Music world taps 'NFT' digital goldrush
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 13, 2024

Music world taps 'NFT' digital goldrush
In this file photo taken on August 26, 2007 the singer of US band Kings of Leon performs during the Rock en Seine music festival, in Saint-Cloud, near Paris. Kings of Leon, Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park), Grimes: musicians are getting in tune with "NFTs", virtual objects that are selling like hotcakes but raising questions, particularly in terms of rights. Guillaume BAPTISTE / AFP.

by Philippe Grelard and Eric Randolph

PARIS (AFP).- "NFT" is quickly becoming the acronym of 2021, offering a new way to sell digital art online, and music stars including Kings of Leon and Grimes have been quick to jump on the bandwagon.

For many, it remains a baffling concept, but a NFT ("non-fungible token" -- pronounced "nifty") essentially offers collectors proof that they "own" a digital artwork by logging that ownership on the blockchain, the online database that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

In no time, it has taken the art world by storm. Just last week, a collage by digital artist Beeple was sold at auction for $69.3 million, reportedly the third highest-ever sale for a living artist in any medium.

Many see an opportunity to monetise digital art of all kinds, offering wealthy collectors the bragging rights to ultimate ownership, even if the work can be endlessly copied. For investors, it's also a new commodity to be traded.

In the music world -- an industry which has seen its value shredded by digitisation over the past 20 years -- NFTs offer hope of a valuable new revenue stream.

Earlier this month, US rockers Kings of Leon raised more than $2 million by auctioning off NFT versions of their new album "When you see yourself", according to Rolling Stone magazine, of which a quarter went to a solidarity fund for live event workers.

Their NFTs offered more than just the abstract notion of owning something rare. They came with tangible benefits: access to photos by band member Matthew Followill, collector's editions of the vinyl, and at the top end, a lifetime "golden ticket" to front-row seats at their live shows.

Gold rush

Josh Katz, CEO of YellowHeart, the NFT auction platform used by Kings of Leon, claimed it was "ushering in the new music era".

"Through the use of NFTs and blockchain technology, we'll begin to see the industry start to move toward a more decentralised model that fosters symbiotic relationships between music lovers and artists," he told AFP.

"Artists will monetise their content again and fans will have transparency when buying both content and concert tickets."

Several stars are already tapping the opportunity.

Mike Shinoda, of US rap-metal group Linkin Park, recently sold an NFT version of a single which came with an animated visual created by artist Cain Caser.

Canadian singer Grimes, who has always had a strongly visual component to match the futuristic, dystopian vibes of her music, recently sold an audiovisual collection as NFTs for some $6 million.

Not everyone is entirely convinced, however.

"If this technology is put to the service of artists, that's great. But if we aren't very careful, they risk being stripped of their copyright," said Emily Gonneau, French author of a book on music in the digital age.

"Anyone can sample anything off the internet and claim to be the creator of an NFT... Then we're on a gold rush where anything is possible," she said.


Indeed, several digital artists, including one who goes by the name Weird Undead, have already found their work being ripped off and sold on NFT platforms, according to online magazine Decrypt.

The anonymous, decentralised nature of the blockchain makes it hard to counter these copyright infringements.

But the flipside, argues blockchain investment consultant Eloisa Marchesoni, is that NFTs make it much easier to verify items issued by the real artists, since each artwork, concert ticket or collectible has its own digital signature logged on the blockchain that cannot be falsified.

The best opportunity for artists, she said, is the ability to sell add-ons that boost their income.

"You can grant access to a whole variety of perks," she told AFP.

"Let's say you buy a rare shoe from an artist. The NFT guarantees its authenticity, but also grants you access to a contest where you can win some special experience with the artist.

"It's no different from the traditional art market: people with spare time and capital looking for that sense of exclusivity," Marchesoni added.

"But now it's being democratised -- anyone can easily go online and buy an NFT."

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

March 16, 2021

France to return Klimt painting to rightful heirs after Nazi-era sale

The Met Opera's musicians, unpaid since April, are struggling

Online sales save art market: report

Meadows Museum celebrates the 20th anniversary of its 66,000-square-foot building

Banksy's cheeky parody of Demi Moore's iconic Vanity Fair cover to make auction debut

The MCA and Tate announce new acquisitions

LACMA will reopen its galleries to the public on April 1

British Museum announces Lampedusa Cross to tour UK for the first time on 10th anniversary of Syrian Revolution

Two breathtaking bracelets take centre stage in Sotheby's Hong Kong Jewellery Auction

Exhibition of mixed media paintings by Vivian Suter opens at Gladstone Gallery

Toledo Museum of Art adds works of art to its collection

Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Week totals $98,323,250

Amplifier launches #Vaccinated, global public art campaign to spread accurate COVID-19 vaccine information

Ralph Ellison-inspired exhibition examines violent histories in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and America

The David Roche Foundation opens 'Captain Cook & the Art of Memorabilia'

National Building Museum announces Aileen Fuchs as new Executive Director

Furniture by George Nakashima headlines Ahlers & Ogletree auction

Pace Gallery opens an exhibition that brings together 45 photographs by David Goldblatt

Bonhams appoints Leslie Wright as Chairman North America

'Mank' leads Oscars nominations in record year for women

Music world taps 'NFT' digital goldrush

Hong Kong protest film screening pulled after media attacks

Carmel Quinn, Irish singer and storyteller, dies at 95

Flory Jagoda, keeper of Sephardic music tradition, dies at 97

Change Up Your Living Space with Wall Art

Drugs make your life rough

Relationship/Marital Crises of Donald Trump and Melania Trump

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful