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In “Supercharge Your Music and Collaborations with NFTs and Blockchain” we have speakers:
Logan Ross, Crypto Analyst & TV Host, Benzinga-Moderator
Kristopher Houck, Co-founder, Artemis Music Entertainment
Jimi Frew, Head of Music, Emanate
How do we put music on the blockchain? With NFTs taking the form of visual mediums, for the most part, audio seems to have been left behind. But with plenty of opportunities available in the intersection between music and blockchain, where do we go from here?
The transition from Vinyl to CDs to Streaming took place in the last 20 years. This has been great for listeners, not for artists. Artists only get pennies from streaming platforms. At this point, primary sources of income are merchandise and touring revenue. NFTs and blockchain present artists with the opportunity to take back their share in the space.
From an artist’s perspective do NFTs make music, or their work, better?
Kristopher Houck explained the blockchain allows for creative and artistic freedom. Beyond just creating better art, NFTs open up new ways for bands and artists to connect with each other. This creates an entirely new economy, in terms of even protection, that allows artists to create with confidence and freedom.
What’s the Difference Between Art and Technology? Where Do We Draw the Line?
Both Jimi Frew and Houck agreed that it is one and the same, but there should be a line. Huock says “Art is just a form of expression. I think technology can also be a form of expression. People like Elon Musk have taken technology and turned it into a form of personal expression”.
But is the computer the artist?
The experts aren’t so sure. It’s true that the computer or AI may compile the assets provided, or use past human creations. But Houck thinks there needs to be a human element to the expression: “By some extension if a human creates AI, I wouldn’t attribute the art to the AI or computer. I would attribute it to the person who created it. They don’t have personal experiences to pull from like a human would.”
Frew agrees with that sentiment. Art needs to have emotion. It’s not easy to pull emotion from something with no soul or feelings.
An interesting project that could put this argument up for debate is Eponyms by Art AI. What do you think? Put a comment below!
Do NFTs Pose a Threat to the Music Industry?
While there may be some snags in the process, Frew isn’t so sure NFTs are a threat per se to the industry. If anything, it’s a compliment.
“I don’t think it’s a threat but it needs to be complimentary. Some don’t like to change. The big powers that control the industry don’t want to change. But as an individual artist, I can create something and sell it to people close to me and make the same amount of money that I would if I got high numbers on streaming platforms. You can integrate both”
Where Do We Go From Here?
We are still very early. There are plenty of hurdles to mainstream adoption. Frew says that the music NFT industry is much the music industry as it was in the early 2000s. You own these pieces, but you need to go to all these places to listen to them. There needs to be an easy way to enjoy these creations by the artists and that’s what the industry is working on.
And the work isn’t even close to done.
They both agreed that there is still an incredible amount of work to do. Houck wants to continue “empowering the independent. NFTs are not all that accessible to the average person. NFTs are also expensive to create for the most part. There is still a lot of work to be done to get NFTs to where they can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Frew agrees, “We need to make sure that the right people are getting paid as well”.
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