web3 music startup Sound emerged in late 2021 at the peak of excitement around NFTs and their potential for music.
While the hype-bubble around this technology has long popped, Sound has continued its work, helping its early artist partners to sell $5.5m worth of NFTs. Now it’s opening its platform up to all artists, backed by a new Series A funding round of $20m.
Led by a16z Crypto (the web3 arm of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz) the round also includes backing from artists Snoop Dogg and Ryan Tedder; producer Tay Keith and veteran manager and label exec Paul Rosenberg.
At its simplest, Sound’s service helps artists to turn songs into NFTs (while retaining their rights) while getting data on the fans who buy them. Like a number of its peers, the company is positioning NFTs in opposition to streaming royalties.
“By making music collectible, Sound artists have earned revenue equivalent to 1.6 billion streams — a figure that less than 100 songs have ever reached on Spotify, and has never been achieved on Apple Music,” as its funding-announcement blog post put it.
“It’s an early validation that artists can make a living from 1,000 true fans, without chasing viral hits and millions of streams.”