau5 have already joined the community.

You can listen to songs on Audius for free, and you can also earn money by creating playlists that disseminate music through the platform. This means that artists get to keep all the money they make from their music. With web3 music platforms, artists have more control over their music and can make a bigger profit from it.

Even social media behemoth TikTok integrated Audius, allowing artists to upload their music to the app in one click.

Virtual Pop Stars 

Persona-based music bands aren’t a 21st-century invention – just ask anyone who lived through the late 90s about Gorillaz.

Today, virtual influencers like Miquela Sousa continue transforming the industry. Since 2016, Lil Miquela has interviewed J. Balvin at Coachella, starred in a Calvin Klein ad alongside Bella Hadid, and topped Spotify charts with her indie-pop album.

Lil Miquela might be the most famous example of a digital performer, but not the only one. The web3 record label Player Zero is as digital as you can get; they’re planning to present a vast roster of AVAs.

The label’s first offering, Amari, has already turned into a metaverse pop star with her debut single Deeper.  Her music videos are filmed in virtual reality and played on web3 streaming platforms.

Audience engagement is key for web3 music, and Player Zero seems to have aced it by creating story-based music videos with interactive elements.

Music in the Metaverse

The upcoming years will see a growing convergence of the virtual and real worlds.

Warner Music Group partnered with The Sandbox to create a music meta world WMG Land, bringing live concerts to fans.

Snoop Dogg (he’s everywhere these days) dropped his first-ever meta music video House I Built made with the game’s free UGC creation tools.

A US radio firm iHeartMedia launched the virtual media space iHeartLand in Fortnite’s Creative mode. Over the next year, you can attend over 20 events without leaving your couch.

Virtual concerts lack the constraints of space or time. You can enjoy the performance anytime, anywhere, for a much lower price.

More Opportunities for Enthusiasts 

For a long time, aspiring musicians had no other option but to hope for a record label to notice them and offer a contract, cutting up to 90% of the revenue.

The alternative was to make music independently and consider every 100 streams on Spotify a big win.

Web3 streaming platforms and NFT drops carry the potential to democratise the music industry. Newcomers can access larger numbers of potential fans more quickly, and without cutting into their overall revenue.

Web3 has brought about many changes in the music industry like platforms that allow listeners to pay artists directly, virtual pop stars, web3 record labels and NFT albums. Virtual concerts offer a new way to enjoy music and are more affordable than traditional concerts.

Web3 also allows aspiring musicians to reach a larger audience more quickly and without sacrificing revenue (like with streaming).