✖️ Burn it down or build a bridge? Contracts, royalties & NFTs
And: Hologram tech; Review into sexual harm; Dr. Dre releases new music on GTA; Making sense of Spotify Wrapped for Artists; Music/Web3 tools for artists; Sound.xyz investment round
As we transition into Web3, there’s a big opportunity to create more direct relations between artist and fan. Since this is music, however, there’s a complicated web of copyrights underlying the music that establishes the artist-fan relationship. Web3 concepts of ownership do not easily transmit to that legacy copyright system. Artists who experiment in this new space want simplicity, but attribution of rights requires accuracy. The latter should not be ignored to push the former.
Another red flag in the space goes up when it comes to securities. Is an NFT one or not? There’s a problem of terminology here and this again relates to ownership. The digital ownership that comes with an NFT isn’t recognized by law. And yet, two parties can agree on a form of ownership, cultural ownership perhaps, that then becomes a third layer: where the first layer is the IP and the second layer is a tangible item.
Working together with a bunch of other people, we dove into these issues and more for Water & Music’s collaborative research report. The whole series is free to read. I helped shape the article on NFT ownership.
📕 The Endless Manifesto (Endless)
“Endlesss is building a new economic model that tracks and attributes the collaborative creative process as it evolves, allowing the unbounded value of the magic that arises to be realised at any moment.”
🚧 How hologram tech may soon replace video calls (Andrea Murad & Will Smale)
This article isn’t music related, but the continuous development of hologram tech brings amazing opportunities to music. And this goes much further than bringing Tupac to the stage at Coachella. It points to true interaction that cuts through space.
🚗 Dr. Dre Just Released New Music, But Only ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Fans Can Hear It (Elias Leight)
First off, I just want to note that GTA still has their music chops apparently.
“This also represents the latest musical coup for Rockstar Games, which has previously wrangled new music from D’Angelo and Moodymann — titans in their respective fields who work at their own pace and care little for commercial pressure — into its games in the last four years. Rockstar Games is capable of achieving what prominent record labels cannot: Convincing these highly independent artists to make music on somebody else’s timetable.”
💰 Music NFT platform Sound.xyz raises $5m (Alara Jordan)
“The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz’s investment firm a16z, with participation from a string of notable investors including Variant Fund, Palm Tree Crew, Weekend Fund, Atelier Ventures and Scalar Capital. Notable music artists such as 21 Savage and DJ Drama also participated in the round.”
🔧 The state of music/Web3 tools for artists (Water & Music)
“To build this market map, we crowdsourced suggestions for music/Web3 tools from our community over two months. We captured data including product type (e.g., general NFTs, music NFTs, social tokens), core utility (e.g., music/audio collectibles, fan/community rewards, royalty investments, event ticketing), network (e.g., Ethereum, Flow, Polygon) and publicly available funding information (pulling primarily from Crunchbase). We also held several weekly brainstorming and feedback calls in our Discord server over this period to determine the scope of the database and the higher-level story we were trying to tell through the data.”
🙅♀️ 7 big questions about the Music Industry Review into sexual harm & discrimination (Vivienne Kelly)
“Success off the back of this extensive review has both short-term and long-term elements. Short-term, there needs to be widespread acceptance and action on the report’s recommendations, particularly from those with power and influence. More broadly, as as time ticks on, there needs to be more long-term, sustainable and measurable change in the culture.”
🌯 Don’t Split The Streams — Part 7 — Making Sense of Spotify Wrapped for Artists (Chuck Fishman)
Excellent dive into the data provided by Spotify Wrapped here. What stands out as one of the takeaways is that Fishman regularly needs to dig into Chartmetric to make sense of some of the data offered to him for his band FSQ.
“Within Spotify for Artists, an artist can click on the individual stats page for any particular song. We did so for our top streamed song, and then sorted the playlists featuring that song, by the number of streams each playlist drove for that song, from highest to lowest.”
✊ Music industry unites to pledge net-zero emissions by 2050 (Ben Beaumont-Thomas)
“The three major labels – Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group – plus independents such as the Beggars and Secretly groups of labels, Warp, Ninja Tune and more, have signed the Music Climate Pact which will see them pledge “actionable climate targets”.”
🤑 Bruce Springsteen Sells His Masters, Publishing Catalog to Sony for $500 Million (Nina Corcoran)
“For his entire 50-year-long career, Springsteen has released his albums through Sony imprint Columbia Records. He was granted ownership of his earlier records in the late 1980s and 1990s as an incentive to re-sign with the label. Last month, Springsteen was in negotiations with Sony to sell his album catalog while he also simultaneously shopped around his publishing catalog.”
🔚 Official: Midem has been scrapped (Murray Stassen)
52 years since the first Midem in Cannes, France, the conference is no more. Apparently pandemic related, but probably also business related.
I recently discovered Hari Hardman, a Brit who makes pretty uncompromising music. Only listen to this if you’re into noise and/or heavy music. I picked the most accessible track from his 2020 album Thrust your palm into the best haystack.