Music artists earn what they would earn with 1 million streams in “2 minutes” with NFTs. Now they’re turning to Web3, alongside Snoop Dogg

Snopp Dogg said he brings his music to the Metaverse. He wasn’t lying.

On 04/20, the rapper, songwriter and entrepreneur dropped out Death Row Seance: Vol. 2 as a non-fungible token, or NFT, on the Sound.xyz platform. The 1,000 copies quickly sold out for a total of 100 Ether, or just over $300,000, in a single day.

Snoop is not new to Web3, a name for a decentralized iteration of the internet that relies on blockchain technology. He owns several digital assets, including CryptoPunk and Bored Ape NFT, and has created several of his own in the past. He even released songs and music video as NFT already. But this time he did something different. In the mix, he included four musicians known to pave the way for Web3 artists: Iman Europe, MoRuf Adewunmi, dave blackand Heno.

Many celebrities have been touting NFTs lately, either promoting their own collections or promoting a new investment. But emerging musicians are increasingly turning to the space as a more attractive way to make a living than the options they may have in the mainstream music industry.

Rather than relying on a label or streaming service, blockchain technology allows artists to control their prices, earn royalties from secondary market sales, and connect with their community. Artists like Europe, MoRuf, Black Dave and Heno see Web3 as the future of the industry.

“Web3 is believable and real,” said MoRuf, 34. Fortune. “It gave us a chance to make a living from our art and build a community we never knew existed. It is power.

MoRuf-music-NFT-artist-Snoop-Dogg-mix-Courtesy of MoRuf and @nitaaasmile

Web3 is not a utopia. It’s not perfect. But it’s special.

Although Europe, MoRuf, Black Dave, and Heno just featured on a major mix with Snoop, they’ve all been selling NFT music since 2021, a living in the Web3 world. Black Dave, however, began manufacturing other types of NFTs in December 2020.

All with a long history in the traditional music industry, they first got into Web3 for a variety of reasons, including better compensation opportunities, access to the community, and appreciation for the technology that underpins it. tends the NFTs.

Los Angeles-based Europe has been in the music industry for over 10 years and began selling NFTs of her songs in November 2021. She says artistic freedom is what first piqued her interest. for Web3.

“I love being able to release the music I want, when I want, where I want, and how I want,” she said. “I enjoy the financial freedom that comes with having my music finally valued at the price it deserves.”

Iman Europe, NFT artist

Iman-Europe-music-NFT-artist-Snoop-Dogg-mix-Courtesy of Iman Europe

Europe lists his songs and albums as NFT for thousands of dollars. She won around $60,000 in total.

Rapper Black Dave started creating his musical NFTs in March 2021 and also called Web3 a “place of freedom”. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, he hasn’t had much “IRL success” in the mainstream music industry, but has built up a Web3 following. The technology underlying NFTs was particularly appealing to him at first.

“I was interested in experimenting with new ways to deliver content and media,” he said.

Among other things, the technology provides a transparent way for artists to get paid.

MoRuf “has been doing this musical stuff” for a decade, but started creating musical NFTs after he was “pretty tired of the old traditional formula”, he said.

In about eight months, MoRuf, who is based in New York, has given up more than 16 NFTs and says he is able to support himself and his family with the money he has earned. MoRuf earns thousands of dollars per drop, more than he would earn with streams on a traditional service.

Streaming services pay artists less than a penny per stream, says MoRuf, which “just doesn’t make sense, especially for the independent artist.”

Rather than not getting paid at all or having to wait a year for a royalty check, payment with NFTs is immediate, said artist and producer Heno, 28. Fortune. Artists can also create their own smart contracts or collections of code that execute a set of instructions on the blockchain. Smart contracts remove any reliance on a middleman or record label: artists can code a contract themselves to ensure they are paid appropriately for their work when selling and resale, and deploy it when they publish their NFTs.

Heno-NFT-artist

Heno-music-NFT-artist-Snoop-Dogg-mix-Courtesy of Heno

Web3 “redefines what artists can create in their own power. It’s more than innovative,” said MoRuf.

Europe, MoRuf, Black Dave and Heno were all able to earn thousands of dollars per NFT drop, and additional royalties – usually at least 10% – on secondary market sales.

“This place is special. It is not a utopia. It’s not perfect. But it’s special,” said MoRuf. “I quit my job about a year ago, and it has allowed me to support myself and my family, and reinvest in my art, production, videos, etc. . This is the ultimate goal.

The latest version of Snoop’s NFT mix

Snoop’s First Drop Death Row Seance: Vol. 2 The NFT music release sold for a total of 100 Ether, or around $300,000.

Artists Europe, MoRuf, Black Dave and Heno each earned 1% of the initial sale, and in the secondary market they will each earn a 10% royalty on their share of the profits, said David Greenstein, co-founder of Sound.xyz . Fortune.

“The idea of ​​getting paid $3,300 for your song over a Snoop Dogg mix is ​​unheard of in today’s world. It wouldn’t even happen,” Greenstein said.

All of the artists featured on Snoop’s mixtape agree that with NFTs they can earn way more than streaming services like Spotify offer.

“One ETH equals nearly one million music streams,” said singer and songwriter Europe. Fortune. She adds about her collaboration with Snoop: “I did this in two minutes. A complete paradigm shift for sure.

This ability to split payment via smart contracts is a major driver of Snoop’s interest in the NFT space.

“Throughout my career, my fans have never had the opportunity to really make money from my music. Not only that, but it’s always been a major issue distributing payments to my team from of my songs because nothing is transparent with these record labels,” said Snoop Dogg. Fortune in a report. “I featured a few new artists in the Web3 space on this latest mix and gave them splits in the smart contract. Simple as that.

“We always try to do things differently here now because the old way doesn’t work for anyone,” he added.

A bigger trend

The use of NFTs and Web3 for music is a growing trend. Europe, MoRuf, Black Dave and Heno are early innovators in the field, but many other emerging artists have also used the technology in addition to or as a replacement for traditional methods such as record deals and streaming services.

There are Web3 platforms specifically designed for music NFTs, like Sound.xyz and OneOf, which artists can use to release their own songs. Additionally, there are popular NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea, Nifty Gateway, and SuperRare, where songs, albums, and music videos can be listed.

There is also a growing market for music NFTs. In 2021, primary sales of musical NFTs totaled more than $83 million, according to research organization Water & Music. While it’s unlikely that all of the money went to artists, as platforms charge fees and collaborations split revenue, it’s important given that NFTs have only recently gained popularity – digital assets went mainstream around March 2021 after Mike Winkelmann, or Beeple, sold his $69 million. NFT.

“In Web3, the cap on how much you can value music is kind of removed,” Greenstein said. “It’s not that world of dog-eating dogs. People can play next to each other.

Black Dave, NFT Artist

Black-Dave-music-NFT-artist-Snoop-Dogg-mix-Courtesy of Black Dave and Jordan Tarrant

Look forward

If you ask Europe, MoRuf, Black Dave and Heno, the future of music on Web3 is bright.

For Heno and MoRuf, Snoop’s decision to collaborate with them due to their early Web3 work, pronouncing their names correctly on the mix and Twitter spaces, was huge. They hope this will be a catalyst for more major artists to bridge the gap and enter the space.

“I think it was a really big moment for Web3, music, independence, black artists and this exponentially growing community,” Heno said.

Looking to the future, showcasing and elevating black artists on Web3 is “tremendously important to continuing to move this space forward,” Europe said.

Over time, Black Dave thinks we’ll see more and more of a push towards a “digital lifestyle”.

“Being in the mainstream music industry, I spent a lot of time and energy working on things with other people that didn’t serve or appreciate me the way I know I’m worth today. “, Heno said. “This [Web3] space means a lot to me…and I’m really excited to see where it all continues to go.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com