Blockchain is quickly becoming the innovative force that industry insiders have predicted for years. The growing number of projects and artists using it as a core technology may be changing the current economic model under which most musicians operate.
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, enable independent artists to earn money and interact with their fans without relying on a label or a streaming service such as Spotify. 3LAU, an electronic dance music producer, sold over $11 million in tokens redeemable for real-world goods, including music, in March, in addition to a $3 million token holder who bid for the right to collaborate with the artist. Another well-known EDM DJ, Paul Oakenfold, announced in September that he would be releasing a tokenized album on the Cardano blockchain.
Many venues around the world are still unable to hold live concerts due to pandemic-related restrictions, and some streaming services do not provide artists with a sustainable income. Instead of ignoring COVID-19 guidelines, some performers and organizers have turned to blockchain technology in the form of metaverses and NFTs for alternative solutions. Epic Games’ Fortnite hosted a virtual concert with singer Ariana Grande and others in August.
One project claims to be revolutionizing the music industry by providing music fans with creative access to top artists while also introducing blockchain technology to blockchain newcomers and veterans. Fans of Animal Concerts can attend live or virtual concerts while maintaining some control over their own content via the platform’s utility tokens. NFTs also play an important role, as they are used for virtual venue tickets, future live events, fan avatars, and souvenirs for specific performances.
“We are at the crossroads of several emerging technologies, including streaming, VR, metaverses, and NFTs, and we are well positioned to capitalize on this as the only company bringing it all together in one place,” said Animal Concerts CEO Colin Fitzpatrick. “This is the first new major revenue stream for musicians in a decade, as well as an exciting and innovative way for them to interact with their fans.” We’re democratizing concerts and redistributing power to the artists themselves.”
Animal Concerts claims that its business model is focused on bringing 100 million crypto users into the space in the next 12 months, while also providing a seemingly closer connection with performing artists than in-person venues can provide for non-VIPs. According to the project, by combining the best features of streaming, concerts, metaverses, NFTs, and crypto, there may be no limit to the number of people who can engage with musical artists. Animal Concerts is already selling an exclusive collection of NFT tickets that include a live concert and meet-and-greet with Grammy Award-winning rapper Future on October 30 in Miami. Other benefits include a round-trip flight, a beachfront hotel, and a bottle of champagne.
It remains to be seen whether blockchain technology will help revitalize the music industry as the epidemic continues to wreak havoc on many countries around the world. However, extending consumer engagement to the virtual realm and providing a means to democratize the concert industry have the potential to revolutionize the space. If the more than one million people who watched Ariana Grande perform virtually in Fortnite in August, along with the $20 million she earned for the gig, are any indication, companies like Animal Concerts may be saying “Thank you, next” to the mainstream concert industry.