Music and NFTs a new Paradigm for the NFT & Music Industry:
The NFTZine team @NFTBench were lucky enough to catch up with Vandal from DAO Records the other day. It was a foggy, cold, wet and all-round horrid November day around The Royal Docks in London. Contrastingly it was a fantastically bright and sunny day in British Columbia. The clemency of the weather greeting me from the other side of the pond was matched by Vandal’s cheerful and easy-going demeanour instantly warming me to him. If you can picture someone who has been working in the music business, doing what he loves for most of his life. Has then gone on to get a head start with a fantastic new concept in music distribution you would understand his optimistic persona.
We went on to discuss the motivation for the project. One of the main reasons being the sometimes huge slice of the revenue taken by traditional distributors, especially when it comes to up and coming or emerging artists. When you are established you are able to negotiate a much lower cut and therefore retain a much higher percentage of your royalties. When you are just getting your name out there it can be very costly. Some labels will charge an upfront fee which can run into tens of thousands of dollars, or they will ask for a large cut including royalties in perpetuity. No one wants to think of the worst happening when you are dreaming of hitting the big time, but should the recording in question launch you into the limelight, make loads of money you would have lost out big time. An even worse scenario might be that this is your one big single or LP, that had you managed distribution yourself would have set you up for life. Now due to going down traditional routes, you have barely enough for a holiday, a new German whip, Six months of partying and a month in the Priory. Through DAO Records distribution services you can either opt for digital distribution going out to all the usual channels (iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music etc) or, and this is the really cool bit, you can mint your tracks as NFTs for just 10 US$. When you do this you can be in charge of the distribution, track the revenue yourself and really be in charge of your own IP. With social media being such an integral part of any artists marketing strategy you can get the word out there yourself. This is much more in the spirit of the indie record labels of the early 90s. To quote Tony Wilson from Factory (associated with Rough Trade) “Musicians own everything, the company owns nothing”. The labels and affiliated artists had massive success, even without the internet to promote the material. This ethos only became a problem when Roger Ames’ London Recordings (a semi-independent “boutique” label which followed Ames from Polygram to Warner when he was awarded the position of CEO). London was unable to buy Factory outright as the master recordings were owned by the artists. London had to set up a company called CentreDate Co Ltd to obtain New Orders back catalogue which was the main cherry they were keen to pick.
DAO Records groundbreaking NFT distribution system is set to become more relevant as time goes on. In a recent article in The Economist (Tuning in – Music royalties are proving a hit for investors | Finance & economics | The Economist) NFTZine read that since 2016 a company called Royalty Exchange runs an online marketplace, where artists can connect to potential investors eager to get involved in future royalties. This gives the artist full control of the level of upfront investment they wish to receive and puts them in full control of the percentage of future revenue they wish to part with. NFTZine cannot think of a more dynamic and intelligent way of managing this. Add to this DAO Records Wrapped NFT liquidity pool. NFTs minted using their system have DAO Records native currency $TUNE wrapped up in them. These tokens are not on public sale but can be put to work in the UniSwap liquidity pool. This function is still in its infancy, but NFTZine predicts that as the music industry shifts more of its operations to blockchain-based functions this will become a really big thing.
Do check out, and if you have some coin to spare and want to help launch this new musical rubric to the world please contribute to the making of DAO Records upcoming documentary “I Want my NFT” (https://gitcoin.co/grants/1594/i-want-my-nft-the-documentary ). This promises to raise more awareness of this worthy cause and open the eyes of the music industry, investors, artists and collectors alike. This is for sure a project to watch closely. DAO Records have a fantastic, artist first attitude that hails back to the glory days of Indie Music that is so refreshing in an industry that has become fixated on the bottom line that aspiring artists and therefore musical variety has been stifled to the point where most breakthrough acts are facsimiles of the acts in the charts at the time. Let’s get back to the glory days and decentralize music, using this fantastic new model.
Written by : Benny Steele