In the last while, we’ve all heard about the NFT craze with regards to digital art and the crazy amounts of money being traded, but did you know that you can sell your music as an NFT?
NFTs are digital tokens that prove who originally owned a file and have the capability to show the chain of previous ownership. The main digital advantage of NFTs being that it is impossible for their credentials to be edited or deleted due to their programming. This is how you can show that the digital file is the only original and not a copy – adding undeniable authenticity. All you need to get started is your music, a crypto wallet and an NFT marketplace. Interested? Let’s get into the “how to” details.
What Exactly Are NFTs?
Now when you hear about NFTs, you could automatically think of cryptocurrencies or blockchains and it can get a bit overwhelming with regards to what it is and how does it work. We’re here to help you.
NFT stands for non-fungible tokens, which prove authenticity by being able to show original ownership. Non-fungible means that the token is unique – one off. That makes the original digital file worth something valuable compared to any other copy. NFTs are based on a blockchain – making them a type of cryptocurrency. A blockchain is just a really large and unique digital database that is widely recognized world-wide and easily accessible – via the internet. These blockchains are the basis for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin. That’s how cryptocurrencies fit into the NFT picture. You use crypto to buy and sell the NFTs as they work on the same principle by their programming and traceability. At the moment, almost all NFTs are based on the crypto Ethereum – one of the largest cryptos, adding to NFT viability.
How to Create (Mint) and Sell Your Music as an NFT?
Now that we know what an NFT is and how it works, how do you incorporate your music in to it? It’s not as difficult as you might think. The way it works is that you add a digital file – aka your music – to an NFT which is already on the blockchain through an NFT marketplace. An NFT market place is a platform that will do the technical work of attaching the digital file to an NFT for you. So, you don’t need to have an advanced degree in programming to sell your work! Each platform explains how you create a profile and how to submit a digital file which they will connect to the NFT for you. It’s so simple that you can easily do it yourself and cut out any middlemen, preventing anyone from taking your profits. That’s definitely something every music artist wants.
Now because the process isn’t too difficult, a lot of people are boarding the train and you will need to be creative in how you increase the value of your NFT. What you can do to make your NFT stand apart from all the others is to offer potential buyers something really special in addition to the NFT itself. Here are some ideas that can help you to stand out:
- Exclusive VIP tickets to an upcoming show you might have
- A discount code for your online shop
- A previously unreleased version of a hit song of yours
- A pre-recorded video of you explaining a song’s lyrics
- An offer for a behind the scenes video recording of a new song
- Chance for a buyer to have input on a new album name
These are just a few examples of what you can do. The value of each idea will depend on your situation and what you can offer. But this opens a whole host of new possibilities to increase your revenue income stream! That’s something to think on.
Some of the most popular NFT market places for music artists include OpenSea, XLR8R, YellowHeart, ROCKI and OPUS. All that they require in addition to a profile is that you link a crypto wallet – which you can open easily enough with the browser extension MetaMask.
Kings of Leon Were the First – Selling Music NFT Albums Worth $2 Million
The very first major music artists to make use of NFTs as a means of releasing music were the Kings of Leon. They released their latest album “When You See Yourself” on March 5, 2021 in the form of tokens which also included special packages that had a physical “Golden Eye” vinyl and the chance to win some tickets to live shows.
They released 3 tokens in total with 25 one-of-a-kind pieces that included the vinyl and tickets mentioned above. They made the tokens available through the YellowHeart NFT platform. Giving the platform a huge vote of confidence in the viability of music NFTs and the platform itself.
From ‘Fakes’ to ‘What Platform Do I Use??’
Okay, so let’s address the one elephant in the room quickly. If you have a look online, you’ll see that some marketplaces like Rarible have already had issues with some registered users fraudulently posting art and music as their own and trying to cash in. To be frank, teething issue like this were bound to happen and the current responses by marketplaces has been to investigate and restore ownership rights to the rightful owner if possible. It must be said that so far, it doesn’t appear that owners have had any serious issues in proving their work is their own.
Now knowing that some users are trying to take advantage of others by fraudulently selling NFTs, the challenge in selling your NFTs comes down to which platform to trust. This is really big concern for first time sellers, and it doesn’t help that selling music NFTs is such a new concept.
Most NFT platforms allow for a wide variety of digital content to be uploaded and linked to an NFT. So that means anything from a picture to a contract can be made into an NFT. So, we’ll discuss a few platforms and hopefully in the process have helped you in knowing what to look for in a music NFT platform and really give you a wide variety to choose from.
ROCKI was the first NFT platform to be launched that only catered to music. Their core focus was on ensuring that independent artists be properly compensated for their work and not have to deal with the middleman. Especially in the current world-wide condition.
The one really popular NFT platform mentioned before is that of Rarible. On their platform you can basically sell any type of digital asset. You aren’t really limited in any way and they have made it very easy to connect the digital file to an NFT. The one drawback to this, is that being so open ended in terms of allowable content, there is a stronger likelihood of ownership fraud issues.
In looking up NFT marketplaces you will most likely come upon OpenSea. They are one of the largest and most used NFT platforms around and are famous for dealing with crypto art. They have also very recently allowed for the creation of free NFTs. This is a big point among NFT platforms – not all are equal in what they offer and not all are free. Being able to create an NFT for free is a massive draw-in card for people. The good news is that OpenSea has a good reputation so far.
There are so many other NFT marketplaces popping up as NFTs become more popular and it is to be expected frankly. The best advice we can offer in regards to this, is to take your time and don’t rush into anything. Be very aware that some offerings may sound too good to be true and that probably means that they are actually too good to be true. Be sure to read up on what they offer. It is also easier these days to check out the reputation of a company, so be sure to keep an eye out for that!
Cashing Out Your Cryptocurrency
This will be by far, the easiest and most sought-after moment in dealing with your music NFTs. It’s the time where you get paid for your work with no middleman involved. A fantastic feeling! The basic idea for cashing out crypto is simply just converting the crypto to a national currency of your choice. It’s a very easy thing to do once the NFT marketplace you have chosen has paid into your wallet. All you have to do is choose what currency you would like to withdraw and then choose the method that best suits you. Usually, it can be paid out into your bank account or even a PayPal account.
One important factor to consider in this process is the fees that can be charged for withdrawals. These fees can vary from wallet to wallet and are usually based on the discretion of the holding company. It would be wise to check out what wallets would best suit your needs. It is also very important to be sure that the wallet you choose is registered with the correct financial authority for your country. You don’t want to get a visit unexpectedly from the taxman, or even worse, have a dodgy company steal your earnings! So, to answer the main question – yes, you can sell your music as an NFT. And now you should have a much clearer understanding of what it is and how & where you can do it.