The music streaming giant Spotify is increasing its focus on Web3 by conducting trials of token-enabled playlists in a number of important locations.
On February 22nd, Overlord, a Web3 game platform, made the announcement that it will be partnering with Spotify. People who have Creepz nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on Spotify may now access the token-enabled community-curated playlist from Overlord by using their Web3 wallets. This feature was previously only available on Spotify. The playlists can only be unlocked by those who use Android and come from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, or New Zealand.
In addition, members of the Fluf, Moonbirds, and Kingship metaverse communities are taking part in the trial project for a period of three months. Although Fluf and Moonbirds have not disclosed any information on their partnership with the streaming service to the public, Kingship has stated on Twitter that it will be participating in a pilot. Users need to have a Kingship Key Card NFT in order to open the tracklist, which include popular songs from artists such as Queen, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, and Led Zeppelin.
The news caused a significant increase in the number of Web3 music tokens. For instance, the value of Viberate’s (VIB) native token increased by 33 percent. The value of other tokens, such Audius (AUDIO) and Rhythm (RHYTHM), increased by 4% and 2.5%, respectively.
In May 2022, Spotify started conducting experiments using NFT galleries on the profiles of artists. The users were able to see the artists’ NFTs and then be routed to the OpenSea website where they could buy the things, despite the fact that there was no possibility for direct purchase on this platform.
One of the most rapidly developing industries for cryptocurrency use is still the music industry. A collaboration between the value-for-value podcasting platform Fountain and Zebedee was announced in the end of January. This cooperation would allow Bitcoin (BTC) micropayments for podcast listeners. The royalties rights to Rhianna’s popular song from 2015, “Bitch Better Have My Money,” were included in a collection of 300 non-functional tokens that were put up for sale in February.
Crypto has made inroads into a variety of markets throughout the course of its history, providing users with the unprecedented opportunity to micro-monetize their activities.
Play-to-earn gaming, along with earning from music streaming, was the antecedent for this sort of cryptocurrency integration. Streaming music also contributed to the development of this form of crypto integration. The value-for-value podcasting platform Fountain announced a new collaboration on January 24 with the financial services business ZEBEDEE to allow Bitcoin (BTC) micropayments for podcast listeners. ZEBEDEE helps monetize games and applications. The capacity to listen to a podcast and receive money for it has been described as a strong combination and the future of content production by Oscar Merry, the creator and chief executive officer of Fountain.
“In a few years, when we look back on paid subscriptions for content platforms that aren’t tied to how much we really use those platforms, we’ll look back and chuckle at how primitive and wasteful it was,”
In addition, as a result of the relationship with ZEBEDEE, customers may take advantage of the benefits without having any prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies thanks to the incorporation of debit and credit card connections. According to Merry, such a development brings together a “fragmented podcasting market,” which at the moment is comprised of a large number of applications and hosting companies that are not synced with one another.
He went on to emphasise the fact that the value of a platform is increased with each minute spent consuming or generating content as well as seeing advertisements. Why shouldn’t you share in the financial rewards that come from the value that you generate on the platform?
The adoption of new technologies is starting to become nearly imperceptible as developers continue to place a priority on usefulness in newly developed protocols.
Recently, a programme called “party-to-earn” targeted the electronic music business with the goal of developing a currency that can be used by festival attendees, clubbers, and fans alike.
Coop Records, a Web3 music-focused platform founded by NFT song collector Cooper Turley, has raised $10 million, according to Billboard.
The specific investors have not been disclosed to the public; only several well-known Web3 founders and investors have participated in the investment.
The platform aims to provide funding for music-loving users and creators by building a “community-as-a-community” portfolio with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to change the situation where contracted creators cannot control their own autonomy.
Coop Records will allow companies to share their code, infrastructure and assets,
Turley said artists can raise money and earn money from their work without selling their songs to record labels in the future—perhaps by tokenizing the ownership of their music-making companies.
He wrote on his official Twitter: “Coop Records invests in platforms, artists and tokens uniquely enabled by web3. Think of it as a hybrid between a venture fund, a record label, and an incubator. We work with founders to create new revenue streams for music.”
The Non-Fungible Token (NFT) approach changes the creation rules for creators. In the future, music can face the audience directly, without intermediaries and labels.
Cooper Turley, 26, started investing in cryptocurrencies about five years ago and has become a crypto millionaire.
He is also an angel investor in music NFT platforms such as Royal, Audius and Catalog.
Crypto music streaming platform Audius has developed a new feature that allows users to send the platform’s governance tokens to their favourite creators.
The platform has 7 million users and 250,000 artists and is currently valued at over $1 billion.
Crypto music streaming platform Audius has developed a new feature that allows users to send the platform’s governance tokens to their favourite creators.
The Audius protocol provides a blockchain-based alternative to SoundCloud to help artists publish and monetize their work and distribute it directly to fans.
This consists of a first-party app for interacting with the protocol and a reference implementation of the underlying protocol as specified in the whitepaper
With 7 million users and 250,000 artists, the platform, which is currently valued at more than $1 billion, allows its fans to support their favourite artists in a tokenized form, express their support through the Audius platform’s governance token audio or connect to an external crypto wallet.
The company plans to add ways to tip in fiat currency by credit card in the coming months,
Forrest Browning, co-founder of Audius, said, “We kind of see it as laying out the breadcrumbs to help our mainstream, Web2 audience start to understand how to tip and how to support their favourite artists and a Web3 ecosystem.”
He added that the platform doesn’t need to attract all the fan base from various platforms but mainly tries to attract the 10 most engaged fans.
Last August, The global video streaming platform TikTok and the encrypted music streaming platform Audius developed a new feature called “TikTok Sounds” to support users to share sounds to the TikTok platform through Audius.
In two funding rounds, Audius has raised a total of $8.6 million. The Solana Foundation has launched a $5 million product in conjunction with music streaming service Audius and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Metaplex to attract influencers to create their artwork on Web 3.
The Metaverse is quickly becoming one of the biggest trends of 2022. Recent data found that the metaverse sector currently has a market capitalization of over $26 billion. While impressive, new capabilities are also being added to virtual worlds to create more immersive experiences.
For example, metaverse communities that cater to creatives are starting to unfold, allowing users to customize their own interactive experiences. Although this is still an emerging concept, the incorporation of music appears to be one of the defining characteristics of social metaverse environments.
Music as NFTs
For instance, music in the form of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) is starting to be used in a number of virtual ecosystems to offer social experiences for both artists and fans.
To put this in perspective, Fluf World — a metaverse community consisting primarily of 3D-avatar rabbits — relies heavily on music to create user experiences. Brooke Howard-Smith, co-founder of Fluf World, told Cointelegraph that its metaverse was launched in August 2021 as a platform for creators, artists and musicians to connect using NFTs. Howard-Smith explained that there is a “scenes and sounds” feature that enables community members to combine different soundtracks and backgrounds with their avatar NFTs:
“Users can add a background behind their avatar that serves as a different location, many of which we are building in our part of the Metaverse. A user’s 3D-animated rabbit can also move to different music soundtracks that a user chooses to incorporate.”
Although the concept may sound complex, Fluf World uses a variety of multimedia NFTs to allow users to customize their Metaverse experiences. “This week Fluf World is launching phase 1 of their ‘Burrows,’ a metaverse space within Fluf World where soon, avatars will be able to walk around and hear other Avatar’s music when their ‘proximity feature’ is turned on. You can also see a visual representation of their music called a Nimbus floating near their avatar when you approach them,” Howard-Smith explained.
At the same time, a number of benefits for artists and fans also emerge from this model. For example, “Gino The Ghost” — a grammy award-winning producer and multiplatform songwriter — told Cointelegraph that he is a metaverse music executive for Fluf World. Gino said that he was initially drawn to the project through its incorporation of music, explaining that audio NFTs offer musicians a new way to package music as a crypto asset. He added that sound clips living on a blockchain network solve a number of problems for musicians:
“The sobering reality is that music labels are making more money today than ever before through streaming platforms but producers and songwriters are making considerably less. For instance, 100 million streams only generate $7,000 dollars if you own about 30% of a label and most individuals earn much less. Royalties are also paid slowly and you need to audit publishers to see if income is accurate.”
With these challenges in mind, Gino said that music NFTs enable artists to generate instant income that is controlled directly by an artist without any intermediaries. In regard to fans, Gino said that those who own music NFTs are not only investing in their favorite artists but are also capable of using those soundtracks to create their own remixes. “Creatives can consume music and do different things with the soundtracks,” he said. In turn, users are also able to sell their unique music NFTs to generate revenue.
It’s also interesting to point out that music NFTs can come in the form of digital wearables. For example, wearable music NFTs were recently launched on The Dematerialised, an experimental marketplace for digital fashion. The collection known as “Defend the Metaverse” was created by Teflon Sega, a singer and producer who claims to have been born in the Metaverse. The different NFTs that are available come in the form of t-shirts, sunglasses and shoulder plates and feature a 15-second sound clip from Teflon Sega’s music video, “Unreal Engine.”
Sega told Cointelegraph that he believes that the relationship between music and fashion has always been very close. “The two intertwined creative cultures have often played off of each other in music videos, which is why it felt so natural to release the outfits and props from my own music videos into the world as wearable NFT’s,” he remarked. Sega added that this year, he thinks people will be introduced to new features that allow for self-expression within metaverse environments. “Whether it be music, fashion, entertainment or storytelling, all forms will have no limitation aside from one’s own creative boundaries.”
In addition to music NFTs, decentralized audio files are also being used to personalize metaverse environments. For example, Audius is a music streaming service built on the Solana blockchain that is partnering with different metaverse platforms.
Roneil Rumburg, CEO and co-founder of Audius, told Cointelegraph that anyone is able to pull content from the Audius platform due to its decentralized nature. “Fans and developers are running this ecosystem for the benefit of everyone. Therefore, anyone can build using our platform,” he said.
According to Rumburg, Audius music files were initially applied in gaming metaverses but recently, the platform has partnered with the real estate NFT project “Ethereum Towers” and Solana-powered “Portals Metaverse” to provide streaming music. “Portals Metaverse allows users to play their own choice of music within their room inside the Metaverse through the Audius API. The community has even built an Audius lounge for concerts,” explained Rumburg.
Rumburg further noted that while Audius provides a catalog of decentralized audio files combined with metadata, some developers have built wrapped NFTs around Audius files. “We are just a decentralized repository of content without rights, so third-party developers can pull from the platform’s catalog without any issues.” As such, Rumburg explained that the main benefit of Audius in the context of the Metaverse is that developers can freely pull content without being sued by third parties.
Although the concept is relatively new, industry experts believe that music for metaverse environments will continue to gain traction. Sebastien Borget, chief operations officer and co-founder of the Sandbox — a popular gaming metaverse ecosystem — told Cointelegraph that he believes music will be used more often. “It’s defining a new format of entertainment beyond music clips. It’s more social and immersive,” he said. Sticking to this trend, the Sandbox recently announced a partnership with Warner Music Group to create a musical theme park and concert venue within the platform.
Famous musicians are also becoming more involved with NFTs. American singer and songwriter John Legend recently announced his involvement in launching an NFT music platform that will allow artists to tokenize and sell their work. In addition, American rapper and songwriter Snoop Dog recently announced that he is a Fluf World holder by
Ownership is one of the most critical aspects of nonfungible tokens (NFT). They are a representation of the evolution of execution and ownership of art, content, music, in-game assets, etc., since they are digital assets with distinctive identities that are verifiable on a blockchain network.
However, they have also created a new dimension of discussion about the interaction and grey area around copyright, intellectual property (IP) and trademark laws.
In a recent highly publicized fiasco in the cryptoverse, crypto decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) Spice DAO was mocked for believing that the ownership of a copy of the unpublished manuscript of the film Dune granted them its copyrights as well. The DAO intended to produce an “original animated series” inspired by the book to be sold to a streaming service for which it would require copyrights. The book was won at a Christie’s auction in November last year for over $3 million.
In this case, copyright laws dictate that the copyright is valid throughout the lifetime of the creators and even 70 years after their death which entails that the DAO cannot make the animated series without the permission of the living co-creator, Alejandro Jodorowsky. Cointelegraph discussed this incident with Andrew Rossow, a technology attorney and Ohio law professor, who said:
“The Spice DAO and Dune fiasco was a landmark in its own right that sends a very powerful message to everyone involved in the NFT space — creator or owner. The $3-million mistake that was made proved that intellectual property’s dominion in digital fine art is essential to its success and longevity.”
While it might not be a secret that the ownership of an NFT doesn’t necessarily mean that the underlying copyright of the work has been transferred to the owner, it doesn’t seem evident to all market participants. Rossow explained that copyright law affords six “bundles of rights” or exclusive rights to a creator, which collectively establish their copyright. The first four rights are crucial to NFTs right now — the right to reproduce the work, the right to create derivative works, the distribution right, and the public performance rights.
Marie Tatibouet, chief marketing officer of cryptocurrency exchange Gate.io, spoke with Cointelegraph about the Dune fiasco, noting that anyone who did the proper research and due diligence would’ve known that the sale of a book’s copy had no copyrights attached to it. She said, “There still seems to be a wider misconception around what exactly NFTs are and what’s included when one purchases or trades an NFT in the space. As the industry develops, so will educational resources and a wider understanding of the market.”
Lawsuits begin to pour in
As things now stand, brands and companies have begun to crack down against NFT projects that violate copyright, IPs and trademarks. On Feb. 4, Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX for trademark infringement on Nike sneaker NFTs. The sneaker company has lodged a 50-page long complaint that claims the reseller has sold nearly 500 Nike brand sneaker NFTs impacting Nike’s reputation and legitimacy. Additionally, the shoemaker has accused StockX of selling the NFT sneakers at inflated prices amid “murky terms of purchase and ownership.”
Even French luxury fashion house Hermes has recently had a legal confrontation with Mason Rothschild, creator of Hermes Birkin bag-inspired NFTs MetaBirkins. Hermes mentioned in its complaint, the “defendant’s MetaBirkins brand simply rips off Hermès’ famous Birkin trademark by adding the generic prefix ‘meta’ to the famous trademark Birkin.” In response, the creator compared himself to Andy Warhol painting Campbell soup cans in that he is making art from a well-known commercial image.
Jeff Gluck, CEO of CXIP Labs — an NFT minting platform — discussed the incoming lawsuits with Cointelegraph. Gluck is also an IP and copyrights lawyer with over 14 years of experience in the legislative domain. He stated:
“There are dozens of artists preparing lawsuits against OpenSea for selling infringing NFTs. These examples are a sneak preview of a wave of litigation heading towards the space. It’s both good and bad in that it discourages creativity and growth in some ways, but it’s beneficial because it will ultimately help provide some guidelines in terms of clear legal parameters and guidelines for the space.”
Gluck further pointed out that one of the biggest problems NFT marketplaces are facing right now is that if they mint NFTs for their users and/or provide any level of curation, they are not shielded by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and thus can be sued directly for copyright infringement by creators. The DMCA was passed in 1998 to implement the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization’s Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty. In part, it creates limitations on the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement.
Rossow believes that is an essential requirement for any NFT creator to highlight the copyright, trademark and IP implications of the NFTs they launch. He said, “The smart contract behind an NFT is what governs the rights on how it can be used. It would also make sense that the creator(s) behind any NFT project are crystal clear to their audience before minting on what rights they will have with the NFT once they mint and purchase it.”
Blockchain and copyright laws
The NFT industry has grown faster than even its participants could have imagined. The market sales surpassed $40 billion in 2021 just on the Ethereum blockchain. A recent NFT market report from Chainalysis found that the weekly total cryptocurrency value and average value per transaction have grown hand-in-hand from January to October in 2021. The prime reason for this growth is the hype that has surrounded these assets for the last two years from minting platforms, games, marketplaces, exchanges and others.
Related:From art to gaming: The biggest NFT trends of 2021
As a by-product of this high supply and demand, there are a lot of scams, hacks and other intentional property law violations that have been become more frequent. Tatibouet elaborated on this phenomenon, stating, “Considering many platforms have made minting NFTs quick and easy, it’s also made it possible for those with malicious intent to produce and sell NFTs of copyrighted items. Platforms are slowly starting to adapt to this; however, it may remain to be an issue for the foreseeable future.”
She also noted that platforms will need to adapt quickly and introduce barriers to those looking to abuse the system since they are liable to face legal repercussions, being the direct link between consumers and creators. As multinational companies that have large intellectual property libraries that are being abused, the NFT industry can expect legal issues down the road.
However, NFTs are also a relatively new innovation compared to the existing prevalent copyright, IP and trademark laws, which could be an opportunity to amend the law to account for this new technology. Varun Sethi, founder of blockchain legal services firm Blockchain Lawyer, told Cointelegraph that copyright laws need to recognize the tokenization of digital assets as a revolutionary and evolving legal option and accept the NFTs owner as the copyright owner.
However, Sethi noted the obstacles involved, saying, “There are challenges pertaining to updating of the registered owner as per copyright record plus fragmentation of ownership of a single digital art into multiple NFT owners plus payment of filing fees for becoming actual owner and not just an ostensible owner.”
Sethi foresees even more ownership issues when NFTs change hands unless the law is amended so that all NFT sales are recorded as ownership swapping as per the copyright office’s records.
Even though NFTs as a whole fall under copyright and IP laws of the countries in which they are issued, there are NFT projects that are now aiming to solve the grey area around this legal concern and offer copyrights for NFTs as well. CXIP Labs is such an example wherein copyright registrations are included in the minting process itself.
A platform called GuardianLink is using its proprietary artificial intelligence technology to monitor the web for any duplicate, rip-offs and copy-cat NFTs of the creators using their platform. This enables both creators and collections to protect their NFT assets.
The cryptocurrency community is known to adapt to changes fairly quickly due to the nascent nature of the industry and the technology. Thus, as the legal issues around NFTs develop and reveal more about what modifications need to be made to the prevalent structure, there will also be protocols that adapt.
American singer-songwriter John Legend is solidifying his position among the ranks of celebrities flocking to the world of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), helping to launch a new NFT platform for musicians and other entertainers.
The platform called OurSong allows artists to tokenize and sell their work, awarding buyers with privileges like access to unreleased music and private chatrooms.
“Everyone can now turn stories, music, photography, and any kind of art into NFT trading cards called Vibes,” the platform states. “Vibes allow you to unlock exclusive updates and access private chat communities where you can meet like-minded others.”
Legend will act as Chief Impact Officer, tasked with attracting up-and-coming artists and their fan bases.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Legend said that although he spends most of his mental energy thinking about music, he hopes the platform will help to connect people.
“When I think about what I want to do, I try to get involved with projects that I think will make the world more connected.”
Well known names attached to the project, including the cofounder of digital music streaming service KKBOX, Chris Lin, who will serve as the new company’s CEO. Cofounder of the live video streaming platform Twitch, Kevin Lin, and founder of early-stage venture capital firm Cherubic Ventures, Matt Cheng, will also be joining the team.
According to Lin, the platform won’t require users to have a crypto wallet. According to the Terms of Service you can only buy Vibes with OurSongDollars (OSD). “You can deposit OSD in OurSong by purchasing it with credit card, debit card, wire payment, or USD Coin deposited in your wallet on Circle’s blockchain,” it states.
The musician and his co-founders didn’t provide any additional financial details about the project.
This isn’t Legend’s first foray in the world of NFTs. In May 2021, Legend was announced as a partner of the “OneOf” NFT platform among the likes of Doja Cat and Whitney Houston.
Related:The Metaverse will change the live music experience, but will it be decentralized?
He isn’t the first celebrity to dip his toes in the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency either, although most celebrities opt to mint their own collection rather than creating an entire platform.
One notable exception is the Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, who launched a sports-focused NFT platform called “Autograph” in April 2021.
Although many big names are keen to get involved in the space — such as Paris Hilton, who recently announced she would be dropping her first NFT collection with Superplastic — others aren’t so impressed.
Most recently, Kanye West dragged the NFT world in an Instagram post, writing ““Do not ask me to do a f*cking NFT.”
Kanye West won’t be purchasing a Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible token (NFT) any time soon.
In a strongly worded Instagram post made on Monday, Ye stated “Do not ask me to do a f*cking NFT.” The message in the photo, shared with his 10.5 million followers, explains he is focused on “building real products in the real world.”
He didn’t mince his words in a follow-up comment to the Instagram post:
“STOP ASKING ME TO DO NFTs I’M NOT FINNA CO-SIGN … FOR NOW I’M NOT ON THAT WAVE I MAKE MUSIC AND PRODUCTS IN THE REAL WORLD”.
Whereas celebrities including Neymar, Eminem and Jake Paul who made cash grabs for NFTs in 2021, the billionaire and former presidential candidate Kanye West is categorically in opposition to the virtual tokens.
Related: NASA blasts NFTs, says they won’t take off with its imagery
Kayne West joins a growing list of NFT-skeptics, including celebrities such as Keanu Reeves. Movie star Reeves joked in an interview for the Matrix Resurrections that NFTs are “easily reproduced.”
Unlike Reeves’ character Neo, who is trapped in the Matrix, Ye will continue to work on “real products” in the “real world”. West’s album Donda 2 is scheduled for release on Feb. 22. Meanwhile, NFT fans will wonder how Ye could be so heartless?
The Sandbox announced Thursday a partnership with Warner Music Group, or WMG, to create a musical theme park and concert venue within the gaming metaverse. The Warner Music Group LAND in The Sandbox will host concerts and live experiences featuring artists and talent represented by WMG.
This initiative marked Warner Music’s first entry into the NFT metaverse realm. According to a statement shared with Cointelegraph, their goal is to create immersive social experiences that can empower Warner Music artists. The Sandbox could provide artists with another outlet to engage with their fans, experiment with virtual entertainment and generate new revenue streams while reaching a global community.
Sebastien Borget, COO and Co-Founder of The Sandbox said that the partnership “brings the open metaverse one step forward in the direction of fan-owned and community-driven initiatives.”
“We’re shaping The Sandbox as a fun entertainment destination where creators, fans, and players can enjoy first-of-a-kind immersive experiences and be more closely connected to their favorite musical artists through NFTs,” he added.
Digital land remains in high demand, and consistent high trading volume on The Sandbox has deemed it one of the most competitive metaverses to rival Decentraland. According to the company, The Sandbox will hold a LAND sale in March 2022 to allow music fans to buy LANDS adjacent to the WMG property.
Related: $106M worth of metaverse land sold last week: DappRadar
WMG, comprising of record labels like Atlantic, Warner Records, Elektra and Parlophone, is the latest partner to purchase real estate within The Sandbox metaverse, joining The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Steve Aoki, The Smurfs and CryptoKitties.