We know that there is excitement and ennui in equal measures out there about NFTs in 2022 – and sometimes outright anger, as several artists have discovered when announcing NFT drops on Twitter. At Music Ally we’re trying to balance our coverage: to not overload you with stories about individual drops, while pointing to the case studies and companies that show promise.
Some days, like today, there’s an explosion of announcements, which we often think makes for a useful snapshot of the pace of activity around music NFTs, and the prominence of some of the artists and music brands involved.
Start today with Julian Lennon, who is turning some of his private Beatles memorabilia collection into NFTs with marketplace YellowHeart. The auction will include a coat and cape worn by John Lennon in two of the Beatles’ films, as well as guitars and ‘Hey Jude’ notes handwritten by Paul McCartney. And no, the winning bidders won’t get the physical items: they’ll get an image plus audio narration from Julian Lennon.
The Brit Awards are also hopping aboard the NFTs bandwagon, with a collection released through marketplace Serenade. Based on the winners of 13 categories at the event on 8 February, the NFTs will go on sale the next day in runs of 250 each, costing just £10. Proceeds will go to the Brit Trust charity, with the “eco-friendly” nature of the drop being stressed prominently in its marketing.
That’s also a key part of the pitch for British band The Wombats’ first NFT drop, a partnership with web3 agency Kollectiff to release “metaverse-ready NFTs”. That means avatars for use in online world The Sandbox, as well as access to unreleased B-sides, VIP tour tickets, and a virtual concert. But yes, the eco aspect: the claim is that the drop will be “carbon-negative”.
How? “A tonne’s worth of carbon credits are being purchased with the first 1000 holders being airdropped an NFT carbon credit, which goes towards carbon sequestration efforts in the Amazon. The Wombats will be offsetting the carbon footprint from the project 21 times over.”
We’re just getting started. Dance label Monstercat was early into NFTs, and its latest drop – with the Nifty Gateway marketplace – is a collection of audiovisual ‘Relics’. That means “full-length songs and animations that can be utilised in the metaverse”. An extra angle: “A Relics’ rarity increases as the song’s performance in the real world increases. This is similar to a song going Gold or Platinum but on Web 3.0…”
Elsewhere today, former One Direction star Liam Payne has launched a separate Twitter account just for talking about what makes NFTs beautiful; Avatar-focused startup Ready Player Me is working with Plastikman and deadmau5’s Pixelynx company on NFT wearables for its music-focused metaverse; a new marketplace called MusicArt will focus on NFTs based on music photography and artwork; and EDM star Steve Angello is investing in Swedish startup Anotherblock, which is the latest company trying to help people invest in music royalties through NFTs.
It’s dizzying, but some clear themes are emerging: the intertwining of NFTs and virtual worlds / games; sustainability as a key part of the marketing pitch (not least to try to head off those angry fans on Twitter); and exploration of cheaper NFTs rather than just going for top-dollar prices at auction. Pictures of coats, capes and na-na-na lyrics excepted: those ‘Hey Jude’ notes are currently going for $50k.
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