The pandemic has made one thing clear to most musicians: Streaming services are not a way to support them. The average musician’s work is paid for less than a month’s rent living in New York City, and most artists’ only source of income is controlling the royalties of those same streaming services.
With the return of concerts, independent artists have some catching up to do, starting with the implementation of non-fungible musical tokens, or NFTs, which have proven to be a powerful new weapon both for the artist and, finally. , for his fans.
Despite the recent crash of the NFT market, this technology remains a powerful instrument for independent musicians who do not always have the same luxury and the same resources available to them by mainstream platforms like Spotify and Apple Music for great artists.
Independent artists seeking to distribute their music
When musicians and producers turned to social media to keep their careers alive, hosting virtual gigs and regular content drops, it didn’t take long for platforms like Facebook and Spotify to begin. implementation methods to monetize these virtual events.
“But, as artist after artist discovered, their annual revenues from these streaming services were in the very, very low triple digits,” notes Swedish DJ and producer Bjorn Niclas.
Niclas, a music industry veteran, is also the CEO and founder of ROCKI, one of the first user-centric hybrid blockchain music streaming platforms for independent artists and their fans, with a NFT ecosystem built in. The platform recently partnered with Binance smart chain, offering music streaming communities the premier alternative for an all-in-one streaming and NFT platform.
As the pandemic continued to endure, it became increasingly clear that independent artists need to be creative in how they will create income.
Look beyond platforms
While it may seem obvious that the almost saturated digital streaming market consists of many platforms that offer essentially the same mission statement, it is important to assess the mission of each platform in what it offers. specifically to its artists versus its consumer fan base.
According to the Ivars Academy in the UK, eight in ten musicians earn less than $ 300 per year from all major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Despite our entry into today’s latest digital technologies, the music industry is still far behind, controlled from above, to the detriment of independent artists, and in favor of the big companies and platforms that decide which artist will be. signed, promoted and pushed in people’s Spotify suggestions.
These large platforms, which almost invariably reward lead clicks, often overlook the “real fandom” experience. Allowing new waves of companies like ROCKI to enter the industry and throw a life jacket by all those artists who have essentially, according to Niclas, “been abandoned by the music industry”.
“We do not see ourselves as competitors of these streaming platforms, but as an alternative, allowing to put money back in the pockets of the independent artist, and a return on investment for the listeners who support them”, pointed out Niclas.
Less and less need of the middle man
“There is less and less need for intermediate players,” Niclas told CNBC. “When you can use technology to bridge the gap between artists and fans, it just means that instead of using five different organizations to do it, I can do it myself, for free and instantly with global reach. . “
In December 2020, a track on ROCKI, was auctioned as “NFT Royalty Right” on the Bounce.finance platform for a record amount of 40 ETH, or 24,200 USD at the time of the auction.
Following Binance Smart Chain’s announcement that ROCKI would rely exclusively on its blockchain for its music NFTs and the company’s proprietary Streaming-as-Mining payment system, platforms like ROCKI serve as a leader and example. of how industry platforms should work. and treat its artists.
In order to survive in a contemporary landscape, it is essential to explore all the new platforms and technologies available. As for emerging independent artists, Niclas advises you to “cultivate your own fan base with genuine artist-fan relationships.” Try hitting your first NFT music, get your fans to invest in your royalties on ROCKI and include them in your music journey.