In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic effectively cut musicians off from all of their primary sources of income. Live shows ended, merchandise sales slowed to a crawl, and the money stopped coming in. The months dragged on, and things didn’t get better. But then a new kind of Music NFTs art came onto the scene, and in 2021 the inevitable occurred — the music industry embraced non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
We say this move was inevitable with good reason. Artists, especially independent musicians, were more than eager to find alternate revenue streams. What’s more, the Music NFTs industry is — and always has been — irrevocably tied to technology.
As such, those working in the space have always been the early adopters. They tend to acquire new products and technologies before artists in parallel industries have even heard of them.
And so it was in 2021 that musicians, both those who were well-established and up-and-coming, adopted a new form of music art known as NFTs.
For the uninitiated, NFT are a new kind of digital asset. They offer a new way for creators to market and sell their content, expanding the possibilities of how art, music, literature, and more can be disseminated and consumed. A music NFT is exactly what it sounds like.
It’s an NFT that features a piece of music. It could be a single song, an album, or even a music video. Musicians realized that, with this technology, they could go directly to their fans and sell unique, tokenized versions of their artwork — and ultimately yield substantially higher profits.
We’ve already seen several innovative NFT music collaborations. And at this point, one thing is sure: Music NFTs will continue to revolutionize the way that musicians and fans create community (and art) together.
Now that the possibility of sharing wealth within an independent, digitized ecosystem of fans and creatives has been actualized, the future of the music industry seems even less predictable than it did during the global COVID pandemic.
So to track how things develop, we’ve partnered with Coinbase and United Masters (who recently came together to pay out musicians in cryptocurrency) to chronicle the music NFT moments that make the most waves — historic moves that signal a paradigm shift in the way the music industry operates. To make these easier to understand, the events are listed in mostly chronological order.