Web3 Music: 5 Trade Secrets For Independent Artists

Last updated: 23 Feb 2024

Have you ever considered shifting away from trying to grab the attention of traditional Web2 music industry gatekeepers, and instead directing your efforts towards the flourishing Web3 music industry? If you’ve landed on this article, you’re probably in this headspace right now.

Web3 is quickly gaining ground – especially in the music industry. Artists like Steve Aoki, Snoop Dogg and Grimes are major supporters of the Web3 music industry and its more artist-centric approach. If you’re thinking of joining their ranks, here are a few ways to successfully transition to Web3, even if you’re an emerging and independent artist.

5 Web3 music tips for independent artists

NFTs

The term NFT stands for “non-fungible tokens.” Non-fungible means that each token is completely unique. Unlike money, which is interchangeable, non-fungible tokens are unique assets that are not easily replaceable.

With NFTs, artists have a potentially lucrative opportunity to create exclusive collectible for their superfans. These can include tracks that are only accessible to NFT holders, a custom digital artwork linked to limited edition physical merch, or even access to a gated Discord community or real-life concert. The value of NFTs lies in their scarcity and verifiable, re-sellable and decentralised nature, which can create a new ecosystem for an artist and their fans.

Virtual concert

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 lockdowns were the catalyst that boosted virtual concerts’ popularity. They have now become more mainstream, so much so that top-tier artists like Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, BLACKPINK and BTS have all hosted their own virtual concerts.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t dip your toes in the world of virtual concerts, and host your own metaverse event. Fortunately, spaces like Decentraland and The Sandbox allow virtual concert newcomers to show their virtual performance skills in front of other music and Web3 lovers.

According to Dana Swarbrick et al.’s research, virtual concerts facilitates social connection. “With the proliferation of technologies enabling live-streaming and virtual concert experiences, the social dimensions of ‘solitary’ music listening have expanded even further such that individuals can watch concerts while physically alone, but virtually together.”

Therefore, there is a strong indication that virtual concerts are here to stay. Indeed, according to Ipsos research, 46 percent of Millennials and Gen Z adults agreed that attending virtual concerts would give them a similar level of excitement to attending an in-person concert.

Web3 streaming platforms

Compared to their Web2 counterparts, Web3 streaming platforms provide a more artist-friendly environment with features and tools designed to support and empower artists in their careers. Let’s take Audius as an example. 90 percent of the platform’s revenue goes to artists, while the platform also rewards artists in AUDIO tokens for reaching certain milestones.

The accumulated AUDIO tokens can then be exchanged on decentralised exchanges for fiat currency (i.e. dollars, pounds, euro). In addition to their other features, Audius and other Web3 streaming platforms offer artists the ability to directly upload their songs to the platform without relying on a third-party distributor, who also takes a percentage of the artist’s earnings.

Creating a VR music video for your project is a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd

VR and AR music videos

What’s more Web3 than a VR or AR music video? A VR or AR music video is expensive to produce, but it will definitely make you stand out from the crowd. In addition, the range of reasonably-priced headsets that have hit the market in recent years means the financial and technological barriers to accessing VR have been dramatically reduced.

This means more and more people can view your VR or AR music video in all its glory. If you can’t afford to produce a full-on VR video yet, incorporating AR elements, such as creating a release-specific Instagram or Snapchat filter, is a great way to level up your music rollout campaign.

Join a DAO & find your Web3 community

DAOs are the perfect way to get stuck into the Web3 community. They’re the perfect space to learn all about Web3 and the Web3 music industry, alongside other musicians and music industry professionals.

“DAO” stands for decentralized autonomous organisation. According to Water and Music: “More and more of these Web3-native music communities are now self-identifying as decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs for short — pointing to what will likely trigger the next big wave of investment in music/Web3 experiences alongside NFTs.”

One of the key distinguishing factors between music DAOs and Web2 organisations or clubs is that all DAO members have the power to govern and make decisions for the Web3 community. In addition, most music DAOs have the common goal of creating a new, artist-centric music economy. By joining a music DAO, you not only find your own tribe, but have the opportunity to shape the next iteration of the music industry.

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.