When the American rock band Kings of Leon hopped on the NFT trend, there was a sense of intrigue and obviousness in the atmosphere.
The band decided to launch a Non-fungible token (NFT) in March 2021. So, when they decided to do so, they were one of the first bands to go down the NFT road.
However, as we look at the Kings of Leon, there rises an unavoidable question- why? Why did the band decide to go for an NFT collection for their band? Was it the FOMO? Or does it seem like the next big thing for the music industry after streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify?
Whatever the reason might be, the music industry and individual artists are keenly looking at NFTs as a way to gain independence, recognition, and monetary gains from NFTs. Let’s look at why Kings of Leon decided to launch their own NFT collection.
What are the Kings of Leon NFT Collection About?
The American rock band, Kings of Leon decided to go for an NFT collection in the form of their latest launched album at the time- “When You See Yourself”.
It announced offering its album package with a vinyl record and a digital download for $50. Each NFT contained a unique album artwork and limited edition ‘Golden Eye’ vinyl. Apart from that, there were a set of exclusive inclusions in another NFT series they plan to launch.
As a part of their NFT collection, called “NFT Yourself” the band also launched a set of other exclusive inclusions. It allows people to bid for one of the six “golden ticket” experiences, which offer fans four front row seats to the show of their choice during each tour for life.
Finally, the token was released on YellowHeart, a ticketing and music platform on 5th March 2021 and was sold out within a few days.
When Kings of Leon NFT Went Into Space?
Soon after an amazing launch of their first NFT token, the band came up with another collection of tokens in September this year.
The band auctioned an unreleased live performance of their song “Time in Disguise” as a certificate of ownership. The band decided to play the tape first in space by SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission while orbiting the Earth. The band decided to indulge in this activity for a charity event.
Proceeds from the sale of this NFT were a part of the number of fundraising activities being conducted for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The goal of the event was to raise $200 million for children suffering from cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Out of the four people who flew into Space in the Space X Resilience spacecraft was Medical Officer Hayley Arceneaux, a former patient who now works at the hospital.
“We have a long-standing relationship with St Jude and they approached us after seeing what we did earlier this year releasing our album as an NFT. We are big supporters of their mission, and always happy to help support their mission, but this is the first time our music is part of the story and that makes it even more special for us.”
“The fact that we’re also all making history together in the process is just a wild bonus”. Caleb Followill, from Kings of Leon, mentioned this in a statement given to Billboard magazine.
NFTs & The Music Industry
The music industry has been one of the very first adopters and advocates of the NFTs. Experts and industry veterans suggest there are a number of reasons behind this shift.
By selling tokenized versions of their tracks, merchandise, or a bundle of digital and physical art, artists are looking at raking in some extra revenue.
Electronic music artist 3LAU generated around $12 million from the sale of NFTs.
Many musicians and artists believe that NFTs stand a chance to revolutionize the way that the music industry operates and how personally fans are able to interact with their artists.
NFTs Have Democratized The Music Industry
What makes NFTs an even more likable tool within the music industry is their accessibility. Moreover, a list of NFT platforms and marketplaces available out there, makes it even better. The distribution models of blockchain allow the smallest players to play on a level field with the biggest record labels and distributors.
Moreover, what this does is, remove the middlemen from the entire picture. The music industry has often been infamous regarding the unfair distribution of revenues and profits amongst the artist and the other folks, including lawyers, producers, managers, etc.
Another source of revenue, for the artists, is the revenues from the streaming platforms.
These platforms constitute a major chunk of an artist’s revenue and played an even more important role during the COVID-19 pandemic, like tours, concerts, and live gigs got canceled.
However, the payouts from these platforms aren’t so great either. For instance, Spotify pays out $0.003 to $0.005 per stream.
This comes down to $3000-$5000 per million streams, which might not sound like a lucrative deal to many when compared with NFTs. Moreover, options like getting a 2.5%-10% of a sale as commission, every time the NFT art is resold, is another thing that artists might want to look into.
“Even if I upload the full version of the contained song to DSPs worldwide (which I can still do), I would never get even close to $10k, after fees by DSPs, label, marketing, etc.,” Mike Shinoda, from Linkin Park had tweeted. This was after he raised $11,000 after his first NFT release.
With the onset of NFTs in the digital world, and buying an NFT becoming easier every day, we’re looking at musicians embracing the technology at a much faster speed. The reasons for the same seem apparent enough, as mentioned above.
While there is still a lot to be discovered as of now, the examples like Kings of Leon and Steve Aoki are surely paving the way for smaller artists to join the NFT parade, and for every good reason.
As the artists adopt NFTs, the conversation now lies around, how fast does the music industry adapt itself accordingly.
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