Express press service
BENGALURU: NFTs are changing the arts and the creative industry as a whole. So what are they and how have they had an impact?
What are NFTs?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, allow artists to create digital works (in any format) and sell them directly to their fans via the blockchain. It is a unique way of “owning” art and has provided great creative and financial freedom for artists, and especially musicians. Buyers of music-based NFTs said they were happy spending money on their favorite artists, and owning their music was like collecting art for their homes.
How have NFTs made life easier for musicians?
Even before the pandemic, we were in the age of streaming. And for many artists, it is notoriously difficult to live decently off streams alone. Even popular musicians with millions of fans have had to take on other music-related jobs (like production) to pay the bills. NFTs present an alternative to the current system of streaming and labels. One artist describes them as “creating a musical middle class”, allowing artists to live sustainably from their music, while giving them creative freedom and allowing them to own their masters. In countries like the United States of America, NFTs provide more than a source of stable income; they help build a dedicated and engaged fan base on crypto and NFT chat platforms like Discord.
Some examples of musicians who have sold NFTs: Steve Aoki, Shawn Mendes, Kings of Leon, and many more. Closer to home, Sonu Nigam was the first Indian musician to embrace the NFT era, launching his collection in London.
The future of NFTs
There are many reasons to be skeptical about the long-term viability of NFTs. Many have already raised concerns about their usefulness and scalability.
We still don’t know if NFTs are a sustainable, long-term way for musicians to make a living, or just a trend fueled by a crypto bull market. Only time will tell if this is a revolutionary new concept in the world of music. However, it’s hard to deny that they have already been a transformative force in the lives of many musicians, presenting a powerful and viable way to earn a living making music alone.