Web3: Look At Where We Are
Updated: Apr 17
AI may have been the hot topic at this year’s SXSW, but innovation and experimentation in web3 music continues apace.
Web3-native artists and music services have continued to proliferate over the last year, in spite of the crypto crash and the wider economic landscape. Artists, innovators and entrepreneurs are exploring the possibilities that web3 technology provides and finding increasingly creative ways to reach and engage their fans. But what will provide the ‘big bang’ moment for mass-market crossover?
Experimentation is healthy. Outside of what native web3 artists are doing, established names are getting in on the action too - Kings of Leon & Muse (NFT as an album release format), Madonna (a charitable NFT art collaboration with Beeple) , Boyz II Men (digital collectibles conferring fan rewards), 3LAU (various projects), Megadeth (generative NFTs), Jagwar Twin (metaverse-based fan experience), Nas and Rihanna producer Deputy (fractionalised royalty participation), but perhaps the artist most synonymous with web3 experimentation is Snoop Dogg.
His latest project to be announced is his involvement in Shiller, a live, interactive video and audio streaming platform with social commerce capabilities which launches next month.
Major record labels are also tentatively exploring the space, with Warner Music Group perhaps being most publicly visible in announcements about their investments and partnerships thus far. But perhaps the direction of travel is best illustrated by how consumer brands are engaging with the technology and bringing their consumers into web3.
Nike (collaborative community), Starbucks (loyalty programme), Coca-Cola (NFTs) and Mastercard (web3 music artists programme) are amongst the hundreds of brands experimenting in the space, utilising a number of different blockchains to bring their current and potential customers different benefits and experiences.
Overcoming the potential barriers to mass adoption is a challenge these brands face, over and above the quality and utility of their web3 offering. Consumer protection has to be a primary concern, as regulators struggle to keep up with the capabilities of the technology and the inevitable bad actors that seek to financially benefit from this.
Reddit successfully onboarded owners of their CryptoSnoos NFT collection by keeping the terminology clear, simple and straightforward. Illustrating the benefit of NFT ownership without unnecessarily muddying the waters with jargon, and making the on-ramp as seamless as possible for the user is a no-brainer.
Web3 music companies are offering a number of services - it’s not all about NFTs - that offer genuine utility to fans, artists and rights holders. From fan clubs, events, ticketing, collectibles, merch, streaming, social and other community-based offerings to one-off, unique art projects and participatory royalty investments, we’ll be seeing more innovation and likely more consolidation over the next 12 months.