✖️ Artificial scarcity isn’t bad and it’s not just a jpeg (on NFTs)
And: DICE acquires Boiler Room; Deezer invests in Driift; Dapper acquires Brud; BPM Discord bot plays music NFTs; Techstars Music applications; visualizing music with AI
Today’s piece addresses two common questions and critiques about NFTs:
“It’s just a jpeg everyone can see, so anyone paying for it is [delusional / getting scammed / etc].”
“The internet’s supposed to be about abundance - why are we creating unnecessary artificial scarcity and financializing everything?.”
Given music’s history with ubiquity, including the economic effects of the sudden shift from paid to free post-piracy, I think these are two excellent critiques to explore the value of NFTs in general and for music specifically.
⏫ Dapper Labs took NFTs mainstream, now it wants to do the same for DAOs (Andrew Hayward)
Dapper, known for CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot, has acquired Brud which is known for creating the virtual star Lil Miquela (who also makes songs, like Hate Me with Baauer). Brud co-founder Trevor McFedries will head up Dapper Collectives which focuses on DAOs. Trevor is also known for starting the Friends With Benefits DAO, which is a large tokenized community of creatives.
“Despite videos in which Lanez claims that copies have sold for as much as $50,000, a number of customers who spoke with Rolling Stone say they feel duped.”
May be a good time to revisit our piece: Why your crypto startup looks like a scam
🎶 BPM is a bot that plays music NFTs in your Discord (Matthew Chaim)
Kicked off by some of the Songcamp crew. Music powered by the Catalog NFT platform.
Applications close October 27th. They’ve previously accelerated startups like Wave, Amper, Endel, and Popgun.
🤩 Visualizing music structure with deep neural networks (Michael R Lin)
“Temporal structure is inherent to all music but is often difficult to visualize in a space. I wanted to build a system that could represent the patterns in music in 3D.”
🎫 Ticket platform DICE buys Boiler Room (Carlos Hawthorn)
"I believe deeply that the best way for Boiler Room to evolve is by partnering with a company that values what we are today, and provides the tools we need to grow into the future—we play to our strengths and they to theirs. DICE's belief in 'powering' us but allowing Boiler Room to remain our own independent entity, all of this will enable us to move into a new era and be the best version of ourselves."
Blaise Belville, founder of Boiler Room.
The deal’s seen as a way for DICE to position itself better in the electronic music club space, where Resident Advisor (RA) has a strong footprint.
💻 Deezer invests in Driift and accelerates its expansion in live streaming (Isobel Hambleton)
“Driift’s disruptive model aligns perfectly with Deezer’s ambition to enhance the live streamed experience and fans’ connection with artists. Deal follows recent investment in Dreamstage and expands Deezer’s exposure to the fast-growing live streaming market.”
🤝 Fans and influencers bankrolling artists directly (Dan Runcie)
“The concept of artist/influencers is similar to the Renaissance era. If an influential figure loved someone’s work, they would feature it prominently in their house, church, or similar public venue. This is the digital version of that.”
✨ Cyborg Music: a future musicotechnographic aesthetic (Tom Hewitt)
I stumbled upon this doctoral dissertation after I discovered it quoted some of my writing. “It includes a speculative consideration of what might happen to music and musicking in the future, especially in the light of current trends in the expansion of technicity in their methods of composition, production, and distribution.”
It’s a hefty work, but really interesting to page through, since it takes a philosophical look at some of the topics we frequently muse about it in this newsletter.
Earlier this year I wrote out an article about strategies for moving away from the Facebook Inc social media stack. It goes into ideas for building audience & connections in other places, but if you want to take the maximalist approach and delete then the piece also has you covered.
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