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Thread: NFTs and Music

  1. #1

    NFTs and Music

    I profess I completely do not understand how NFTs work, nor why some musician named 3lau has made 11 million dollars in one month selling them. I do not understand bitcoin mining, nor why anyone would do so. With Kings of Leon moving to selling via NFT, what is the appeal? What do you own here? Can some one help make sense of this to me? No matter how much I read on this, I am not understanding it.
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  2. #2
    (aka timmybass69) timmy's Avatar
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    @Dana5140 If we are discussing this as it pertains to albums, EPs, or singles, as digital, not physical works, then think of NFTs like VIN numbers for these recorded works. Similar to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, everyone has a copy of the ledger with items "keyed" to the purchaser. It might end music piracy. It will probably increase direct revenues to artists if they can produce their own recordings!

    Similar to cryptocurrencies, I prefer to own something physical. That gives you, the owner, complete control which is really the important keyword to remember in all of these discussions.

    EDIT: However, I do think NFTs will be beneficial to artists. In that respect, I 100% support artists getting to make all of the money for themselves while protecting their works from piracy. Another really cool benefit is that it is NOT tied to any specific service or platform like Apple, Amazon, etc.
    Last edited by timmy; 03-13-2021 at 01:24 PM.
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  3. #3
    Timmy- how would Kings of Leon then sell, say thousands of copies of their music?
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    Timmy- how would Kings of Leon then sell, say thousands of copies of their music?
    Hi Dana...every time it gets flipped (like a real estate property), the original creator gets a piece of the sale. So lets say I buy the Kings of Leon NFT, and then in another few years the Kings of Leon get massively popular. I can then sell that NFT on the one of several NFT auction sites for an insane amount of money (dont get me started) and the KoL would also get a percentage of that.

    So everytime these NFT's get sold to the next buyer, the original creator gets a percentage. It's a great way for artists (not just musicians) to monetize themselves.

    I'll post further on this

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  5. #5
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    I've been aware of and started to educate myself on NFT's (non fungible tokens) for about 2 months now. The minute I heard them mentioned on CNBC, which was about 2 weeks ago, I knew the mania would blow up and probably reach bubble-like proportions.

    Thanks Dana, for bringing it up, although it may belong on the off topic board, at least right now. I'm actually a proponent of them. No, I'm not a true believer like that Crypto group that wants nothing less than to create anarchy among the old school financial and govt. sectors and see's the distributed ledger (aka blockchain) as the means to that end. What I do believe is, their intentions are good and righteous but, unfortunately...as long as there is a government in place and the power of Wall Street still in force, the Crypto dream that they have will not happen (any time soon).

    On the other hand, blockchain tech is something really interesting to me, and I really believe it has legs that will happen in my lifetime. So, is the "killer app" for blockchain these NFT's? They way it's being reported in the media which is now bleeding over to widows and orphans (and cab drivers, and your mother, and your mothers dog too) and has even reached PE (gasp)...well, you would think it is.

    I'm not so sure. The "Greater Fool Theory" is in full force here. To illustrate, Dana, lets say you are building a blog and you are really really excited about it, and feel that you really have something to say and think to yourself...you know...how can I make money on this? You obviously have a talent and you have really great ideas and yes...you should benefit from that. So...you decide to monetize yourself and create a non fungible token that represents ownership of...your blog. It's really no different than an artist selling a piece of digital art. There is no physical product, it's not tangible or corporeal.

    So I buy this NFT cuz I believe in you Dana!! It gets auctioned off and I'm the winning bidder at $1,000,000 dollahs. In the meantime, people catch wind of this and check out your blog and you become like the second coming. One week later, due to your massive popularity and influencer status on social media, I turn around and sell your NFT for $5,000,000 to some "greater fool" that was willing to pay that. And so on, and so on, and so on. Will the pyramid collapse...maybe, who knows. That will depend on Dana. But I'll tell you one thing...I dont want to be that last greater fool holding the bag on your NFT. (No offense Dana).

    Anyway, I agree with Timmy, it really is a great way for musicians to monetize themselves and stay in complete control with no suits involved. So, if it works...I'm more than ok with it. This is the creator economy after all.

    best
    Michael
    Last edited by neuroticdog; 03-13-2021 at 03:09 PM.
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  6. #6
    Let me get this straight, you buy nothing for something, hoping you'll be able to sell that same nothing to somebody else for more?
    What am I missing here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yehuda Kotton View Post
    Let me get this straight, you buy nothing for something, hoping you'll be able to sell that same nothing to somebody else for more?
    What am I missing here?
    yeah...well...kinda.

    Your ownership of (whatever) is on the blockchain so, if you bought Jack Dorsey's first tweet...you have proof of ownership, no matter how ephemeral it is. It can pass through thousands of hands and everytime it does...you get a piece of that sale.

    As nutz as that sounds, think of all the kids playing Roblox or Fortnight who value certain skin's and equipment that their avatar has. They put a maniacal value on that shit. It's not anything physical...but this generation elevates this stuff to massive proportions. It's happening btw...this is a long read but if interested, by all means dive in.

    https://www.masterthemeta.com/busine.../into-the-void

    Welcome to the metaverse (lol)

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    Your ownership of (whatever) is on the blockchain
    best
    Michael
    OK, now I get it, so if I put something on the blockchain it accrues value...because!

  9. #9
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Yehuda...If I came across as an expert on this, i'm sorry...i'm not.

    I would be happy to discuss it with you though through email and try and impart whatever knowledge I have on the subject.

    Feel free to PM me with your email address.

    Is this really a discussion for a Prog rock board?

    best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  11. #11
    Mods can move this if they want, but I am flummoxed by how this works, and I have tried reading up on it. The more I read the more confused I got. And when I got to bitcoin and block chain, utterly lost- all I gather is that you need tons of computing powert, and it eats energy and people make money by really doing not much of anything that I can see, and some people get really rich.

    If creators get to make money, that's great. It solves problems. But I am not buying something that is not fungible, if possible. You buy a digitial book on amazon, and if they later dump it, you lose what you bought.
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    A Guardian article, though it's full of technobabble.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...ulation-bubble

    I don't get it. I guess a physical copy of something isn't good enough for people anymore. It feels like a lot of problems would have been avoided if they were. Oh well.

  13. #13
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    The underlying tech of the blockchain is the important piece. Oversimplified example—if the “DNA” of a master recording: all of the songwriters, producers, performers etc...EVERYONE who is part of the creation process and has skin in the game regarding monetization (to which they are entitled) or overrides on usage (if they have a controlling or voting right to determine where/when/how the song can be used, or if so at what rate) is part of the “rules” written into the blockchain, you’d hypothetically have the building block for an accurate audit trail so that however that song travels through the digital atmosphere it’s usage can be tracked and those involved appropriately compensated. Or gated before usage for an agreed-upon approval process, or blocked entirely if certain criteria aren’t met. But otherwise, if it’s downloaded, streamed, pressed onto physical media X number of times, used in conjunction with a commercial on YouTube, played on satellite radio...provided everything were properly connected by a blockchain aware (or powered) infrastructure, you’d pretty much eliminate unsanctioned use (rightsholders could build their do and don’ts into the initial blockchain) and ensure that all usages paid properly down the line based on the splits that (again) were written into the blockchain. And because the blockchain is essentially a giant public leger, not much room to f*ck with the numbers, or intentionally obfuscate the accounting. Again, big oversimplification here, and the notion of a celestial repository of content with a database like this powering it has been in the ether for twenty years or more. But try getting every country connected to the Internet to agree on this and lemme know how that goes.
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    Grimjack...that's a great description of the benefits of blockchain technology...there are so many uses for it it's mind boggling and music distribution and licensing is one of them. I'm not even close to understanding the nuances but that was a very educational post you put up...so thanks for that. Unfortunately the backbone hasn't been built out yet to allow for scaling as it's still really slow and expensive to execute contracts and transactions, at least in the case of the bitcoin and etherium networks. And then, of course is the problem of ye olde guard even allowing it, or coming up with their own version of it making it centralized and defeating its purpose in doing so (thanks Zuck). God forbid invading that ivory tower! (Private blockchains are a different story)

    I do believe etherium is making changes though to essentially get rid of mining by making the process verifiable by using proof of concept instead of the old way...proof of work. (Not at all familiar with proof of concept and barely understand proof of work btw) Anyway, it's a much "greener" solution since the act of mining is extremely energy inefficient. Again, my understanding of this is minimal and I feel like a monkey with a machine gun trying to talk about it.

    Dana is trying to get his head around NFT's though. All they are is another form of tokenization. Just like bitcoin tokenizes currency (and isn't those bills you have in your wallet a token too? They are worth something because our culture says they are worth something but aren't they just pieces of paper?), NFT's tokenizes art, or music, or IP. This could lead to something called the creator economy, so basically the quiet kid who is shy around people but has talents as a writer, or a guitar player, or an artist can seize the day so to speak and earn a living off his talents that he would otherwise not be able to do in today's world and getting rid of any and all middle men.

    There is a huge difference between the way Gen Z sees things and the way I (a baby boomer) sees things so yeah, it's a real stretch to try and understand this and I'm really struggling with it too, but I find it interesting and believe there is a "chance" that some use case will appear that will allow this thing to take off. The desire for physical objects, in a Gen Z's eyes are less than having that latest badge, or weapon, or garment to dress their digital representation in at the next Fortnite concert. The gaming industry is insanely massive and the chances to monetize off of that fact is huge to say the least. Is NFT"s the way to do it...no idea but bares watching.

    This is rambling, and I'm waiting for the mods to move the thread hahah

    best
    Michael
    Last edited by neuroticdog; 03-13-2021 at 10:33 PM.
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  15. #15
    The Guardian article has an interesting conclusion: "That is not a given, though: blockchain is notoriously energy intensive, and so, at the moment, NFT risks being an environmentally damaging way to pay tens of thousands (or millions) of dollars for a gif that is different from all the other copies of that same gif solely because of the certificate you paid for. If that sounds like a good transaction to you, then please do get in touch – I have a digital bridge to sell you."

    I can say this for now- I would not purchase music via this process. I would only do it if it were the only way to do it and if I wanted the music enough. But music is a commodity, and I cannot think of anything that has that much meaning to me, even Magma. My suspicion is that even if released as an NFT, that music will make its way elsewhere somehow.
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  16. #16
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    There are some challenges in trying to explain NFTs to the public because, even beyond misinformation, there is just too much information in general to absorb. And how that information is written can be very confusing, like using PhD language to explain something to a layman, and "journalists" who try to explain the subject without understanding it themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    I'm waiting for the mods to move the thread hahah
    Ha. This is a very timely and interesting subject for the music industry, so it's very on topic imo.
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  17. #17
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neuroticdog View Post
    Hi Dana...every time it gets flipped (like a real estate property), the original creator gets a piece of the sale. So lets say I buy the Kings of Leon NFT, and then in another few years the Kings of Leon get massively popular. I can then sell that NFT on the one of several NFT auction sites for an insane amount of money (dont get me started) and the KoL would also get a percentage of that.

    So everytime these NFT's get sold to the next buyer, the original creator gets a percentage. It's a great way for artists (not just musicians) to monetize themselves.
    This is well put, however this method didn't apply specifically to Kings of Leon as I understand it. But this is a bit more like the EulerBeats model where royalties making "prints" are part of process:

    https://decrypt.co/59600/eulerbeats-...-in-first-week



    In contrast, as I understand it, KoL only gets money on the initial sale because of the ERC standard used. According to recent news, they made $2 million from this, but the money was donated to the "Crew Nation Fund".

    The NFT you could buy from KoL included a digital download of the album, limited digital artwork, and a physical LP. The vinyl will have your unique code on it and the vinyl run is limited to the number of NFTs sold. So in this case, it's essentially the equivalent of buying a limited edition box set that is redeemed by your unique code. But assuming you don't redeem it, it becomes like buying a toy collectible that is unopened and can be re-sold. Except in this case, even though the vinyl exists, you may trade it without ever having it been in your actual hands.

    And it's important to note for those following that you can still listen to the KoL album on Spotify/iTunes etc. and you also buy the CD, download, etc. So they did not make this exclusively an NFT release.
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  18. #18
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yehuda Kotton View Post
    Let me get this straight, you buy nothing for something, hoping you'll be able to sell that same nothing to somebody else for more?
    What am I missing here?
    Like many things, there are impractical applications and practical ones. The impractical ones are making the news because they sound (and are) absurd. It's not unlike physical art (or other rare collectibles) that sells for millions of dollars. It apparently has that value to someone, but determining that value is largely arbitrary.

    Instead think about the practical applications, where musicians and other creatives could make a living and royalties by more directly selling and licensing their work.
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  19. #19
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana5140 View Post
    The Guardian article has an interesting conclusion: "That is not a given, though: blockchain is notoriously energy intensive, and so, at the moment, NFT risks being an environmentally damaging way to pay tens of thousands (or millions) of dollars for a gif that is different from all the other copies of that same gif solely because of the certificate you paid for. If that sounds like a good transaction to you, then please do get in touch – I have a digital bridge to sell you."

    I can say this for now- I would not purchase music via this process. I would only do it if it were the only way to do it and if I wanted the music enough. But music is a commodity, and I cannot think of anything that has that much meaning to me, even Magma. My suspicion is that even if released as an NFT, that music will make its way elsewhere somehow.
    It is indeed VERY complicated to understand, but in the future I believe it will become commonplace and arranged through sites like Bandcamp where the buyers don't have to have a PhD or do the Texas Two step in order to make a purchase.

    Think of it more like downloading an album from Bandcamp in which your album has a certificate of authenticity, and perhaps even a license attached to it, in the same way that buying a CD gives you physical ownership and an implicit (limited) use license when you own it.

    If you were to make an MP3 copy of that album, it may not stop you, but that MP3 copy would have no value because it can't be authenticated. But it won't stop people from copying. However, it could open up the possibility for a "used digital download" market where you could sell your authenticated digital album to someone else, and in doing so, you get some money back AND the artist and marketplace get a cut as well.
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  20. #20
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    There are thousands of sites devoted to NFT’s. When I first started looking at this I found this one helpful:

    https://justincone.com/posts/nft-skeptics-guide/

    It’s a no nonense explanation of FAQ’s that most people have and it’s written for the total layperson, i.e. me

    Best
    Michael
    If it ain't acousmatique-It's crap

  21. #21
    Do I get to hear the music?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post

    If you were to make an MP3 copy of that album, it may not stop you, but that MP3 copy would have no value because it can't be authenticated. But it won't stop people from copying. However, it could open up the possibility for a "used digital download" market where you could sell your authenticated digital album to someone else, and in doing so, you get some money back AND the artist and marketplace get a cut as well.
    For me, this is the practical value when its finally "organized".

    I hate that my son buys his games digitally and essentially cannot trade them on for cash. But his purchase, its instant gratification versus going to the store. A certain amount of laziness in some respects. Coz when he gets physical ganes, then trades them in later - the cash in hand feels good to him and usually turns into another physical game.

    In the NFT space, all parties theoretically benefit.


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  23. #23
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiberman View Post
    Do I get to hear the music?
    Maybe, what's it worth to you.
    Clever in a Damian Hirst sort of way.
    The energy waste associated with the whole process is not worth the marginal utility.
    It fits the 'bubble mentality' ( or musical chairs, if that suits ), of the art market.
    However, it's one thing to have the entirety of a physical object and quite another to have what is essentially a screen grab that could exist as a few pixels or frames different without anyone knowing the difference ( except for the blockchain hash ).
    Personally I would rather have all of the atoms contained in a object than an ephemeral hash number.
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  24. #24
    No I was not trying to be smart, I wanted to know IF I bought in how would I actually get my music?

  25. #25
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Blockchained product cannot be viewed, listened to, copied, spent, or transferred by anyone but its owner. A typical gift card can be given to someone else, but spent out from under them before they have a chance to use it. When blockchained product is transferred to someone else, it's only accessible by that someone else. The former owner who transferred it to the new owner loses all access to it.
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