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Capitalizing on Music NFTs: A New Era of Monetization for Artists


Daljit Singh

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September 14, 2023

Capitalizing on Music NFTs: A New Era of Monetization for Artists


Daljit Singh

linkedin profile


September 14, 2023

Table of Contents

The sweeping tide of NFTs has ushered in unprecedented transformations across industries, and unsurprisingly, the music sector standing at the forefront of this revolution. 

As per recent data, the global Music NFT market was pegged at USD 1746.75 million in 2022. With an expected CAGR of 27.92%, it’s forecasted to ascend to a value of USD 7653.15 million by 2028.

Following this, pioneering artists are capitalizing on this emerging music NFTs wave, integrating NFTs into their musical portfolios and reaping significant financial rewards. 

“Music Tycoons like Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki, and Grimes have skillfully harnessed the potential of NFTs, marking a defining moment of innovation and influence in the evolving soundscape of the music industry.” 

As this trend gains momentum, we project an influx of artists pivoting to this decentralized modality. 

Within this comprehensive guide, our aim is to furnish readers with a granular understanding of the music NFTs, elucidating its nuances and potentialities.

Embark on this journey with us.

What Are Music NFTs?

Music NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, represent a pioneering intersection of music and blockchain technology. 

Distinct from traditional digital music files like MP3s or CDs, each Music NFT carries a unique digital signature, confirming its authenticity and ownership on the blockchain. For artists, this offers an innovative medium to monetize their craft, ensuring both transparency and direct engagement with their audience.

In essence, Music NFTs are reshaping the music industry’s landscape, introducing an era where digital ownership and artistic creativity harmoniously coalesce, granting both musicians and fans enhanced value and unparalleled musical experiences.

Having explored the domain of music NFTs, we now proceed to delve into the mechanics of how music NFTs work, their classifications, advantages, and leading marketplaces for music transactions, among other facets.

(Recent- Fractional NFTs: A New Era of Shared Digital Ownership)

How Do Music NFTs Work?

Fundamentally, music NFTs facilitate a paradigm shift, transitioning music ownership from corporate entities to individual stakeholders. 

While record labels remain pivotal in the music ecosystem, offering multifaceted business services to artists, music NFTs provide artists the autonomy to retain comprehensive ownership of their creative outputs. 

Here’s a rundown of how music NFTs work.

  • Minting

Artists create a distinct digital version of their work, ensuring its rarity and uniqueness.

  • Purchase and Ownership

Users buy these tokens, often with cryptocurrency, to own a tokenized version of the music or associated content.

  • Resale

Owners can resell their NFTs in secondary markets, often at a value determined by demand and rarity.

  • Royalties

Embedded smart contracts can ensure artists receive royalties directly with each resale of the NFT, optimizing artist revenue.

  • Exclusivity

NFTs can offer exclusive content or experiences, fostering a deeper artist-fan connection.

  • Verification

The blockchain provides a transparent history of ownership, ensuring authenticity and reducing piracy risks.

Taking this into account, we shall now proceed to examine the diverse manifestations in which music NFTs can be developed.

Diverse Categories of Music NFTs 

best nft platforms for artists

From digitized albums and exclusive audio releases to virtual concert engagements and artist-centric collaborations, here are types of music NFTs to acquaint oneself with.

1. Album/Track Releases

Songs or entire albums can be transformed into NFTs, crafting distinctive digital assets available for fan acquisition. Contrasting the conventional digital consumption model, NFTs offer fans an ownership stake in music, occasionally in limited editions, fostering a deeper artist-fan rapport and heralding alternative revenue streams for musicians.

In December 2021, the iconic Whitney Houston epitomized this shift, auctioning an NFT collection, inclusive of an unreleased demo, amassing over $1 million.

DJ 3LAU, a vanguard in the music NFT arena, has indelibly marked the web3 musical domain, reportedly amassing over $20 million from NFT transactions. Justin Blau, professionally known as DJ 3LAU, ventured into NFTs in 2020. By February 2021, his album, ‘Ultraviolet’, was tokenized into 33 NFTs, securing $11.6 million upon release, underscoring his innovative prowess.

In April 2021, Eminem merged music with blockchain, launching original tracks on this decentralized ledger. His ‘Shady Con’ collection, introduced on Nifty Gateway, accumulated $1.78 million post-release.

Similarly, in 2021, the Kings of Leon made history by releasing their album ‘When You See Yourself’ as an NFT series. This innovative launch saw the album peak at Billboard’s number 11, with sales translating to over 970 ETH (approx. $1.8 million).

Web3 forerunners, Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki, furthered this trend in May 2022, curating the NFT album ‘Alpha Doggz Da Da EP’ under the aegis of the Gala Music ecosystem, a decentralized music streaming paradigm.

(Related Read- How to Build An Ethereum NFT Marketplace: A Detailed Guide)

2. Exclusive Concert Tickets

In the domain of events, minting concert tickets as NFTs ensures their lasting presence on the blockchain. Beyond the prevention of counterfeit tickets, these digital tokens serve as timeless mementos of the event. 

Owning such NFTs could also unlock premium experiences for fans, ranging from backstage access, personalized interactions, to privileged seating, enhancing the overall concert experience.

In 2022, the globally acclaimed Coachella music festival ventured into NFTs, offering perpetual festival passes, signifying a novel approach to fan outreach and festival admissions.

Similarly, in that year, Ticketmaster, the preeminent ticketing marketplace, made headlines by enabling event organizers on its platform to roll out NFT tickets via the Flow blockchain. By March 2023, the renowned heavy metal group, Avenged Sevenfold, introduced its maiden NFT-based ticket sales on this platform.

June 2023 witnessed Snoop Dogg’s foray into the NFT sphere with the “Passport Series” on the Arbitrum blockchain. Designed to synchronize with his tour, it promises holders exclusive access to art, merchandise, and insider content.

Paving the way in avant-garde ticketing, Get Protocol employs NFTs to deliver a groundbreaking “Web 2.5” model, marking a departure from traditional platforms like Ticketmaster. 

Its notable $4.5 million seed funding in July 2023, coupled with the issuance of over 4 million blockchain-anchored tickets for artists of the caliber of Ne-Yo and Louis Capaldi, signals its intent to reshape the event ticketing arena.

3. Video NFTs 

Music videos can be metamorphosed into NFTs, granting fans ownership of these digital artistic creations. 

Considering the visual essence of music videos, such NFTs could command substantial value, particularly if they’re released as limited editions or feature unique content.

From a different perspective, the spotlight shone on Eminem and Snoop Dogg in June 2022 when they leveraged the IPs of their Bored Ape NFTs to depict a collaborative visual between the duo. 

Possessors of these NFTs have the license to integrate them into their personally branded content, catering to their distinct entrepreneurial ventures.

4. Merchandising 

Artists can tokenize digital commodities such as in-game apparel, musical instruments, or stage props.

Other merchandise, encompassing digital artwork, wearables, or artist-designed avatars, can be seamlessly transitioned into NFTs. The singular nature and exclusivity of these digital assets potentially amplify their appeal to ardent fans and collectors.

Consider Shawn Mendes, the renowned Canadian pop sensation. He ventured into the web3 domain in February 2021, rolling out wearable NFTs resonating with his “Wonder” album in collaboration with Genie. His NFT foray yielded a staggering $1 million (equivalent to 628 ETH).

Echoing a parallel narrative is The Weeknd’s autograph collection in association with Billboard from December 2021. This collection, celebrating his chart-topping single ‘Blinding Lights’, commemorates its accolade as the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 Song ever.

Come April 2023, Pharrell Williams, donning the hat of Chief Brand Officer for the Doodles NFT series, allied with Adidas to curate NFT wearables tailored for Doodles avatars. 

The preceding year, 2022, witnessed his announcement of partnering with Doodles Records for an NFT album launch, which remains highly anticipated.

5. Remix Rights

NFTs offer a groundbreaking approach to remix rights in music. They allow artists to tokenize their tracks, granting fans or fellow musicians permission to reimagine the original piece, while ensuring creators retain their rights and earn from subsequent sales. 

Blau (3LAU), the electronic music producer, offers a compelling case. He ventured into the NFT space by tokenizing his album, “Ultraviolet“. Beyond just sales, he empowered NFT owners with exclusive experiences and the potential rights to remix certain tracks

This innovative approach augments fan engagement, allows for creative reinterpretations, and ensures artists are rewarded in the remix ecosystem.

6. Royalty Streams

NFTs are revolutionizing the way artists earn, offering a more direct and transparent royalty stream. 

Through smart contracts, artists can receive immediate and perpetual royalties every time their tokenized work is resold, ensuring sustained revenue. A notable real-use case is Kings of Leon. In 2021, they released their album “When You See Yourself” as an NFT, allowing them to earn not just from initial sales, but also from subsequent resales of the limited edition tokens. 

This adoption of NFTs showcases a proactive step towards ensuring artists reap the rewards of their creations in the long term, reshaping traditional music industry economics.

7. Metaverse Virtual Events  

Venturing beyond conventional boundaries, artists are pioneering live music presentations within metaverse platforms. A prime illustration of this evolution is the Metaverse Music Festival, an annual spectacle within the Decentraland metaverse.

The 2022 iteration of this festival, spanning four days, witnessed the congregation of over 200 artists, including stalwarts like Björk, Ozzy Osbourne, and Souljaboy. The event was not merely a musical delight within the Web3 domain but also garnered extensive global media attention.

This digital music renaissance further empowers individuals to collaborate with AI for track creation and even formulates web3-centric bands. A case in point is Kingship, a virtual ensemble comprising 4 apes from the BAYC and MAYC collections. This innovative band, having signed with Universal Music Group in 2021, continues to make waves in the Web3 realm.

Further solidifying the union between music and the metaverse, numerous artists, including Steve Aoki and Snoop Dogg, possess virtual real estate within the Sandbox metaverse. These artists have embarked on collaborations that offer gamified experiences, punctuated with the active involvement of their digital avatars.

Upon examining the diverse spectrum of music NFTs, we now pivot our attention to the inherent benefits they present for artists in the music industry.

Advantages of Music NFTs for Artists 

Music NFTs

Within the NFT landscape, artists benefit from enhanced ownership rights, new revenue streams, and a closer connection to their audience. 

Here’s a brief overview of NFT in music benefits.

  • Direct Monetization

Music NFTs offer artists an unparalleled avenue for direct monetization. By tokenizing their work, artists can bypass traditional intermediaries, such as record labels and streaming platforms, and sell directly to their audience. 

This ensures a larger portion of the sales revenue goes directly to the creators, enhancing their financial sustainability.

  • Royalty Control

One of the most transformative aspects of NFTs is the inherent ability to program royalties through smart contracts. Every time an NFT is resold, artists can automatically receive a predefined percentage of the sale. This continuous revenue model ensures artists are compensated fairly throughout the lifecycle of their work.

  • Limited Editions

By releasing limited editions as NFTs, artists can create a sense of rarity and exclusivity. These unique, numbered editions can become highly sought after, increasing their value. This not only allows artists to differentiate their offerings but also provides fans with collectible items that can be appreciated over time.

  • Creative Freedom

Without the constraints of traditional record labels, artists can explore uncharted creative territories. NFTs empower musicians to experiment with their art, be it through interactive experiences, visual components, or unique soundscapes, ensuring their artistic vision remains uncompromised.

  • Copyright Management

NFTs offer a more streamlined and transparent approach to copyright management. Through blockchain, artists can readily prove the authenticity and ownership of their work. This decentralized ledger system ensures that rights and ownership details are immutable, reducing disputes and potential infringements.

  • New Revenue Streams

Beyond just song sales, NFTs open doors to varied monetization opportunities. Artists can tokenize merchandise, concert tickets, or even virtual experiences. These diversified revenue streams can provide a more robust financial foundation, especially in an industry known for its volatility.

  • Global Reach

NFT marketplaces are accessible to a global audience, allowing artists to reach fans across borders. This universal accessibility ensures that artists can tap into wider markets, introducing their music to diverse demographics and expanding their fan base.

  • Enhanced Trust

With the transparency of blockchain technology, artists and fans can engage with enhanced trust. Every NFT transaction is recorded, ensuring that buyers have confidence in the authenticity of their purchase. For artists, this ensures genuine fan interactions and reduces the chances of counterfeit merchandise or music sales.

After examining the value proposition of music as NFTs, our next step is to illuminate how these NFTs can facilitate artists in securing more lucrative returns than traditional streaming platforms.

NFT in Music vs. Streaming Platforms

NFT marketplaces

Streaming platforms have ushered in a renaissance for music enthusiasts, offering unparalleled access to a vast array of songs. However, this boon hasn’t been equally beneficial for artists. 

Current industry models seem skewed in favor of large labels and platforms, often sidelining independent creators – the very backbone of the industry.

According to reports, Fortune highlights that the usual revenue distribution sees artists only obtaining half, with the remainder divided among agents, legal representatives, and distributors. 

To put it into perspective, artists often earn a mere $0.003 to $0.005 per stream. Examining Spotify, a $43 billion behemoth, illuminates this disparity further: only about 7,500 artists on the platform achieve earnings of $100,000 or more annually. This suggests that the streaming paradigm primarily benefits consumers and platforms, leaving artists in the lurch.

NFTs emerge as a beacon of hope for a more equitable artist compensation model. They furnish avenues for artists to monetize their intellectual property without depending on third-party intermediaries. 

Moreover, with blockchain’s inherent structures, NFTs enable creators to accrue royalties from resales. This evolution empowers artists with greater control over their creations and offers a potential solution to the meager revenues from mainstream streaming services.

For example- Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park sheds light on this potential. After generating around $11,000 from his inaugural NFT, he shared on Twitter: “The initial figures for NFTs are telling. Even if I released the complete song globally on DSPs, I wouldn’t approach $10k, once you account for DSP fees, label costs, marketing, and the like.”

The cases presented underscore the potential of music as NFTs to offer artists a more beneficial avenue than conventional streaming or sale to established labels. For insights on optimizing profits from your musical endeavors, let’s delve into an exploration of the premier NFT marketplaces for trading music.

Leading Music NFT Marketplaces for Trading Music NFTs 

music NFT marketplace

Premier music NFT marketplaces are transforming the trade dynamics for music NFTs, offering artists enhanced revenue streams and unparalleled market access. 

Let’s explore these platforms in-depth.

1. Catalog 

Initiating our exploration, Catalog, founded in 2021, operates from its base in San Francisco. This platform has carved a niche for itself in the NFT music space by facilitating artists to mint and sell their creations effortlessly. 

With a steadfast commitment to authenticity, Catalog offers a curated environment, ensuring genuine music lovers meet original content. 

The company’s vision emphasizes a balanced blend of technology and artistry, positioning itself as a frontrunner in the evolving NFT landscape.

2. Audius 

Turning the attention to Audius, which saw its inception in 2018 and is headquartered in Los Angeles. This platform stands as a testament to the transformative potential of decentralized music distribution systems. By integrating blockchain technologies, Audius champions a transparent model, aiming to shift the balance of power back towards the creators. Its goal is clear: redefining the standards of the music industry, focusing on artist-centric values.

3. Sound.xyz 

Moving forward, Sound.xyz, established in 2020, has its operations anchored in New York City. Emerging as a dedicated NFT marketplace for music enthusiasts, it emphasizes the incorporation of cutting-edge Web3 technologies. The platform’s philosophy is rooted in ensuring artists are aptly rewarded for their ingenuity, crafting a space where innovation meets melody.

4. Async Music  

Diving into Async Music, founded in 2019 with its headquarters situated in Tokyo. This platform offers a unique proposition by allowing the creation of ‘dynamic’ music NFTs. 

These tokens possess the ability to evolve, responding to diverse triggers or external inputs. Even in its relatively short existence, Async Music has garnered attention, drawing a discerning audience intrigued by the fusion of interactivity and music.

5. Royal

Lastly, Royal, launched in 2021, operates from its Los Angeles base. Co-conceptualized by the acclaimed electronic artist 3LAU, Royal transcends conventional marketplace boundaries. 

It introduces an avant-garde approach, granting artists the ability to vend portions of ownership in their tracks. This not only deepens fan engagement but potentially offers a slice of the revenue pie. 

With this groundbreaking model, Royal is challenging the very paradigms of music consumption and ownership.

(Related- Maximizing Artistic Value: Best NFT Marketplace for Artists Unveiled)

Partner with Debut Infotech to Foster a Bespoke Music NFT Marketplace 

Having gained a comprehensive understanding of music NFTs, the pertinent question arises: where can they be procured? The rapid rise of NFTs underscored the need for dedicated platforms for their trade, leading to the development of specialized NFT marketplaces.

Debut Infotech has established itself as a leading blockchain development company, demonstrating unparalleled expertise in crafting custom music NFT marketplaces tailored to specific needs. The company, leveraging cutting-edge technology, is adept at bringing innovative solutions to the forefront of the rapidly evolving digital music realm.

The driving force behind Debut Infotech’s success is its dedicated team. This ensemble of professionals, each an expert in their respective domains, collaborates to bring visions to fruition, ensuring solutions that are both technologically advanced and market-responsive. One of the standout offerings from their innovation lab is a NFT marketplace development solution, meticulously designed to address the nuanced demands of today’s music industry.

For those charting a course in the NFT space and aiming to carve a niche, Debut Infotech is the strategic partner to consider. Reach out to our seasoned NFT development team today, and let us help you launch a music NFT marketplace that resonates with your vision.


Q. How to buy music NFTs?

A. To purchase music NFTs, select a trusted NFT marketplace, set up a compatible digital wallet, search for desired music tokens, and follow the platform’s buying procedures, typically using cryptocurrency.

Q. How to create music NFTs?

A. To create music NFTs, ensure you hold rights to the music, select an NFT minting platform, connect your digital wallet, upload the music piece, and mint the NFT following platform guidelines.

Q. How to sell music NFTs?

A. To sell music NFTs, list them on your chosen NFT marketplace, set a price or auction, and promote the listing. Once sold, the platform processes the transfer and credits your wallet.

Q. How to invest in music NFTs?

A. To invest in music NFTs, research reputable NFT marketplaces and set up a digital wallet. Study prominent and emerging artists, analyzing historical NFT values. Purchase music NFTs that show potential for appreciation. Monitor market trends, engage with the artist community for insights, and be prepared to trade or hold based on potential returns.

Q. Why are music NFTs valuable?

A. From Debut Infotech’s perspective, music NFTs gain value from their inherent blockchain-confirmed uniqueness. Beyond that, our experience indicates that the artist’s reputation, potential for royalties, and a burgeoning demand in the digital realm contribute. The amalgamation of scarcity and verifiable authenticity, which our blockchain solutions emphasize, propels their worth.

Q. Can I earn royalties from my music NFTs?

A. Absolutely. At Debut Infotech, a blockchain development company, we’ve engineered platforms that allow artists to integrate royalties into their NFTs. This ensures artists receive a cut from secondary sales, creating an ongoing revenue model.

Q. Are there copyright concerns with music NFTs?

A. Certainly. Our team at Debut Infotech always advises clients that while NFTs represent digital ownership, they don’t equate to owning the intellectual property. We guide artists to tokenize content they have rights to and educate buyers on discerning their purchase’s associated rights.

Q. How do I store music NFTs securely?

A. Safety is paramount. Leveraging our expertise at Debut Infotech, we recommend storing music NFTs in digital wallets, either software or hardware-based. We often assist clients in choosing reputable wallets, emphasize the safeguarding of private keys, and advocate for multi-factor authentication and cold storage solutions.

Q. Can I trade or exchange my music NFTs?

A. Yes, and Debut Infotech’s platforms facilitate this. Once in possession of an NFT, owners can sell, trade, or auction on several NFT marketplaces. However, we always remind our clients to be aware of platform-specific terms and the rights tied to their NFT.

Q. Is there a specific genre of music more popular for NFTs?

A. While our blockchain solutions cater to all genres, we’ve observed significant traction for electronic, pop, and hip-hop in the NFT domain. However, as market dynamics evolve, so do trends, which is why Debut Infotech remains agile and responsive to shifts in demand and artist participation.


March 19, 2024

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