Empowering Artists with NFTs: From Financial to Creative Freedom

The age-old debate concerning art, its value, and the artist's autonomy in its creation has found a new arena in the digital realm. With the advent of the internet and the subsequent development of online platforms for music distribution, artists have found their art entangled within an economic model that treats all pieces of music equally. This model suggests a stream is a stream and all tracks are priced uniformly on platforms like iTunes. This type of equalization dilutes the unique essence of a musical piece, undermining the very ethos of art, which thrives on diversity and individual expression.

In today's digital world, 97% of artists on Spotify earn less than 1000$ annually.

This economic structure is not conducive to artistic growth or sustainability. To make more streams, artists have resorted to certain tactics, such as shortening their songs. This was the case of French rapper Lorenzo, who divided his album, originally comprising of 16 songs, into 68 shorter pieces, approximately 30 seconds each.

Furthermore, recent data shows trends from the past decade, indicating a notable decrease in the average length of songs by approximately 40 seconds or 1/6 of their duration. Moreover, top songs have exhibited a growing inclination toward being more danceable and explicit in nature in order to get their songs privileged by the algorithms.

However, the emergence of NFTs promises to turn the tide. By transforming art into a digital asset, NFTs can reintroduce the artist's right to determine the value of their art and gain directly from its sale. NFTs can breathe life back into the music industry, reinstating the intrinsic value of a music piece and enabling artists to regain control over their creation. It frees the artists from the constraints of track length, allowing them to express their creativity without being restricted by the need to generate more streams.

Economic and Creative Liberation through NFTs

With limited editions, the artists can control the price of their art and decide on the number of copies to release, thereby introducing scarcity. This liberates them from the existing economic model where their income is dependent on the number of streams and the redistribution of the value capture through subscriptions and advertising. NFTs allow them to receive more support from their entire fanbase, particularly the most engaged fans who might desire exclusive collectibles and benefit for exclusive perks.

Furthermore, NFTs introduce the Artist's Resale Right (Droit de Suite) into the music world. Traditionally prevalent in visual art and real estate, this right is now extended to music, enabling musicians to earn royalties whenever their song's NFT gets resold on the secondary market. On Pianity, an artist earns 8% of the transaction each time a song is sold on the secondary market. This presents an opportunity for the artist to potentially benefit from increased value of their songs and generate additional revenue.

By offering various editions of NFTs with different levels of scarcity, artists have the flexibility to provide varying degrees of support options for their fans, and cultivate a stronger connection with their fanbase. Additionally, exclusive perks can be incorporated into specific NFT editions to enhance their personalization and amplify their value within the community.

For example, as part of a their release “Leila” on Pianity, the legendary French band La Femme offered a set of amazing exclusive perks, including access to La Femme's private Club on Pianity, exclusive merch, signed vinyls, and a chance to win tickets to any show of the collector's choice.

In addition to financial liberation, NFTs also empower artists with creative freedom. Unbiased by algorithms that favor certain types of music, NFTs provide equal opportunities for all artists to be discovered.

NFTs, essentially a blank canvas, allow artists to use their creativity to the fullest, without worrying about fitting their art into a pre-existing model. They can add exclusive perks to each edition to increase its value and appeal to their fans. This allows the artist to share more intimate and personalized pieces with their fans, enhancing their relationship with them.

Collaborative Opportunities: Exploring New Creative Frontiers

NFTs not only offer artists economic and creative liberation but also foster collaboration and transparency in the music industry. NFTs allow public royalty splits, automatic payments to all rights holders, and encourage transparency in collaborations.

Public royalty splits enhance transparency in collaborations between artists, allowing collectors of the NFT to clearly see the precise distribution of earnings among the participating artists. The automatic payments to all rights holders that usually follow each resale of the NFT on the secondary market, also positively contribute to creative collaborations between artists, making the process of revenue splitting easier.

Pianity has plenty of successful collaborations like acclaimed producer Luciano teamed up with Colombian artist Dani Ramos to release the track “How Soon Is Now?”. As part of the duo's NFT release, fans were given access to a set of exclusive perks, featuring an EP with two previously unreleased remixes, available exclusively to those who purchased the NFT.

Final Thoughts

NFTs have the potential to revolutionize the music industry by redefining the music economy, liberating artists economically and creatively, and fostering transparency and collaboration. They empower artists to regain control over their art, allowing them to determine its value and directly benefit from its sales. By offering exclusive perks to fans and introducing transparency in collaborations, NFTs can rejuvenate the music industry, fostering a supportive ecosystem that values art and respects the artists' rights.

The music industry is on the brink of a transformative era. The question now is: are we ready to embrace this change?

Related Articles