Web3 Advice to a Musician

Brian Zwerner
5 min readOct 25, 2022

I had a really fun conversation with a music artist that was curious about web3. I shared with him my prior post “Music Goes Web3”, but he was ready to climb deeper down the rabbit hole. We covered a wide range of topics that would apply to any type of creator or celebrity interested in these new fan engagement tools. I figured I could expand this to a post that you’d enjoy, so here goes.

Once we got past the basic “what the heck is web3” stuff, the convo got deep fast. We started with NFTs and their various use cases. I think that collectible NFTs are an easy one for most people to understand. For the musician, the analogy of a vinyl record or concert T-shirt is an easy one. A collectible NFT is just the digital version of this. This works just as well for a content creator, athlete, actor, or really anyone with a fan base. You can create an NFT collection and have your fans purchase it to show off their fandom. In a simple collectible NFT, they would simply own the thing to enjoy it and maybe it would appreciate in value.

If you want to take a collectible NFT a step farther, the creator can add utility of some type. Basically, you can use the NFT as an access pass to some type of fan club. Maybe you give the holder access to a private Discord server, where you communicate with just those holders via text, audio, or video. You can also consider giving them priority to buy products or content you create. You could allow the holders priority access to your concerts or in-person meetups or even one-on-one Zooms or phone calls. There is no limit to what an NFT can unlock. I previously wrote this article to dig deeper on the topic of NFT utility categories.

Beyond collectible and utility NFTs, very interesting things are happening with the creation of content using web3 tools. Some music artists are turning to their fans to buy songs instead of working with the record labels. The concept is you pre-sell your music to your fans and use the money to pay for the cost of production. One way to do this is to restrict the listening of the songs to only holders of the NFTs. This can be done on platforms like Sound.xyz. Another way to do this is by publishing the music to the streaming services (Apple, Spotify, etc) and letting the holders of the NFTs share in the royalties from those platforms. This can be accomplished on Royal or Decent.

Similar things are happening with video content. On Glass you can upload a video just like on YouTube, but with Glass you can sell it to your fans. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher sold NFTs to pay for an animated TV show that you could only watch if you held the NFT. All of these examples get to the concept of having your fans participate in the creation process, which I think will be an important trend over the next few years.

Another topic I covered on the call with my new musician friend was fan tokens. I wrote about this earlier this year mostly in the context of sports team or player tokens. There are some interesting things happening where athletes or content creators issue a token for their fans. People that believe you’ll grow in popularity can buy the token and potentially see price appreciation. Often the famous person issuing the token will try to attach some type of utility to it to drive interest. These haven’t really caught on yet, so I advised caution here. However, this is a trend worth watching.

After an hour, my new friend wasn’t running away screaming from the plethora of options. He seemed to be still excited about the space, which was awesome. I then hit him with some advice from Adam Levy, host of the Mint podcast. Adam tells people to first give before taking with these new tools. Adam lives this by first allowing his fans to mint free episode NFTs from his show. Once he proved to himself that his audience was pumped about these free offerings, he was able to transition to selling them NFTs. The Chainsmokers did this too with some music royalty NFTs. They just gave the first ones away for free. It’s a great way to see if your fans care about this type of product and test the waters. If it doesn’t work out, no one is hurt. I really like this approach. You can learn a lot this way.

My last bit of advice was for this musician to reach out to a few of the bigger platforms in the space. I am confident that the good people at Royal, Decent, Sound, etc are all happy to chat with a legit creator in their space. The same is true of the video platforms or athlete ones. If you are considering getting in the space, go to the websites of these companies and I’m sure you can find a Contact Us form. Or look up their founders on Twitter, most will have open DMs. These companies are looking for more creators to come onto their platforms, they are highly likely to want to talk.

Additionally, try out some of their products. Set up a digital wallet or platform login and buy something cheap. See how you like the process as a customer/fan. You’ll learn a ton. Join a few Discord servers. Don’t know what Discord is? Check out this article for more. Basically, get involved and learn. You might not get rich, but you’ll probably have a fun time.

If you’re a musician, content creator, athlete, or celeb and are interested in web3, hit me up. I’m happy to talk to you.

I’ll wrap it here. Please follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates.

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Brian Zwerner

Writing about Crypto and web3 for business executives