Indie maker exploring the metaverse and decentralised communities. Maker of Galleseum, TezCrowd, & CryptoScamWatchlist
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2021 has witnessed the spectacular rise of NFTs with unbounded enthusiasm across different blockchains, with crypto art gradually merging with the mainstream and auctioned off in respected Christie’s and Sotheby’s galleries.
However, while most of the NFT community’s attention has been focused on artistic and visual-based mediums, a growing trend of musicians entering the NFT space with increasing tempo can be quietly observed.
Music NFTs first grabbed international headlines earlier this year with Grimes, 3LAU, and Kings of Leon releasing digital editions of their music and earning millions.
While this news sparked the interest of the music community in NFTs, there was still a wide gap in awareness and adoption that aspiring musicians had to cross to reach the same heights as their creative peers who were minting more conventional NFTs.
The introduction of more platforms that are music-first, such as HEN Radio on the Tezos Blockchain, promise to change the dynamics and empower musicians greatly, especially those with talent but without significant influence or backing.
Music NFTs promise musicians an independent way of living, enabled by collectors worldwide appreciating their creations without being tied to labels for the discoverability and distribution of their music.
Through the blockchain, music NFT creators and their fans also gain a more direct and closer relationship.
There are new and flexible ways for music NFT creators to interact directly with their fans through minting NFTs with a special utility, for instance, giving holders of the special NFTs privilege backstage passes or collaborating together to create a unique music track.
With the implementation of royalties from the resale of NFTs, and potentially from the streaming of their tracks, musicians would gradually gain the financial independence and freedom to pursue creating the music they love without restraint.
All this is made possible with the unique aspects of NFTs where intrinsic value is derived from provenance, and royalties are automatically calculated and transferred to creators through a smart contract without the need of any middlemen.
Nonetheless, with the novelty of NFTs and the capricious nature of the crypto space, creators have to face some uncertainties and risks.
Any new musician would have to be sufficiently tech-savvy to navigate their way around the crypto space.
This ranges from setting up wallets and interacting with dapps, understanding the minting and burning process of NFTs, and protecting themselves from an ever-growing number of scams that could wipe out accumulated savings with one misclick.
There are also legal and accounting questions of taxation, intellectual property ownership and licensing that have to be understood by the NFT creator respective to his country and record label, if any.
Also, compared to visual-based NFTs, the demand for music NFTs is significantly lower. As a result, it could be harder for emerging musicians to gain a foothold in the crypto space with everyone vying for attention.
Building on the vision of Hic Et Nunc with utilising “creative economies as an alternative to the traditional DeFi mode of thinking”, HEN Radio was launched during the Hicathon in May 2021 and further developed with more robust features during the post-Hicathon in September.
HEN Radio is a minimal standalone gallery for music and other audio works, enabling musicians to share their creations directly with their fanbase and collectors to discover music minted on the H=N smart contract.
Serving as the auditory extension of HEN, the platform also aims to make it easier to discover, listen to, and reward NFT music artists.
Currently, there is a thriving music scene on HEN Radio with a total of 316 tracks composed by 937 musicians.
As a decentralised and open-source platform with a supportive community, new musicians to the crypto space will find it easy to get started with their NFT journey on both Hic Et Nunc and HEN Radio.
To get started, simply mint your audio file (preferably ogg or mp3) on Hic Et Nunc as usual and your new track will be synced on HEN Radio and available on both platforms.
You can also create local music playlists of your favourite tracks, or create a public playlist with a cover image by submitting a request to @hen_radio on Twitter.
The multi-talented HEN Radio Working Group will continue development after the post-Hicathon to implement a streaming model rewarding musicians whenever their tracks are played, and a split-payment royalty smart contract to encourage collaborations between visual and music artists.
The rapid rise of NFTs has transformed the lives of many visual artists in a way they never imagined, and holds much potential to revolutionise the music industry as well.
While the technology is still in its nascent stages, there are a myriad of possibilities open to creatives in the music NFT space to experiment with and create new ways of connecting with their audience in a sustainable manner.
PS: If you would like to contribute to the development of HEN Radio, you are welcome to join the Hic Et Nunc Discord in the channel #hicathon-wg-7–2-hic-radio
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