Dear Recording Artist,

We see you. We hear you. And we want to help.

 

Almost universally, every artist we’ve spoken with has said the same thing. They want to be financially independent and creatively free. The career defining moment they're waiting for has less to do with sold out arenas or number one records. The “moment” every artist is waiting to experience is the realization that their career is sustainable and growing, supported by a loyal fanbase.

 

So how do you achieve that?

 

The bad news is, the music industry, as currently designed, doesn’t pay. Artists earn between $.0032 and $.0056 per stream depending on the digital streaming platform, meaning that for every 10,000 streams, you’re making up to $56. As reported by the performing rights organizations, the average song generates $114 annually, a statistic that is upwardly skewed by the top 1% of popular songs. Many artists simply can’t last long enough to win against this math.

 

Although the industry generates $43 billion in annual revenue, the reality is that nearly 90% of the profits are directed to corporate intermediaries, leaving very little for the artist who’s creative work drives fan engagement, the real lifeblood of the music business.

 

While the growth of streaming would appear to be a much needed lifeline, the reality is that streaming platforms have only served to direct more profits to major labels.

 

The situation for artists is only made worse by the abundance of new music being released every day. On average, 50,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify daily. SoundCloud celebrated their 2 millionth song in 2017. No reasonable marketing budget will help an artist pierce through that amount of noise, no matter how good the music is. Competing for attention is an expensive game that’s almost impossible to win.

 

So what’s the solution?

 

In order to grow sustainably, artists have to do selling quality products to paying customers. Said another way, artists need to sell music.

 

Businesses need paying customers to survive. Same goes for recording artists. Giving music away for free to sell t-shirts doesn’t make sense. Fans that buy music have a deeper connection to and help artists to continue improving.

Technology is also helping the cause. We’re now seeing new sources of capital forming to support artists and believe digital assets called non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the future of how artist’s will finance their careers.

 

What’s an NFT?

NFT’s are unique digital collectibles that can replicate physical assets with a few added benefits. Like physical assets, NFTs derive value from their scarcity and rareness. Because they’re digital, NFT’s are also easier to store, maintain, insure, and trade. 

 

In music, NFT’s can be used to unlock exclusive experiences for their owners. Importantly, these ownership rights have the opportunity to increase in value over time as the popularity of the artist becomes more popular and can be traded from one owner to another.

 

For music tastemakers who have their finger on the pulse of what’s next, crypto tokens present a special opportunity. When tied to the brand of emerging artists, tokens become an lucrative way for curators to actively participate in the value created by music.

 

As new business models emerge for artists, we believe there’s limitless potential for artists. The promise of blockchain technology extends far beyond the purchase of bitcoin and Ethereum. The real potential is the technology’s ability to efficiently distribute cultural value in new ways that have yet to be fully explored. This is a great advance for creators of all kinds.

P H L O T E