The music trade is evolving. Musicians and report labels have begun experimenting with NFTs to assist them interact with their fanbase in methods they by no means may earlier than, in hopes of seizing on the constructive prospects of blockchain tech, separating the sign from the noise.
And for the final yr and a half, Atlantic Data has been doing simply that. Because it partnered with rapper Rico Nasty to launch a 1-of-1 animated NFT in honor of the artist’s music video for “OHFR” in March 2021, the storied report label has been slowly and steadily working with the artists on its roster to teach them on what prospects Web3 has to supply. The slow-burn technique may find yourself paying main dividends for the label whereas empowering its artists and organically onboarding thousands and thousands of followers to Web3 within the course of.
Atlantic Data’ Web3 technique
Non-Web3-native corporations are sometimes cautious of blockchain-based tech, however, as manufacturers like Nike, Gucci, and Lamborghini have confirmed, shifting into the world of crypto and NFTs can work out moderately nicely for legacy manufacturers. Other than growing methods that attraction to Web3-natives, corporations want to make sure they’re not alienating or scaring off their shopper base by enjoying too quick and free with a know-how that’s nonetheless poorly understood and broadly maligned.
The crew at Atlantic understands this nicely. That’s why they’ve been centered largely on crafting Web3 engagements for the artists on their roster involving free mints — NFTs that value nothing to the followers. In August, for instance, the corporate helped indie artist Arden Jones ship a free NFT to followers that pre-saved his month-to-month Age Tape mission. Earlier that summer season, in addition they launched Jones to the Dented Feels NFT collection and group, all of which helped develop his presence within the Web3 area whereas familiarizing his fanbase with the identical. However Atlantic is aware of it might’t throw its artists into the deep finish with NFTs — that need has to return from them.
“We don’t persuade artists to get into the area. It’s acquired to be their curiosity,” defined Jordan Chalmers, Senior Director of Customized Activations and Rising Know-how at Atlantic Data, whereas chatting with nft now. “It’s acquired to be their ardour. They’ve acquired to be curious [about the technology]. After which, it’s our job to teach and empower them and put them ready to step into the area as a human being — not as this massive movie star who’s making an attempt to monetize their IP. We present them the enjoying discipline and allow them to take the primary steps.”
Some artists are extra keen than others. For instance, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Sueco grew to become Warner Music Group’s first artist to be featured in The Sandbox earlier this yr. A part of the success of that partnership got here from the artist’s pre-existing enthusiasm for the Web3 area. That pleasure, Chalmers defined, carried over to his fanbase.
Singer-songwriter Foauzia is one other instance of somebody who was already an NFT fanatic when Atlantic started to assist them organically develop their Web3 presence. Already an proprietor of a Boss Beauties NFT, Faouzia and the Atlantic crew started brainstorming methods for the pop star to get extra concerned locally with out having to do a drop. They finally acquired the artist’s music “Puppet” licensed for use in Boss Beauties’ announcement trailer for his or her Supper BB assortment. Since then, the artist has change into an energetic group member, becoming a member of the mission’s Twitter areas and interesting in its women-led mentorship program.
Navigating the bear market
The crew at Atlantic has discovered that the deepening crypto winter has positively impacted the frequency and sort of conversations they’re having with their artists. The final six to 9 months have “supercharged” the sorts of questions the crew is getting in regards to the crypto local weather, what’s inflicting its fluctuations, and the way it may influence their ambitions within the area. These are essential studying alternatives that, whatever the broader financial context through which they’re enjoying out, additional serve to familiarize them with Web3.
IRL POAP activations
One of many extra pure Web3 suits for musicians is the POAP protocol, which allows customers to create digital badges or collectibles via the usage of blockchain know-how. POAP engagements geared toward followers attending a live performance, for instance, can considerably incentivize followers’ Web3 interactions whereas organically educating them about token-gated actions and advantages. The Atlantic crew has experimented on a number of events with POAPS, like once they did an activation for followers who confirmed as much as singer and producer Oliver Tree’s pop-up occasion celebrating the launch of his album Cowboy Tears earlier this yr. Likewise, the label helped plan the looks of a large QR code on stage throughout rapper Kevin Gates’ Purple Rocks April efficiency, permitting followers to mint an NFT by merely pulling out their telephones.
“We’re eager about methods to retarget these followers and provide them some worth,” stated Joseph Khoury, VP of A&R and Advertising at Atlantic Data, in an interview with nft now. “[We want to] give them a possibility to actually perceive and expertise first-hand of how token-gating works and the way cool the chance is to be one in every of 75 folks to say [something like] a bodily or digital wearable. We’re at all times eager about attention-grabbing methods to get as many individuals to mint their first digital collectible. And we’ve seen a rising variety of folks doing that, which is actually thrilling to us as we attempt to develop out our technique.”
Atlantic Data’ Web3 plans
Atlantic is presently in talks with some well-known entities within the NFT and digital securities area alongside “some main gaming platforms” for potential partnerships to coincide with the label’s upcoming seventy fifth anniversary subsequent yr. Khoury and Chalmers are additionally centered on slowly increase the corporate’s Web3 basis and displaying the music group how NFTs can work to their benefit if they need them to. Khoury and Chalmers additionally sang the praises of Warner Music Group’s enterprise growth crew for placing Web3 partnerships that enable them the liberty to interact with artists on their roster creatively. When requested what recommendation the 2 would give to non-Web3-native musicians who’re cautious of the volatility of the area, the pair responded by emphasizing optimism and training.
“I might give attention to the nice,” Khoury underlined. “Concentrate on the nice work that loads of actually wonderful creators are doing within the area. It’s very simple to get sucked into the headlines and the negativity. It’s simple. However actually look and uncover the wonderful tales which are occurring from each visible artists and musicians which are navigating and utilizing these instruments to their profit.”
Likewise, Chalmers confused that musicians seeking to get into the Web3 area ought to do it in a approach that feels pure to them.
“To start with, it’s not proper for everybody,” Chalmers emphasised. “However in case you are curious as a musician, go and have a look at [an NFT] assortment and decide one which speaks to you. It’s no totally different from why we put on the shirts we put on, and why we store on the shops we store at — it’s as a result of it resonates. My recommendation to them can be to maintain it genuine. Don’t simply do it to do it. There’s acquired to be a purpose.”
Such attitudes are refreshing, particularly set in opposition to a backdrop of NFT releases from main leisure entities that always really feel like shallow money grabs. And given the music trade’s unlucky historical past of mistreating and benefiting from the artists that energy it, Web3 is poised to convey an injection of fairness and invigoration to the sector that sorely wants it. In the event that they keep on track, Atlantic Data may very nicely find yourself main that cost.