NFTs are a hot topic of discussion among musicians and industry pundits


The billion-dollar music industry has recently shown interest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as musicians around the world are beginning to understand the power of moving away from centralized business models.

This concept is currently being demonstrated by early innovators like popular rapper Snoop Dogg, who recently acquired Death Row Records with the intention of turning the company into the Metaverse’s first NFT recording label. Country music icon Dolly Parton also recently launched her first NFT collection dubbed “Dollyverse,” which consists of symbolic artwork and music as part of a promo for her album. Run, Rose, Run.

NFTs: A talking point at the 2022 Grammy Awards

While notable, the intersection of music and NFTs was brought to life at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, which took place on April 3, 2022 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The Grammys could very well be one of the most important music industry events in the United States, as a series of awards from the Recording Academy are given out to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry.

Given the rise of NFTs, non-fungible tokens were hot topics of discussion at the 2022 Grammy Awards. Trevor Noah, comedian and host of the 2022 Grammy Awards, joked midway through the event: know it’s been tough when your favorite artists go from trying to sell you music to digital monkey pictures.” The remark referred to the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. But, NFTs proved to be more than just a laugh during the Grammys this year, as industry pundits expressed interest in non-fungible token use cases.

For example, Tia Smith, Grammy Governor and Co-Chair of the Music Video Committee, DC Chapter and Owner/Executive Producer and Director of Talented Productions at SOL, told Cointelegraph that she wants to know more about NFTs and what they do. mean for creation. community as a whole:

“NFTs seem like a very viable form of expression and commerce. There have been so many different industries that have embraced NFTs, and I’m very interested in creating content and forming partnerships to create works NFT art as an extension of music, television and film.

Tia Smith (center) with senior Cointelegraph reporter Rachel Wolfson (left) at the 2022 Grammys. Credit: Tia Smith

Smith added that his wheelhouse is film and television production, noting that this particular industry has undergone a number of transitions over the years. “We have witnessed the birth of film, video, digital, high definition, etc. But, there are other ways that music and aspects of art thrive, so I’m very interested in the evolution of cinema and NFTs,” she remarked.

While the NFT sector is still an emerging concept for music industry pundits, Smith shared that she can see how non-fungible tokens could soon be incorporated into major live shows such as the Grammy Awards at the future. “We live in the age of intellectual property and this is just another extension of that,” she said.

It’s also worth noting that a few mainstream musicians have decided to debut NFT collections during the Grammys this year. For example, American rapper and record producer Gerald Earl Gillum, also known by his stage name “G-Eazy”, told Cointelegraph that he was extremely excited and honored to debut his first NFT collection at the Grammys this year. Known as “The Geralds”, this collection was created by graphic designer Dzanar and launched on the NFT music platform built on Tezos’ OneOf NFT platform. G-Eazy explained that this drop features 10 unique 3D-NFT avatars that represent his diverse personality:

“Anyone who knows me would say that I am an eclectic person with different interests and hobbies. So there are different avatars in this collection to represent that. For example, there’s the ‘snowboard G’ who loves the mountains and there’s a black leather G with slicked back hair who takes the stage to perform.

While “The Geralds” collection is certainly unique, it’s worth pointing out that G-Eazy might be the first artist to present an NFT collection at the Grammys. G-Eazy clarified that this is important to him, given the pace of innovation today. “You have to pay attention to what’s going on, and that’s where the world is now,” he commented. G-Eazy added that he has always been a big believer in art not being limited to one medium, noting that both of his parents are visual art teachers. “I grew up appreciating many different art forms and I think it’s all compatible with various industries.”

Along with the launch of G-Eazy’s NFT collection at the 2022 Grammys, Colin Fitzpatrick, CEO of Animal Concerts – a platform that helps artists enter the Web3 – told Cointelegraph that the Avila Brothers presented and unveiled their new hit title at Resorts World Hotel in Las Vegas for the first time. “The track features Billy Ray Cyrus and Snoop Dogg and is called ‘A Hardworking Man.’

NFTs walked the red carpet this year, but why?

While it should be noted that NFTs were discussed at the Grammys this year, it is important to point out that the first use cases of NFTs were developed in 2017. As such, some may ask why it took more than five years for non-fungible tokens to come in. the projector.

Josh Katz, CEO of YellowHeart – a marketplace for music NFTs and NFT ticketing for live events – told Cointelegraph that a year ago no one in the music industry really knew what these were. non-fungible tokens. Still, Katz thought that changed when American rock band Kings of Leon released one of the industry’s first NFT albums with YellowHeart in March 2021. music and entertainment has started paying attention to NFTs. The more creative artists came in first, and then everyone else started snooping around,” Katz said.

Fast forward almost a year later – Katz believes the music industry is now seeing widespread adoption of NFTs given the potential of non-fungible tokens:

“For years, we’ve had multiple formats of music content, whether it’s CDs, cassettes or streaming platforms. But now fans want to be part of an experience. They want to have access to benefits and utilities which is why NFT platforms are now releasing NFT music which a number of fans will buy from innovative artists. This will soon become another source of income that many people in the music industry are realizing now.

To put that into perspective, Katz explained that traditionally, recording artists and musicians receive micro-payments from streaming services like Spotify that then go to a third-party record label, publisher and others. “All of these entities take a percentage of the payout and the rest goes to the artist. 90% remaining.” With NFT albums, however, Katz noted that an artist can sell significantly less and still retain 90% or more of their revenue. Katz added:

“The 2022 Grammys represent an inflection point where creativity takes center stage. NFTs are the future of the industry and the smartest performers at the Grammys know that.

Crypto Firms Sponsor 2022 Grammys to Innovate More

Considering this, it is also worth pointing out that two crypto companies were the main sponsors of the Grammys this year. Binance, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, and OneOf, a green NFT platform working with musicians like G-Eazy, both had major presences at the 2022 Grammys. Lin Dai, CEO and co-founder of OneOf, said told Cointelegraph that he was thrilled to see leading companies in the blockchain space bringing crypto and NFTs to the Grammys:

“The Recording Academy is the most important institution in the music industry and we know that it is very selective when deciding which companies to align its brand with. We are delighted that more and more companies from crypto and blockchain are getting involved in the biggest tentpole events in music, sports and lifestyle and we expect the trend to continue.

Binance logo on display at the 2022 Grammys. Source: Rachel Wolfson

A Binance spokesperson further told Cointelegraph that Binance wants brand exposure through its recent partnership with the Recording Academy. “We are exploring various avenues in which we can bring Web3 technology to the music community,” the spokesperson said. Although innovative from a marketing perspective, the Binance spokesperson added that in the future, Binance will train Recording Academy members on cryptocurrency and how blockchain can help make their business more forward-thinking and financially secure.

Indeed, this seems to be the case for both musicians and companies in the entertainment industry. For example, MGM Resorts International – the venue where the 2022 Grammys were hosted – recently announcement a partnership with YellowHeart to issue NFT tickets for its new production, “Timeless”. The show features the dance crew, the Jabbawockeez, and will be the first NFT show in Las Vegas.

Andrew Machado, senior vice president of digital design and commercial adjacencies at MGM, told Cointelegraph that NFTs for ticketing could bring value to guests. “They turn something as mundane as a concert ticket into a living digital object that can change with every situation, like entering the venue for a show or after the show as a collectible.” Machado added that the creator now has a one-to-one relationship with the owner of NFT, which means they can stream new content from owners. “For example, in the case of Jabbawockeez, NFT holders will receive food and beverage credit at MGM’s Level Up lounge,” he said.

As for issuing NFT tickets for a major event like the Grammys, Machado thinks it’s possible, but only time will tell. “MGM Resorts sits at the intersection of entertainment and gaming and we believe NFTs can play a role there, but time will tell on consumer adoption.”


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