Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are off to a record-breaking start in 2022 – and music artists are lining up to capture more of that fanfare.
The latest is Brandon “B.” Howard, a multi-platinum producer and singer-songwriter who’s performed in China and Europe, and worked with a long list of chart-topping artists. Howard is creating holographic performances for the fledgling metaverse that will be minted as NFTs.
The performances offer virtual promoters the opportunity to purchase his performances, and have Howard perform virtually, anywhere across the digital frontier.
“I'm pretty much making a concert — six, seven songs — in different universes where I'll have different artists in those universes and I'll make it available as an NFT globally,” Howard told Yahoo Finance.
A company called 4D Fun, led by Paul Vowell, is taking Howard’s concerts, creating a 3D version of his performances and putting them on a matrix that makes them available in any virtual space or Metaverse venue.
“We're able to capture a three-dimensional person, put them into the matrix and allow a future promoter for an infinite amount of time the ability to acquire him in the virtual world and bring him into any Metaverse or space that he creates and redistribute tickets,” Vowell explained to Yahoo Finance.
'Massive shift in consumer demand'
Throughout the process, Howard taps blockchain technology to view the transactions or any disbursements of tickets and read disbursements of tickets, and is able to take more personal action and awareness in that transaction.
And as the metaverse takes shape, Howard expects to tap that trend as a way to hold concerts, sell merchandise, and collaborate with other brands. For now, Howard is banking on NFTs to take the music industry to the next level.
“I see this as the main revenue stream for artists,” says Howard, citing the vast amounts consumers spent on digital goods in 2021. As a digital category, NFT sales topped $4 billion in December, according to recent estimates.
“This is a massive shift in consumer demand,” Howard added.
The boom in NFTs offer artists the ability to self-manage intellectual property, and participate in a new business model that incentivizes fans to monetize an artist in a new way.
Amid a surge in music industry players who have spotted an opportunity to decentralize the sector’s money game, Howard predicted that millions of artists will benefit from NFTs – opening up an entire slice of the market that wouldn’t have been able to afford it or have access.
“Before you just relied on a record label, but now you have more transparency about where your music is streaming and where your income streams are coming from,” according to Howard, the son of soul singer Miki Howard, who’s worked with artists like Ne-Yo and Chris Brown, among others.
“NFTs allow artists to create a space where fans can invest in your product and grow with you throughout your career. That’s where I see it going.”
Howard also says NFTs offer artists more leverage in negotiating contracts with labels, while giving them the opportunity to not be dependent on an artist. Both can work simultaneously to have a bigger revenue stream and cultivate long-term fans.
“There was a time in the early ‘80s and ‘90s, where you had big mega stars, and those fans stayed with you, throughout the time,” Howard said. “Creating a space where fans can invest in your product, be with you long term throughout your career and grow with you. That's where I see it going.”
Howard also thinks NFTs level the playing field by allowing fans to invest in the actual songs and reap a portion of the royalties. His offerings are expected to be available in the second or third quarter on his official website.
“It's pretty remarkable that fans now can really just be involved in your growth and be involved even in the publishing aspect, which encourages them to learn more about what they're creating whereas in the past, you couldn't do that,” he said.
Howard is part of a growing vanguard of artists from Doja Cat to The Chainsmokers pursuing NFT-related revenue streams as the sector explodes. Nearly $41 billion was been spent on NFTs last year, according to Chainalysis, making the market for digital artwork and collectibles almost as valuable as the global art market.
NFTs have also introduced a huge number of retail investors to the crypto world, Chainalysis found, with transactions of under $10,000 accounting for more than 75% of the market.
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