Stage status artists have been using NFTs extensively to engage and monetize their fanbases over the past year. This makes artists of all calibers notice the success of these web3 mega-stars. But it’s such a new industry that many smaller, indie musicians don’t feel as confident as they should when navigating the space.
Because how talent prioritization takes advantage of NFTs and web3 is very different from how more minor acts should use NFTs. But here is the problem…
There is no clear roadmap for NFTs that explains the benefits, opportunities and money that can be made for small artists when using NFTs correctly. And at Magnetic Mag, we wanted to change that, so we sat down with experts on the subject.
We had the opportunity to discuss with Adrian SternCEO and Founder of Reveel, a web3 revenue sharing company for musicians and creators, and BlackDavean NFT music artist, to learn everything an independent artist needs to know to maximize earning potential in NFTs.
Reveel recently managed the largest on-chain revenue split ever, for BlackDave’s wavRoom NFT drop, in conjunction with wavWRLD. 30% of the income from his collection was donated to 154 of his collectors, with 70% of the income being distributed to his collaborators and to himself. The on-chain revenue split had 159 parties involved who automatically received shared revenue. So it’s safe to say that these two know what they’re talking about.
So let’s dive into the interview.
What affordable ways can independent artists start using NFTs to engage with their fans?
Adrian Stern: Creating NFTs is financially very affordable, it can take a bit of time to become familiar with some of the concepts – much like the first time you stream music to DSPs, there is a learning curve!
The beauty of the NFT space is that creators fully own and control their NFTs, and those NFTs can be anything: a song, a ticket to a live performance, access to a private chat with the artist …it’s up to the artists to figure out what their fans and collectors might be interested in.
Black Dave: There is a free NFT called POAP (poh-ap) that artists can use to get people into NFTs. You can retrieve it with your email and send it to your crypto wallet when you create one, or send it directly to the wallet.
How can indie artists use NFTs in more unique ways that don’t feel fancy?
Adrian Stern: It’s all about roadmap and usefulness.
A roadmap of how your NFTs will continue to be useful to collectors ensures the artist isn’t settling for a quick cash grab. For example, you might want to let collectors know that you have planned future NFTs and that your collectors will be the first to find out about the new ones.
This also ties into utility – the value proposition of your NFTs. Some might argue that the art has value, and others might add access to merchandising, shows, future drops, etc. It is crucial to be very clear on these two aspects.
Black Dave: Using the POAP method at trade shows or online events or even posting to your social media can be a quick way to get people into NFT.
Once there, maybe start a discord. Using NFTs to share revenue from sales is a use case that is of increasing interest to many fans and collectors. Fans now have the opportunity to be rewarded for supporting their favorite artists early and often.
Why should fans on a budget invest in NFTs when the market is so volatile?
Adrian Sterne: Like anything else, people shouldn’t buy things they can’t afford to lose. However, purchasing a concert ticket as an NFT, Song NFT (instead of a download), or accessing an artist’s private chat (instead of Patreon) has many benefits.
You can prove that you are a fan since this purchase – thanks to the provenance characteristics of the blockchain – and you can resell this NFT at the market price. If the artist has exploded, there is a chance that NFT is worth more too.
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Black Dave: Collecting NFTs just to flip is risky, so collecting to support an artist you love is the real game. NFTs won’t be for everyone, but it’s one of the most direct ways to help an artist. . Often, artists provide utility (experiences based on the NFT property), which makes it worthwhile.
Share some examples of NFTs artists can gift their fanbase who don’t care about conventional NFTs or crypto.
Adrian Sterne: I think special edition NFTs, like a special edition vinyl, is something a lot of fans love. Imagine having 1 of 50 versions of a unique mix of your favorite song!
Concert tickets are another compelling use case for onboarding newcomers to NFTs. We are all used to buying digital tickets, and NFT tickets have many advantages.
Black Dave: NFTs that give fans access to the artist they love will be one of their primary use cases. Allowing fans to receive unique perks, such as merchandise, early access to purchase tickets, and other offers, will also be something that will appeal to fans.
What are the things that most indie artists get completely wrong about using NFTs to interact with their fan base?
Adrian Stern: Many artists still think that a music NFT just puts your song in an NFT, but it’s so much more!
It’s a way to identify your most engaged fans, create different products, and experiment with monetizing your fanbase. It can also be a way to raise money as a freelance artist, and more importantly, it’s a way to build a creative business without intermediaries.
The artists finally appropriate the relationship with the fans!
Black Dave: I think indie artists think NFTs must be expensive and can be at any price, even free.
Artists of all skill levels can start putting NFTs into play and see the benefits if they make their way into the space and educate their fans on how to get them.
Which artists are using NFTs in exciting ways to interact and grow their fan base?
Adrian Stern: BlackDave is the perfect example! He experiments and always surprises his collectors with new uses and values. He airdropped (sent directly to the blockchain) a free NFT to his first 130 collectors.
He offered a free live performance to his NFT holders via wavWRLD, and he even redistributed a portion of the royalties to his first 150 collectors using Reveel’s revenue sharing protocol.
Black Dave: I’m a huge fan of Verité, who use NFT drops as an opportunity to integrate their mainstream fans. I think Emily Lazar from September Mourning is doing the same thing.
They release NFTs at all price points and educate their fans one by one to get them involved. Artists like Jamee Cornelia, who uses NFTs to create gated ownership experiences, are a great blueprint to follow.
At what point in an artist’s career should they start using NFTs to interact with fans?
Adrian Stern: From the 1st day.
It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful technologies to help artists earn a living today. Selling 10 NFTs for 0.1Eth is equivalent to 400,000 streams.
The two technologies are complementary – one generates more revenue for artists, while the other provides more reach.
Black Dave: Any time is a good time. I think NFTs are similar to Twitch subscribers, which can also be started at any level.
Things are always slow at the start of an artist’s career, so patience with the tools you decide to use is more important than the tools you choose. If you’re investing in NFTs early in your career, it’s worth engaging in conversations within the NFT space rather than trying to sell your small fan base outside of it.