Here’s How To Make Money In Music Via Web3

Last updated: 23 Feb 2024

As the traditional music industry landscape becomes increasingly unpredictable and hostile to emerging artists, many are looking for alternative ways to make their mark on the industry AND make money with music. Web3 has already proven to be the space to do exactly that. Keep reading to learn how to make money in music without relying on middlemen and conventional structures.

What is Web3?

Web3 is the next iteration of the world wide web, based on blockchain technology. Coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, the idea became super popular in 2021 after the metaverse concept and NFTs gained popularity.

While Web3 is not a cure for the problems music creators face in the current iteration of the Internet, Web3 promises to be more artist-centric and decentralised. Moreover, current Web3 companies give artists more autonomy and create new ways to make money with music.

Let’s dive deep into how to make money in music in Web3.

NFTs

A music NFT serves as proof of digital ownership. Since music NFTs are built using blockchain technology, it’s impossible to replicate them. This eliminates illegal downloads, sampling and replication.

Many artists are using music NFTs as an alternative source of revenue. In addition to big names like Grimes, Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki, independent artists like Iman Europe are also using music NFTs to make money and bypass traditional streaming services. Another good thing about NFTs? On top of the profits earned from the initial sale of the NFT, you’ll also receive a percentage every time the NFT is resold (called secondary sale).

There are many platforms that enable you to make money with music NFTs by creating your own in just a few clicks. Music NFT marketplaces such as Royal, Pianity and OneOf are some of the most user-friendly NFT platforms out there, allowing you to jump on the NFT bandwagon in minutes.

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Virtual merch

Music merchandise is now a billion dollar industry. In addition to supporting their favourite artists, superfans use merch to show that they’re part of an artist’s community. Music NFTs serve as the Web3 version of merch. Through them, music fans and merch collectors can discover new artists, support their favourites, become part of different artist communities and show off their “merch.”

So how can you make money with music NFT merch? Simple – don’t limit yourself to audio NFTs. You can create virtual merch that your fans’ avatars can “wear” in games and virtual spaces like Fortnite. Platforms like MerchNFT bridge the gap between the metaverse and IRL by enabling creators to physical merch alongside virtual merch. In addition to expanding your creative vision, such initiatives also boost business.

Decentralised platforms

Streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have long been criticised for their low pay per stream. In an effort to empower artists and provide them with the opportunity to earn sustainable income from their music, decentralised streaming platforms have emerged as a viable alternative to the traditional Web2 model.

From the user’s point of view, these Web3 streaming platforms are similar to the Web2 streaming giants in that they have a simple sign up process. For artists, they’re revolutionary, as they give artists a higher percentage of the streaming revenue.

Furthermore, Web3 streaming platforms reward listeners for listening to music – something Web2 companies have never done. These platforms have their own tokens, so the more music you listen to, the more tokens you accumulate. These can then be exchanged for real-world currencies or used to obtain the right to vote on changes to the platform itself.

Final notes

It’s safe to say that Web3 is unlocking revenue streams that enable artists to become financially independent, without having to rely on old school systems that no longer cut it. Sure, it’s still in its infancy. However, being an early adopter always pays off – so learning the lingo and familiarising yourself with the platforms shaping its future is always a good idea.

Take the time to explore how to make money in music in Web3 and test what works best for you. By staying informed and actively participating in the emerging Web3 ecosystem, you’re not only setting yourself up for success, but also actively contributing to a more artist-centric music economy.

author

Janelle knows a thing or two about the music industry. Having been involved in the industry since the age of 13, she's now involved in a variety of music-related projects and is always keen to share industry tips 'n' tricks with fellow musicians.