Picture a cowboy trying to ride a bucking bronco—that’s the crypto music market for you right now in 2023. It’s been thrown around by a storm of scams, causing its reputation to take a tumble, leading to price instability, a drop in trading volume, and a market downturn in 2022.
Crypto music is like the hip, tech-savvy nephew of traditional music. Any song or record that can be bought with cryptocurrency or distributed on a blockchain network falls under this category. It’s a fresh spin on creating and distributing music that could potentially be a game-changer for everyone in the industry, including musicians, producers, and managers. That is, of course, if they can wrap their heads around the concept of crypto music.
Existing platforms lack turnover
Now, let’s talk about the big guns in the NFT marketplace. OpenSea is the reigning champ with over 80 million listed NFTs. As of January 2023, this marketplace has crossed its one million user transaction. It’s like the Amazon of NFTs. The vast customer base also inspired OpenSea to list its Music NFTs. And then there’s Nifty Gateway, another heavyweight in the NFT music sales arena. There are also a bunch of other platforms like Sound, Digimarc, Mediachain, Royal, Open Music Initiative, Musicoin Foundation, OneOf, Async Art, Mycelia, and so on. It’s like a digital buffet of NFT platforms, again not easy to choose when you hardly know the market.
But here’s the kicker. The turnover isn’t as big as some artists would have you believe. It’s like they’re selling dreams, not music. In fact, the turnover of music NFTs has been on a downhill slope since 2021 already. In December of that year, the monthly revenue from music NFTs peaked at $5 million. But by June 2022, monthly revenue had fallen to less than $2 million. And as of November 2022, monthly revenue was only $300,000. That’s peanuts compared to the billions generated by the traditional players in the music distribution field.
Crypto Beat News points out a few reasons for this, besides the aforementioned scandals:
- The hype around music NFTs has fizzled out.
- There are only a handful of high-profile artists who have released music NFTs.
- The prices of music NFTs have been sky-high for many fans.
- There’s still a lot of confusion about how music NFTs work.
- The average price of a music NFT has also taken a nosedive since 2021. In December of that year, the average price was $18.8K. By December 2022, the average price had fallen to $10.2K.
Despite all this, some artists are still making a killing with music NFTs. For example, Kings of Leon’s album “When You See Yourself” raked in $1.45 million in revenue from NFT sales.
No traction, no sales, even outside the blockchain
But here’s the thing. To make it big in the crypto music industry, you need – big surprise – traction. Or, if you are lucky, a fanbase that’s loaded with millionaires.
Selling music without traction – via blockchain, or on any other platform – can be a bit like trying to sell ice to Eskimos—it’s possible, but it’s going to be a tough sell. Traction, or a solid fanbase, is often what drives sales in the music industry. Fans are the ones who listen to your music, attend your concerts, and ultimately, buy your music. Without them, it can be challenging to generate significant sales.
The NFT space saw a massive influx of artists and creators in a short span of time, leading to an oversaturated market. With so many options available, it’s become harder for individual artists to stand out and make sales.
Having said that, like many new technologies, NFTs have gone through a hype cycle. After the initial excitement and inflated expectations, it’s normal to see a period of disillusionment and decreased activity.
Let’s see what the future brings.
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