What are music NFTs?
Music NFT 101
A music NFT is a unique, digital certificate of ownership that uses blockchain technology to verify and secure ownership of a piece of music or music-related content. Music NFTs minted on the blockchain often have an audio and a visual component, and some grant access to a larger online community.
What is an NFT?
An NFT (non-fungible token) is a unique digital item stored on a blockchain. NFTs can represent almost anything — from a concert ticket to an exclusive music video — and serve as a digital record of ownership.
What defines a music NFT?
A music NFT is any NFT that represents ownership of music or an experience tied to music, like a live concert event or a virtual fan meet-and-greet. Music NFTs are created by minting a unique token on a blockchain, which can then be collected by music fans.
Music NFTs can be created by new artists and musicians with large fanbases alike. These NFTs can include anything from a recording to a composition to ticketing for a music experience. The content of each music NFT varies based on the creator and the work they decide to create.
What are the advantages of using blockchains for music NFTs?
Authenticity and provenance
By using a blockchain to track the ownership and movement of a music NFT, it’s possible to establish a clear and verifiable record of the authenticity and provenance of the music. This can provide added transparency as the NFT moves from owner to owner, particularly in an industry where scalpers and fake tickets are common.
Ownership and control
Each NFT has verifiable ownership so owners are able to transfer ownership whenever they’d like.
By using a blockchain to represent and track the ownership of music NFTs and allowing individuals to sell the NFTs, it is possible to create a secondary market for music.
Music NFTs can serve as keys to online communities that connect members of the same fandom for live concert events, activations, or additional benefits. The blockchain’s public nature and clear and transparent record of ownership and sales history can improve artists' experience. New artists may gain popularity through a successful NFT drop, while more seasoned artists may strengthen the bonds with existing fans by choosing a more innovative path for releasing music or experiences.
Where are music NFTs stored?
Blockchains store NFTs. You can use an NFT-compatible crypto wallet to access your NFTs, and you can view them on OpenSea once you’ve connected your wallet. OpenSea is compatible with multiple wallets. An easy way to remember the role a crypto wallet plays is to think of it as your unique address on the blockchain — it allows you to send, receive, and store items.
What are the most popular types of music NFTs?
Any artist can create a single song or audio file as an NFT. For example, omgkirby partnered with Channel Tres to create a collection of 5550 unique songs, each with its own BPM and key. Each song comes with vocals and production by Channel Tres.
Music and visuals
Projects like The Orbs by BT tie a visual component in with the musical component. The Orbs is a collection of “3,333 live animated, three-dimensional objects, terrains, skies and stars with audio reactive animation, camera movement, lighting and surface textures.”
Music and community
In March 2021, Electronic music duo Disclosure decided to sell the imagery that covered their popular 2012 EP, The Face. In response, the group’s fans, many of whom were already interested in the NFT space, bought the image and with it, some gained a lifetime of access to Disclosure concerts.
Groundbreaking music NFT projects
Snoop Dogg, one of the more prominent celebrity musicians involved in NFTs, has three collections in OpenSea’s Top 50 NFT collections: Snoop Dogg on Sound XYZ, Ape Drops 01: Snoop Dogg Ape Tracks, and Snoop Dogg B.O.D.R.. Shortly after he acquired Death Row Records, he launched a collection of songs as an NFT mixtape on OpenSea, called "Dogg on it: Death Row Mixtape Vol. 1." The mixtape was released on the Polygon blockchain.
Beyond a single artist and fanbase, music NFTs are being used by events like the GRAMMYs and Coachella. The GRAMMYs announced their first NFT collection during the 2022 awards. Coachella stepped into the NFT world by offering lifetime passes to those who purchased their NFTs.
How can I explore and buy music NFTs?
You can find music NFTs on OpenSea’s Collectibles NFT section.
In order to buy an NFT, you'll need a crypto wallet and cryptocurrency (or, in some cases, just a credit or debit card). Using OpenSea, you can instantly buy items listed for sale, bid in auctions, or make offers on NFTs.
NFTs live on a blockchain: a digitally distributed ledger that records transactions and information across a decentralized network. It’s a public record verified by its community of users (read: people’s computers) rather than a central entity like a bank.
Blockchain technology can be used with any digital creation, and this is where the NFT comes in. An NFT is a digital token of ownership that’s tied to a specific digital creation. An image, video, a music track, software–anything digital–now can have a secure, trusted, and transparent record of ownership. This gives digital items the same “provable scarcity” as a piece of fine art with impeccable authenticity and provenance. But unlike a piece of fine art, an NFT’s credentials are public and immutable.
NFTs use smart contracts, which are automated computer programs that enforce their own coded rules. Smart contracts use a coded, automated system that executes a rule once a set of criteria is met. Buying and selling NFTs using OpenSea is powered by a smart contract protocol, Seaport.
Smart contracts, and the blockchain at large, allow users to track and validate NFT ownership.
Web3 technology is still new and constantly evolving, so while no single action guarantees protection, there are best practices that can help. Never share your wallet’s seed phrase, be careful when taking actions using your wallet, and make sure to thoroughly evaluate NFTs before buying. The best rule of thumb is that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
OpenSea also has an icon visible via a blue checkmark badge on a collection or account. A blue checkmark badge on an account means that account has been verified for authenticity by OpenSea. A blue checkmark badge on a collection means the collection belongs to a verified account and has significant interest or sales. (OpenSea does not endorse verified accounts or badged collections, and OpenSea makes no representations regarding the NFTs in a verified account or badged collection.)
In web3, the term “gas fee” refers to the payment needed to execute transactions on the blockchain. Gas fees increase when more people use applications that run on top of a blockchain’s network, therefore competing for space within the block. Think of it like Uber’s surge pricing model that increases the cost of booking a ride during the busiest commuting times. OpenSea also doesn’t control gas fees, set gas fees, or receive any of the gas fees incurred by users on the platform. Instead, they all go to network validators or miners.
When you start the NFT purchase process using OpenSea, you’ll see the gas fee broken down by your wallet provider, so you can watch the fee refresh and complete the transaction when it’s low.