3 Predictions for the Grammys in 2043: Web3 Edition 🎼
Happy Tuesday everyone! If you’re living under a rock, The Queen, Beyoncé, not only announced a World Tour last week (we’re with y’all on the waitlist), but her album, 'RENAISSANCE', won the Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album, putting her Grammy total at 32, the most of all time. Viola Davis also secured EGOT* status following her memoir, Finding Me, winning the best audiobook, narration and storytelling recording.
*For those who don’t know, EGOT means winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, AND Tony
Watching the Grammys (or seeing everyone repost them on their IG stories) had us thinking about how blockchain technology could play a role in the future of the award show. Imagine if NFTs were a big deal when Beyoncé or Viola were on the come up, and you happened to own one of theirs? You’d be RICH today! Well, fortunately we live in a world where that’s actually becoming possible, and we’re just scratching the surface. Here are our predictions for what we might see at the Grammys in the next 20 years… to 2043!
Traditional Record Labels
After the success of Chance the Rapper’s mixtape, Acid Rap, people assumed he would do what most artists on the come up do - sign to a record label. But instead, he went independent, putting out his music on his own and having a good amount of success doing it too (except that last album but that’s our opinion… *sips tea*). Many other artists followed his lead, and with NFTs changing the music industry the obvious question becomes: are the days numbered for traditional record labels?
In 2021, NFT sales were north of $86M and trading hit a high of $17B. While the market may have cooled down a little bit since, it showed the potential and attraction of NFTs. This has caught the eyes of many artists who have used NFTs as a new method to syndicate, sell, and build community around their music. Here are some examples:
Kings of Leon was the first band to an album as an NFT
Electronic Dance Music DJ and producer, 3LAU, sold $18M worth of NFTs
Deadmau5 accumulated $2.7M in NFT sales while ALSO raising a seed round for his Web3 music metaverse platform, Pixelynx
Rapper, Snoop Dogg, plans to make his record label, Death Row Records, the first NFT major music label
What are the advantages of releasing music as an NFT?
Whether it’s independently releasing music through NFTs or even signing to an NFT record label, there’s actually a lot of benefits to do pushing out music as NFTs:
Equitable compensation: did you know Spotify’s top 0.8% of artists earned less than $50K in streaming revenue? Yeah… not cool. With music NFTs, most, if not all, earnings go to an artist
Collaboration and Remix: NFTs are a digital canvas for artists. We may see collaborations from designers and artists, or crazy remixes to songs that we never thought of. In addition, when we bake in royalty-collection mechanisms, earnings for artist collaborating everywhere can get even more lucrative
Scarcity: when a song is released digitally for streaming, there’s not really a cap on how many people can access it or how many times they can play it. But with music NFTs, you can limit the number in circulation, creating an element of scarcity. And people love the thrill of getting access to exclusive, rare content
Can NFTs be the new record labels? Imagine a world where the artists release music directly to their fanbase, no middleman involved, and all the proceeds go directly back to them. If this is confusing to you, think of the shift from cassettes to CDs to downloading to streaming. These were all steps that we had to get used to for music. And NFTs are just that. This matters a lot, especially for Indie artists. NFTs mean that an artist no longer needs to have virality or tons and tons of plays to be successful. Even if 100 or 1000 die hard fans buy an artist’s NFT, it can have a huge impact on their earnings and future.
Prediction 2: The voting process will be in the hands of the people
It’s no secret that some of music’s biggest stars, such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, and more have some serious issues with music’s biggest night. Whether this criticism is warranted or not, over the past few years the “How did THEY win a Grammy over [insert your favorite artist]?” tweets have taken over our social media timelines.
Remember the days of American Idol when you had the chance to call in and vote for your favorite contestant each week? Imagine if, instead of a small group of Recording Academy members voting for who wins each award, the awards are selected by members of a DAO (read our Decentralized Autonomous Organization 101 article here). You could join the DAO, based on whatever criteria is set, and would be given rights to vote based on your engagement within the DAO. The current process operates in a similar fashion where members apply to the Recording Academy and most of the awards are selected by a peer vote, however with any centralized body you run the risk of someone with power in the organization overriding the decision of the voters to push their own agenda (it does happen!). The DAO would ensure that the integrity of the voting process is upheld through a set of smart contracts or rules that must be followed for the DAO to operate properly.
Prediction 3: Part of the Grammys will be hosted in the metaverse?!
Believe it or not, the Recording Academy has already begun to dabble with the metaverse! Last March, they hosted their first official GRAMMY Week on Roblox. Roblox is “a global platform where millions of people gather every day to imagine, create and share experiences with each other in immersive, user-generated 3D worlds.” In partnership with Mastercard, the activations featured:
Artist avatar meet & greets
Performance by two-time GRAMMY nominee, five-time Latin GRAMMY winner, and Latin recording artist Camilo
Leveraging the metaverse enables people from across the world to have immersive musical experiences, as if they were in LA for the actual event. We can’t wait for the 2043 Grammys when the new R&B girlies are doing a tribute to Beyoncé, and we can watch it from home with a group of friends but it still feels like we’re actually in the venue. Technology is really the GOAT. We can’t wait to see how this improves musical experiences beyond the Grammys too.
While all of these predictions may seem a little far fetched now, the Recording Academy is making moves to watch in Web3!
Last March, aside from the Grammy Week on Roblox, Binance (a popular cryptocurrency exchange… like FTX, but not lol), was announced as the official exchange partner for the Grammys in a first-of-its-kind partnership. If this is any indication as to where music’s biggest stage is headed, then it’s safe to say that Web3 has a strong use case here. As two music lovers, we’re excited to see what else is in store over the next few years!
Thanks for reading!
- Chad & Kendall