How Long Until Web3 Pays Off?
Bowie For Sale, More DJs On Apple Music, Fender Invest In DAW
If it feels like every week brings a new node in the net of Web3 projects looking to redefine the music business, it’s probably because every week brings an announcement of a new node in the net of Web3 projects looking to redefine the music business.
Plenty of projects are already online, exploring what is possible with this brand new technology. But unless you obsess over this stuff like we do, it’s likely that much of the activity has gone unnoticed as the mainstream media moves on from the NFT hype cycle to worrying about whether Mark Zuckerberg really is trying to trap us all in the Matrix.
That’s why this week’s Cadence wants to offer up a selection of articles from fellow indie publishers who are keeping an eye on the prize when it comes to Web3’s potential to create self-sustaining economies to support musicians outside of the zero-sum Web2 infrastructure currently in place.
We recommend following all three of these writers if you have more bandwidth to spare on the topic.
A lot of the buzz around NFTs has to do with supporting artists. But how that promise actually manifests once banking on collectible JPEGs fizzles out is yet to be seen. This article on blockchain publishing platform Mirror offers some insights on where value can be created, along with level-headed warnings about how things could easily drift back to the status quo.
Takeaway: NFTs are framed as fans supporting the emerging middle class of music creators. But practically, will it just lead to upper-class fans (i.e. those who have the means to pay) supporting upper-class artists? (i.e. those who are already on the favorable end of a highly skewed power law).
At this point, is there really any excuse to not join a DAO? Even if just to see what all the fuss is about. This overview of current entities in the DAO ecosystem range from freshly spun-up community projects like Polly and BPM Bot to the VC-backed FWB that currently cost a little over $10k to join.
Takeaway: Until it clicks, a lot of what's happening understandably looks like a grift. Or, to be more accurate, it's hard to distinguish the grifts from the genuine attempts to reorganize the internet towards something less extractive.
The other unavoidable story in music this year has been the financialization of songs by institutional investors, from UMG’s gangbuster IPO to Blackrock getting cozy with Hipgnosis to the tune of $1 billion. This of course has led many to wonder how Web3 might DeFi the music industry. This article looks at the potential of retail investing in music assets along with the regulatory minefield that needs to be defused first.
Takeaway: Lower transaction costs and greater access to capital and users through crypto could shift this balance, but it'll all come down to the decisions made by regulatory bodies.
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Salient statements from this week’s music news.
With so much of the 60s catalog sold off, artists who defined the 70s and 80s now seem poised to capitalize.
Takeaway: Demand for huge catalogs is growing so much and so fast that acts who first found their footing in the following decade are now being targeted.
After 21 years on college radio, the beloved NYC mix show is stepping into a bigger spotlight and bringing an amazing archive with it.
Takeaway: Sweeney, as well as the show's guest DJs, will be paid, while the artists whose music appears in mixes aired on the show will be paid out from Apple Music's streaming subscription service.
The world’s largest guitar company plants its flag in the DAW space with the purchase of Presonus.
Takeaway: With artists direct being the fastest-growing recorded music segment, the fragmented top of the music industry funnel is becoming hot property for stakeholders across the board. The creator consolidation is giving rise to major organizations that are increasingly going to impact the whole value chain.