Dec 12, 2021

How NFTs will save the music industry

There is one industry that will indisputably benefit from embracing NFT technologies: music.

With 2021 seeing a tidal wave of NFTs on the market and countless stories of JPEGs being sold for millions of dollars, it’s becoming more difficult to dismiss NFTs as a fad or a scam. It is still, however, very difficult to argue why a computer-generated image of an ape is worth more than my house… but million dollar ape images aside, there is one industry that will indisputably benefit from embracing NFT technologies: music. This industry has become ridden with middlemen and greed; it’s in dire need of disruption that puts the control back in the hands of the musicians. And at Curios, we believe that NFTs will bring this much needed democratization to the music industry.


Many musicians have to rely on touring to make any money at all and with the immediate halting of public events due to COVID-19 and national lockdowns occurring worldwide, the last area for musicians to make money has dried up. That is until NFTs for music hit the scene.


The beauty of releasing an album as a NFT or even a single as a NFT is that either all the profits or the vast majority of the profits go to the artist. Other methods of digital album sales have agents and record labels with thousands and thousands of employees that all need a cut before the artist can be paid. Streaming is even worse for the artist, streams on spotify and YouTube basically offer no returns except for increased popularity for their tours if they can have them. NFTs have solved this, and NFTs allow musicians to get paid for what they actually do best, making music.

Musicians getting the lion’s share of their work has positive benefits for the price of the art. Albums don’t have to be $20 anymore to pay for the enormous corporations that record labels have become. Musicians can offer lower prices as they are able to go direct. A great example was the recent album drop on Curios for "When It's Dark by Tory Lanez" in fall of 2021. Lanez offered his latest album as an NFT for $1, and sold 1 million copies in less than one minute. Fans got his album for $1 (plus applicable fees), and Tory received 1 million dollars.


The beauty of the NFT model for the Music Industry is that it also has incredible value for the consumer. Purchasers of these NFTs now own the album, and they can resell them to other consumers in the future when they are tired of listening to it, they might even be able to sell it for a profit (no guarantees). Previously if a user bought a digital album on Apple Music, they technically own the rights to listen to that album, but they cannot resell it in any form. CDs and vinyls of the past could and were always resold, but digitization changed that. Streaming took all ownership away from consumers leaving them with a lot of nothing after their transactions were complete.

Owners of NFTs actually own the right to listen to that art and own the right to sell or transfer that art to someone else. In the case of the $1 Tory Lanez album consumers are able to listen to and enjoy the music and then can sell the album for a modest $2 or more, which was and is the case for this album. Over $250,000 have been transacted as secondary sales for the Tory Lanez album as of the date of this article, where original purchasers were actually able to make a profit on the art.


NFTs were designed to provide a much needed ownership of digital goods. Our world is getting more and more digital by the day and by using corporations defined by the physical world to manage digital goods has led to the extreme greed existing in today’s music industry. It has long been time for musicians to be paid directly for their work and long been time for consumers to be able to actually receive something back for their purchases.

Say what you want about the logic behind owning a GIF, but by using NFTs for music, everyone wins. Artists can become empowered to create the kind of music they want to make, and not the kind of music that will sell out a concert. Consumers will be able to support their favorite artists directly and have the opportunity to resell their goods when they see fit. It has long been time for a change and we at Curios are happy to see it.

Curios is a technology provider for NFT marketplaces, where you can launch an NFT marketplace in minutes. Musicians have sold over 1 million NFT albums on our platform. Learn more at curios.com.