NFTs are set to change not just the art and music industries, but every other industry too. That’s a bold statement, but once you understand the power of NFTs, you’ll soon see why they’ve been creating so much buzz.
So let’s dive into the world of NFTs to explain WTF they actually are, what they mean for the music industry and how musicians can start selling them.
What is an NFT?
An NFT (which stands for Non-Fungible Token) is a unique digital asset stored on the blockchain. But what does that mean?
Well, it means that a digital file - whether that’s a song, piece of artwork, a trading card or anything else - can be kept on the blockchain as a one-of-a-kind collectable item. NFTs can’t be faked, copied or deleted.
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But can’t someone just screenshot or duplicate an mp3 file associated with an NFT? Well yes. But it’s no longer an NFT.
The NFT is actually the digital certificate associated with the asset - proving who owns it. And because it’s “non-fungible” (which basically means it can’t be replaced) and secured by blockchain, there’s no way to duplicate it. If you buy an NFT, no one can take it away unless you decide to sell.
Still not sure what an NFT is? Time for a quick analogy.
Imagine you want to buy a Van Gogh painting.
You could buy a cheap print copy for a couple of dollars. Or you could buy the original painting itself, but that would be MUCH more valuable because it’s so rare - and will likely increase in value over time too.
In this situation, buying an NFT is a lot like buying the original painting - but it all takes place in the digital world.
How to buy music NFTs
Now you know what an NFT is, how can you get your hands on one? First of all, you’ll need to get acquainted with cryptocurrency.
But don’t let that put you off! Crypto is accessible to anyone and more people are joining the space every day. All you need is a device like a phone or computer to get started.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re ready to buy but don’t know how.
1. Find a platform that sells music NFTs
If you’re looking to dip your toes in the waters of NFTs, you can get started on platforms like NiftyGateway or OpenSea.
However, these sites mainly sell digital artwork NFTs. Music NFTs are a little harder to come by right now. In fact, only around 150 music NFT sales have ever taken place, but that is set to change drastically over the coming years.
One platform you NEED to know about when it comes to Music NFTs is Opulous.
With Opulous, artists can embed a real-world share of their future music royalties in Opulous Music NFTs, so fans can actually earn money from the music they love just by owning them.
This kind of use-case shows the true value of NFTs as more than just collectibles. But we’ll talk more about that further on.
2. Download a crypto wallet capable of holding NFTs
As NFTs are stored on the blockchain, you’ll need to download an application - commonly known as a wallet - in order to access and hold them. You can download crypto wallets as apps or browser extensions.
We’d recommend MetaMask as the best wallet to go for right now. It’s easy to set up and use even with a very basic knowledge of crypto, as well as being compatible with the vast majority of NFT marketplaces.
Every wallet has its own “address”. Your address is sort of like a bank account number - it’s a series of characters you’ll need to supply to anyone sending you something on the blockchain.
When you set up a crypto wallet, you’ll also need to set up a private key and seed phrase to keep your NFTs secure.
Your private key is like your password. A string of numbers and letters that allow access to anything you have stored on the blockchain, whether that’s Bitcoin, altcoins or NFTs.
You may also be provided with a seed phrase. This is a list of 12 words in a specific order and can be used to recover your wallet in case you lose access. Make sure to keep a note of these words and store them somewhere safe and secure. Be extra careful - if you lose your seed phrase, it can’t be recovered!
3. Exchange your cash for crypto
Unsurprisingly, you can only buy NFTs with cryptocurrency, so you’ll need to exchange some of your dollars, pounds, euros or any other “fiat” currency before you can buy.
Buying crypto is really easy. There are tons of crypto exchanges out there where you can trade regular cash for Bitcoin, Ether and any other altcoin.
Generally, you’ll need to grab some Ether to purchase an NFT. Ether is the cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum blockchain, which is where most NFTs are stored - although other blockchains like Algorand are quickly moving into NFTs.
Once you’ve got your crypto, your wallet and you’re signed up to a platform that sells NFTs, you’re ready to go.
Just follow the instructions on-site to make a purchase. Then it’s time to sit back and admire your shiny new NFT in all its glory!
How do I sell music NFTs?
So you’re a musician and you want to get in on the NFT action, eh? Fortunately there are a few places to start minting and selling your own music NFTs. A quick Google search will bring up the options available to you right now.
But one project you NEED to be aware of is Opulous.
Opulous is a new NFT Launchpad that Ditto Music has been building behind the scenes, but it’s a little different to everything else out there. Opulous is the first platform to launch NFTs that truly rewards fans for sharing a song on socials.
But what does that actually mean? Well, it means when your fans buy your track as a Opulous Music NFT, they’ll earn a share of the future royalties it makes from streaming platforms.
Artists can set the price, type of sale and royalty share on offer with each NFT sold and fans can unlock those royalties simply by promoting music on social media.
It’s a win-win situation and a whole new way for artists, fans and investors to connect and interact. Artists can earn quicker cash up-front from NFT sales, while fans earn more by supporting the music they love. Opulous is a huge step towards a better music industry powered by real fans supporting their favourite artists and earning money alongside them.
The platform is set to launch NFTs for some very well-known artists soon, before opening up to all musicians.
If you’d like first access, go register at opulous.org.