The music trade is evolving. Musicians and document labels have begun experimenting with NFTs to assist them interact with their fanbase in methods they by no means might 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 document 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 might find yourself paying main dividends for the label whereas empowering its artists and organically onboarding tens of millions 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, transferring into the world of crypto and NFTs can work out quite properly for legacy manufacturers. Other than growing methods that enchantment to Web3-natives, corporations want to make sure they’re not alienating or scaring off their shopper base by taking part in too quick and unfastened with a know-how that’s nonetheless poorly understood and extensively maligned.
The staff at Atlantic understands this properly. That’s why they’ve been targeted largely on crafting Web3 engagements for the artists on their roster involving free mints — NFTs that price 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 neighborhood, 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 want has to come back from them.
“We don’t convince artists to get into the space. It’s got to be their interest,” defined Jordan Chalmers, Senior Director of Customized Activations and Rising Know-how at Atlantic Data, whereas talking to nft now. “It’s got to be their passion. They’ve got to be curious [about the technology]. And then, it’s our job to educate and empower them and put them in a position to step into the space as a human being — not as this big celebrity who’s trying to monetize their IP. We show them the playing field and let them take the first 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 staff started brainstorming methods for the pop star to get extra concerned in the neighborhood with out having to do a drop. They ultimately received the artist’s tune “Puppet” licensed for use in Boss Beauties’ announcement trailer for his or her Supper BB assortment. Since then, the artist has turn out to be an lively neighborhood member, becoming a member of the mission’s Twitter areas and interesting in its women-led mentorship program.
Navigating the bear market
The staff at Atlantic has discovered that the deepening crypto winter has positively impacted the frequency and kind of conversations they’re having with their artists. The final six to 9 months have “supercharged” the sorts of questions the staff is getting concerning the crypto local weather, what’s inflicting its fluctuations, and the way it might impression their ambitions within the area. These are essential studying alternatives that, whatever the broader financial context during which they’re taking part in 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 by means of using blockchain know-how. POAP engagements aimed 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 staff has experimented on several occasions with POAPS, like after 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 an enormous QR code on stage throughout rapper Kevin Gates’ Pink Rocks April efficiency, permitting followers to mint an NFT by merely pulling out their telephones.
“We’re thinking about ways to retarget those fans and offer them some value,” stated Joseph Khoury, VP of A&R and Advertising at Atlantic Data, in an interview with nft now. “[We want to] give them an opportunity to really understand and experience first-hand of how token-gating works and how cool the opportunity is to be one of 75 people to claim [something like] a physical or digital wearable. We’re always thinking about interesting ways to get as many people to mint their first digital collectible. And we’ve seen a growing number of people doing that, which is really exciting to us as we try to grow out our strategy.”
Atlantic Data’ Web3 plans
Atlantic is at present in talks with some well-known entities within the NFT and digital securities area alongside “some major gaming platforms” for potential partnerships to coincide with the label’s upcoming seventy fifth anniversary subsequent yr. Khoury and Chalmers are additionally targeted on slowly build up the corporate’s Web3 basis and displaying the music neighborhood 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 improvement staff for hanging Web3 partnerships that permit 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 would focus on the good,” Khoury underlined. “Focus on the great work that a lot of really amazing creators are doing in the space. It’s very easy to get sucked into the headlines and the negativity. It’s easy. But really look and uncover the amazing stories that are happening from both visual artists and musicians that are navigating and using these tools to their benefit.”
Likewise, Chalmers harassed that musicians trying to get into the Web3 area ought to do it in a manner that feels pure to them.
“First of all, it’s not right for everyone,” Chalmers emphasised. “But if you are curious as a musician, go and look at [an NFT] collection and pick one that speaks to you. It’s no different from why we wear the shirts we wear, and why we shop at the stores we shop at — it’s because it resonates. My advice to them would be to keep it authentic. Don’t just do it to do it. There’s got to be a reason.”
Such attitudes are refreshing, particularly set towards 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 heading in the right direction, Atlantic Data might very properly find yourself main that cost.
Please Make sure that to affix our Discord Server