Marketing Music with NFTs – Ideas to Grow Your Income
With the release of our high-end Impulse Responses back in early 2017, we helped to push digital music creation and speaker simulation into the mainstream for guitarists all over the world. Then, we pushed this further with the development of Speaker Mix Pro and our range of DSRs – as well as collaborating with a number of manufacturers such as Hotone and BOSS, who have implemented our products in their superb gear.
Now, as the music world continues to evolve at a lightening pace, and more and more musicians use IRs and DSRs to speed up production and increase creativity we are offering a new way to support you in embracing the digital world further – via the use of NFTs.
Read on for our guide to integrating NFTs into your music marketing strategy to make more money – and enter our now live competition: to get your own designed NFT minted, listed and promoted via our social media!
UPDATE: Our competition is now live! Submissions are limited to one per-person, and the closing date is 18th November 2022.
The Changing World of Music
The 21st Century has seen a massive shift in what it takes to be a self-supporting musician; we all know that the music industry has always been very lop-sided, with the top few % of earners taking almost all of the rewards, but changes in the way that music tends to be consumed today have all but destroyed the middle-ground – the concept of selling 10,000 CDs so you can afford to make the next album. Viewed from the other side of the coin though, changes in the ways that fans discover and interact with artists has opened previously unimagined opportunities for those lucky or skilled enough to take advantage of them.
Sell Yourself, and Your Stuff
Today, most musicians support themselves and their art by selling tickets to live performances and then leveraging attendance at those shows to sell merchandise, and by establishing a large enough social media following to be able to monetise through advertising, sponsorship, paywalled content and spin-off sales. Shows and social media presence offer a chance for fans to feel that they are ‘in touch’ with artists, and it is very common to see savvy artists go out of their way to personalise the experience by making a point to be around for photographs and to sign records etc. after shows, and hosting livestream events online. Merchandise is the lifeblood of a lot of artists, and fans know that they are buying items both to show their support for the artist, and to actually support the artist with the mindset of “I’ll stream the new album, but I’ll still buy the CD in the hope that they’ll get to make another one”.
Clearly, some merchandise has to be physical; a t-shirt, hat, badge, bag or keyring all have their place, but if you want music, album art, copies of lyrics, personalised greetings or guitar lessons, there’s a strong argument for embracing THE opportunity of the 21st Century – digital distribution.
Digital distribution is super-efficient, especially when coupled with digital creation, but it has a couple of drawbacks for the fan-experience; the loss of the immediacy of owning a thing, and no concept of ‘your’ copy of anything – they’re all identical.
The Technology of ‘Unique’
Items that have the same value as other similar items are considered to be ‘fungible’; my £10 note is worth exactly the same as your £10 note. If my £10 note was hand-signed by The Queen, it would be worth far more than your ordinary £10 note – it would be ‘non-fungible’ – this is not a new concept. This individual, one-of-a-kind item has a value of its own, and so long as I can keep track of it so I know where it is, and can prove that it is genuine, and mine, then I have something special (and, in this case, highly unlikely!).
So, Blockchain – one of those words that suddenly appeared a few years ago after being around since the 1990s – refers to a distributed, encrypted, virtual “ledger” – a record of transactions that is updated by ‘chaining’ a new block to the existing record, and is held simultaneously on many computers located all over the world. Blockchain is the thing that makes cryptocurrency possible, and it is the thing that allows us to securely track the ownership of unique digital assets – in blockchain parlance – Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs). And this now includes the creation of digital music NFTs!
About Music NFTs
We often think of NFTs in terms of visual art, but they can be minted from any digital media, which can be a perfect match for musicians who are creating and distributing digital audio and video as a part of their business. NFTs offer the perfect opportunity to sell special limited editions, or even single unique works. Wu Tang Clan made one single vinyl copy of their Once Upon A Time In Shaolin album which sold for $2M, The Beatles’ White Album serial number 0000001 sold for $790k – without a doubt, rarity has value, and alternate versions of songs and collections can offer artists an opportunity for special release material that can be monetised as stand-alone pieces, or combined with photographs, video, digitised paintings, sketches and whatever else we can create to form unique packages for fans to own.
NFTs can offer a whole new range of possibilities for artists, combining the cost-effective convenience of digital creation and distribution of assets and merchandise, with the value of individual, unique or limited items.
However figuring-out how to embrace NFTs can appear to be a bit daunting, so let’s take a look at the very basic steps to get started:
Promotion – there is no one magic bullet – you have to create music that people want to listen to, present an image that people want to embrace, and you have to put yourself ‘out there’ to begin establishing your fanbase as a band or artist.
Creation – When conceptualising how you want to incorporate NFTs into your promotion strategy, it’s important to always think about what your fanbase would enjoy. Many musicians have opportunities to engage with fans on levels beyond their actual music, with brand extensions into photography, painting, poetry, music lessons, personalised performances, music related artwork, gig posters, lyric sheets – the list goes on. All these things can be both monetised and help to develop the emotional investment of fans in the artist.
Some ideas on how to build NFTs into your overall strategy this include:
The first 100 tickets you sell for an upcoming event could get a QR code that gives access to (and permanent ownership of) a numbered, limited-edition item that relates to the event – such as a video, poster, greeting from the band, signed set-list or anything that is not available anywhere else.
If someone buys your new album on launch day, they could be entered into a draw to win NFT tickets, backstage passes, alternate artwork or additional songs and/or demos from the album.
Celestion is more than a speaker manufacturer – we’ve grown-up as part of the music scene. We believe that more artists getting better rewards for making more art is a GOOD THING – and we want to help.
So, we have launched an initiative to encourage artists to maximise the return on their creativity. We are new to NFTs too, so we have partnered exclusively with the folks at the Aurovine music platform and MusicArt to try out the process of creating and marketing NFTs. We’ve created a few preliminary pieces, and we think we’ve more-or-less got the hang of it, and now we want to encourage you to give it a try!
All you have-to do is create either a piece of music-related digital artwork, or a piece combining music and art together and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll select 10 winners (five from each of the 2 categories). For some initial inspiration, you can check out our pilot NFT examples here. If you are submitting a piece combining music and art together, submissions can be up to a maximum of 5 minutes long.
Submissions do not have to be Celestion related – they should be personal to you, or your band – and we can’t wait to be inspired by your creativity!
The closing date for submissions is 23:59 UTC, 18th November 2022.
A single piece of music-related digital artwork, or a piece combining music and art together is your entry to the competition but, if you win, three pieces can be minted with an edition size of 25 for each NFT.
We will promote all winning entries and these creations will be promoted on our blog, and we will use the experience to create a “How To NFT” primer to help guide anyone else who wants to dip their toes into this exciting market!
As an added super bonus, Aurovine will also be offering all lucky winners, a year-long subscription to their service, which includes a bonus token drop (which will form part of their new streaming and music ecosystem) and the winners will also be promoted heavily on the site, to their subscribers and through Aurovine’s social media channels.
You can view the full terms and conditions for the competition here.
Aurovine is the world’s first blockchain music streaming platform and artist development company, championing its own crypto token for use on the platform and with its business partners. Music fans can discover new music, stream using Aurovine coins, listen, rate, and share their favourite artists on social media. Aurovine presents artists with an easier and more rewarding way to truly interact with their fans and get tangible rewards for their hard work and effort. Fans can select genres, check out the most popular artists on the homepage, look at Featured Artist recommendations and be part of the new music revolution. Please note: their site is currently undergoing rapid re-development – we will let you know when the new improved version goes live!
MusicArt is a user-friendly online marketplace for single/album artwork, music posters, personalized messages and autographs, featuring low fees and transaction transparency and led by a team of experts who are passionate about art and dedicated to introducing fans to a new way to discover music, whilst providing welcome new revenue streams to minters of all levels of popularity. Resurrecting the once-common belief that an album’s artwork is nearly as important as the music it wraps, MusicArt lets musicians mint limited edition digital collectibles out of the art and imagery associated with their brand and their music.
MusicArt utilises highly efficient ‘Green’ BSV Blockchain which uses large blocks, each holding many transactions, to reduce environmental impact to about 1/10,000 that of the commonly known Etherium blockchain.