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Fanaply CEO: ‘Our NFTs have always been about proof of fandom’


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Music Ally first wrote about startup Fanaply before the term NFTs was in popular use, when its focus was on ‘limited-edition digital collectibles’.

It was thus one of the companies that got the music NFTs bandwagon rolling, rather than a latecomer hopping on. At our Sandbox Summit Web3 Special conference today, CEO Grant Dexter offered his views on how music NFTs could evolve in a fan-friendly way.

“Our vision has never been about selling an NFT over a thousand dollars. Our NFTs have always been about proof of fandom. You can think about a Girl Guide sash, of all the things you have done online,” he said.

“It really started around the idea that: wow, I know there’s a market for e-commerce because fans want to connect with artists. Are there items they can show off online to prove their fandom, or prove that they’ve been to [for example] five Coachellas in a row?”

Dexter recounted his experience of being in a chatroom ahead of the premiere of a new video by The Weeknd, with 15,000 people “arguing about who the biggest fan was, and I thought: an NFT would solve this pretty quick!”

That was a light-hearted quip, but Dexter moved on to an explanation of how Fanaply sees NFTs.

“We really view these as allowing communities to organise, engage and create some incremental revenue where possible he said,” before offering a list of problems with many current music NFTs.

“Most are confusing; they are unaffordable; they require cryptocurrency; and are not integrated into the overall fan experience… There is no value to a Bored Ape other than that you hope to sell it to someone else someday for more money.”

Dexter suggested that rather than going for quick cash grabs, artists would do well to think about how to get NFTs into the hands of their real fans as affordably as possible.

That includes giving them away for free – and then offering ways for those fans to upgrade their NFTs – often by interacting with an artist and their music on popular streaming and social services, as well as at physical events.

“We really think they should be earned and upgraded in places that you already are,” he said.

Music Ally’s Sandbox Summit Web3 Special was held in association with Cirkay, Fanaply and Global Rockstar, and supported by Tuned Global. You can read all our coverage of the sessions here.


Written by: Stuart Dredge