What Is an NFT? What Is The Blockchain?
By now you’ve probably heard about NFTs.
If you don’t fully understand it yet, you’re in luck. Because I’m about to give you my most simplified explanation.
First, before we jump ahead to NFTs we need to understand the Blockchain. Why? Because NFTs are built on what we call ‘Blockchain’. Without the blockchain there is no NFT.
You still with me? Ok, good. Now let’s break down what the blockchain is.
In simple terms, it’s basically a database that stores digital information.
Here is an example. Let’s say you buy a digital image online. Then you turn around and create an album cover with this image. Your album then becomes a #1 best seller. Then the original artist of the image sues you. They claim they never sold you the rights to use this image for your album. So, how are you gonna prove that you did purchase those rights? You think that digital receipt that says you paid $10 for that image is gonna hold up in court? I don’t think so.
Now, if this image was stored on the blockchain and you purchased it via the blockchain you can show the court exactly when you purchased the image and what rights were granted when purchased.
Basically, the blockchain adds another layer of proof and trust to digital transactions and uploaded Information online. In fact, the biggest attraction to blockchain is the trust. Storing information on the blockchain guarantees fidelity and security of a record of data without a third party involved.
Once someone uploads something to the blockchain it can not be edited or deleted. This also applies to every transaction that is done on the blockchain.
In other words, the Blockchain is just an additional layer of trust added to the already existing internet.
Now that we have a basic understand of what the blockchain is let’s talk NFTs.
Remember how I said the blockchain was a huge database? Well NFTs are basically the digital products or blocks of information stored on the blockchain.
NFT stands for non-fungible tokens. What’s that mean? It means each NFT is one of a kind. This is why digital art is one of the most popular forms of NFTs going around right now.
For example there is only one original Mona Lisa painting. Of course people can duplicate it and claim it’s original but everyone knows it’s one of a kind and who really owns it. That’s the same with NFTs because the blockchain will prove who really owns the NFT.
Now, these topics can go deep. We could get into the tech behind it, more complex definitions etc. However, these basic explanations should give you a basic idea of what this new technology is doing.
If you’re like me, when you first learned the basics of a NFT you probably thought about NFT music.
Will all music become NFTs? Is it even possible to turn music into NFTs? How will it work? Is it even worth it?
These are just a few of many questions that popped into my head when music NFTs crossed my mind.
But, I’ll let you in on a secret. NFTs will 100% be heavily involved in the music industry as we head deeper into this technology age. This is just something that is inevitable. Wether you like it or not it does not matter, it will happen. In fact, it’s already happening. So, taking the time to learn about this now will ultimately help you in the long run instead of being left behind.
With that being said let me begin with the examples of how NFTs will fit into the music industry.
Music Copyright Protection via NFTs
Right now there is a lot of hype around selling NFTs. However, NFTs aren’t just digital products that can be sold. They’re also important digital information that could be sold or transferred if desired.
Let’s take a contract for example. If me and you were to sign a contract we’d each have a copy. However, we run the risk of losing that contract or simply destroying them. However, if one of us uploaded it to the blockchain via an NFT we’d always have proof that this contract was in fact signed and agreed upon by both parties.
One thing an artist can do to further protect their copyright is to create an NFT with all relevant copyright information. One simple way of doing this is to create an NFT with the songs original files before you release it.
Once that NFT is created it will timestamp exactly when it was created and who created it. So let’s say a producer samples your song 3 years after you released it. Then they turn around and claim they never sampled it and they created it on their own. You can pull up your NFT files and prove that you created this song 3 years ago and all the files were timestamped to the blockchain.
Simply put, this is another layer of proof that an artist can use to better protect their copyrighted music.
Show Tickets, VIP Tickets, Meet Up Tickets via NFTs
Selling tickets is a huge part of an artists revenue. However, there are a lot of people out there who create duplicated fake tickets to events and shows.
So, how do we solve this issue? Well artists can sell their tickets as NFTs. Therefore whoever owns it can show proof that they own it. It cannot be duplicated.
Once NFTs become widely understood and adopted I believe NFTs will be the default way to sell tickets to big events or shows.
You’ll end up showing up to an event, opening your NFT app wallet and showing the guy at the door your ticket.
Selling Beats Online as NFT Music
This is where I believe NFTs will shine the brightest in the music industry.
Right now when you sell beats online what you’re really selling is an agreement. However, just like my image album cover example above it’s hard for people to prove they actually purchased certain rights from you online.
Now you may be asking “Well isn’t an NFT one of a kind? I don’t want to sell only one copy of my beat. I want to be able to lease hundreds”
You can do that. If you plan on selling 100 lease agreements to one of your beats you would need to create 100 NFTs that grant each individual owner the lease rights to that beat.
Right now this would be very time consuming. But as we head deeper into the future I believe platforms will emerge to make it easier for producers to sell beat rights online as NFTs.
The List Goes On
I’ve only listed a few examples of how NFTs will fit into music above. Trust me when I say this isn’t even half of it. So the question is “Is NFT music the future?”. The answer is yes. I think we are still years away from NFTs being fully embraced by the music industry but its coming.
If fact, there are already artists, DJs and producers creating NFTs. Notable people such as Snoop Dogg and Calvin Harris.
Lastly, hopefully this article gives you a basic idea of where technology is heading. And most importantly how it will effect music.
Check out the music NFTs we made here.