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  • Writer's pictureKate Brunotts

A Musician’s Guide to NFTs: What You Need To Know

Are you ready to profit directly from your music? NFTs hold a promising future for musicians and artists alike, but what exactly does that look like? Below, we’ll detail everything you need to know to start monetizing your music in this new age of the internet. Let’s jump right in!

What Is A NFT?

To start, let’s break down the basics: An NFT or non-fungible token is an asset that exists on a blockchain, or digital ledger that exists across a network. These assets are distinguished by a unique identification code and data.

NFTs can be bought and sold for varying amounts of value based on market conditions. Therefore, a digital art piece can be sold in the same way a physical art piece would be, just in the digital realm.

Just about anyone can create or “mint” an NFT for any particular creation. This puts the power in the hands of creators to distribute art on their own terms for direct profitability. NFTs also hold resell value -- so someone purchasing an NFT can resell it for potentially more in the future. With this aspect alone, fans can directly contribute to an artist’s success as an admirer and also an investor.

​​What Can A NFT Be?

So, what are the limitations of NFTs? There aren’t many: essentially, a NFT can be any digital good that’s uniquely created by you and holds value. This can be music, cover art, or any content that you create to promote your creations. The possibilities are endless! As long as you can prove the digital art was created by you, it can be minted and sold as an NFT.

What Problems Do NFTs Solve For Musicians?

In short, here is why musicians should consider creating their own NFTs:

1. No Label Needed

The biggest benefit of NFTs comes with the decentralization. Instead of relying on major label payouts or the fraction of pennies generated from popular streaming sites, NFTs allow artists to connect directly with their listeners.

2. You Can Still Collect Royalties

One of the most intriguing aspects of NFTs is that some have a feature in which you can collect royalties everytime the NFT is resold. That way, if your work grows to new heights in the future, you’ll still be able to make a marginal profits.

3. You Can Meet The Specific Needs of Your Audience Virtually

You’re also able to connect directly with your fans with more personalized creations: Think special remix editions, specialized sample backs, cover art options that didn’t make the cut, and demo versions of a particular song. Essentially, every part of the creative process can now become monetizable if you have an interested audience.

What Does Setting Up A Music NFT look like?

In order to set up an NFT for any piece of art or music, you’ll need to follow a couple of essential steps:

Set up a crypto wallet

You’ll need to start by choosing which blockchain makes the most sense to you and setting up an crypto wallet that’s compatible with that currency. You’ll also need to invest into some of the blockchain’s currency yourself.

Find a suitable NFT marketplace

Next, find a compatible marketplace for your art and create a NFT. Make sure your platform of choice provides you with the flexibility you’re looking for.

Determine the Price of Your NFT

You’ll need to set a price for your NFT, potentially pay for the mint, and consider additional features like lifetime royalties.

Set Your Price or Sell Via Auction

Some platforms offer an auction style market. Others allow you to set your price, or do both! If you go with an auction, make sure your community knows when it goes live.

Market Your NFT To Your Community

You’ll need to market your NFT as you would with any physical good sold to fans. Network with other musicians and remember -- artist NFTs don’t hold much value without a preexisting fanbase.

There are many ways to go about monetizing your music and all that’s involved in creating your art, but these generalized steps will be more or less the same regardless of your situation.

Are NFTs Right For Me?

Before jumping into creating NFTs, you want to make sure that it’s the right decision for your situation. Here are a couple of factors to take into consideration before monetizing your music via blockchain.

Focus On Your Fanbase First

While NFTs will undoubtedly make it easier for artists to monetize their art from patrons and fans, it’s important to note that your minted music only has value if you’ve built up some sort of a fanbase. Remember that traditional marketing techniques still come first, NFTs are simply another outlet for your art that could be more profitable than others depending on the strength of your fanbase.

Collaborate With Brands To Build Exposure

Along with individual artists, there are plenty of large players within and outside the industry that are looking to cash in on the uptick in interest surrounding NFTs. For instance, Distrokid created a program entitled “Sellouts” to empower 10,000 independent artists to sell NFTs. While the waitlist is now full for this particular program, other music platforms are sure to follow suit.

Find Other Musicians Within the NFT Community

Don’t forget that this is a great time to invest in the artists you love, too! Seek out other independent artists and purchase each other’s NFTs. You can also network with other users within NFT communities on Twitter and Discord to help spread the word about your newly minted music.

Stick With Environmentally Friendly Platforms

One of the main criticisms surrounding NFTs is the outrageous amount of energy associated with mining. In order to support the future of NFTs as a creator, it’s important to seek out carbon neutral or negative platforms to host your musical mints.

If one thing is for sure, NFTs as a platform for monetizing art and music is here to stay. Get in on this emerging technology to take control of your earnings and financial future as an artist.


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