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BeinCrypto spoke to Emelie Olsson, the Director of Artist Relations at Corite, a fan-powered music platform. She discusses blockchain and NFTs and how transparency is essential to the new generation of artists.
Art may have started the non-fungible token (NFT) fire, but music is quickly becoming the next big medium to hit the blockchain.
Already, major artists are releasing their work as NFTs, alongside NFT artwork and merchandise. Recently, Doja Cat released a series of NFTs with the platform OneOf. In addition, Lil Nas X will headline TikToks upcoming NFT project.
Within this expanding NFT music universe is Corite. This platform aims to bring fans and musicians together. It offers fans the chance to become the backers for their favorite artists.
Alongside allowing fans the ability to contribute and earn from their love of music directly, the platform gives artists more control with full rights.
Olsson joined Corite three years ago as the platform was finding its feet and deciding its direction.
“It was just an idea of creating a platform for artists where artists can fund their music, where we can use the fan power as the biggest marketing tool,” she explains.
Moving to the blockchain
Recently, Corite announced the planned launch Corite Studios, a platform to help musicians enter the NFT space. The project itself is on the blockchain.
The idea came about after one of the Corite investors with interest in crypto discussed the possibility as the NFT boom began.
“It just made sense to me it was like this sense of urgency. If we don’t do get into this now it will be too late. So let’s just give it a try and see what happens.”
As a result, they partnered with Swedish blockchain technology developers ChromaWay.
NFTs and music
Alongside their move to the blockchain, the music industry began paying attention.
“We do see more artists are asking about it. When you mention that you’re in that space and that you are planning to do NFTs for all of the artists that release music with us, people get very excited. They feel that okay, wow, this is innovative,” Olsson explains.
However, much like anyone else seeing the hype for the first time, it can be quite intimidating.
“I believe we have a long way to educate artists and that’s also a part of our vision. To educate artists about the music industry and how they can earn the rights to their masters in royalties and how to create their fan base. So this is just an additional layer to that.”
Artists finding their feet in this new space
Olsson also explains that because of the new nature of NFTs, the investment in them is different for different levels of artists.
“For the mid-range artists and the smaller range artists, it’s very unlikely that their audience even knows about NFTs. So for those artists, we focus more on making Corite original NFTs. So that is something that can grow with Corite,” she says.
This kind of support is necessary as digital solutions continue to grow for long-held industry issues.
“Of course, we’ve been into digitalization in the music industry for a very long time now. I believe it’s getting more and more artists are getting used to exploring those digital opportunities. More than they have been before.”
However, Olsson is a realist about how NFTs and other digital solutions aren’t get-rich-quick options. Rather, they require the work and cultivation that has always been central to the music industry.
“I mean, you probably won’t become rich if you’re a small artist. I believe if you get into the NFT communities early and you start building your career on that or with that alongside, everything you do will definitely be worth so much more. It’s a way to secure revenues for a longer period of time.”
Building music communities through NFTs
Much like in the crypto world, Olsson explains that a central element to success for musicians is the fanbase and community they build.
Corite began with the vision of fans taking part financially in their favorite musicians’ works. This is extended through the blockchain and NFTs.
“When COVID was started Emil and Mattias looked at where the industry is failing. They saw the failure to use the power of everyone that listens to the music and community building that is so important in other industries.”
She explains that the current industry model may have served its purpose for a time but hasn’t changed much over the years.
“A very big part of the artist’s revenues goes into a label. But, they don’t do as much these days compared to what they did before, but their business models are still the same. So it’s creating something within the music industry, where the people who care about the music, people who stream it, share it, the people who do the TikTok trends [are involved],” she says.
In addition, the passion of fanbases has proven time and again to be a powerful force.
“Spotify had a report that stated that they have seen that smaller artists in some cases outsold the bigger stars when it comes to merch. This is because the smaller act or the more like underground act has the more passionate fans,” she says.
“We’ve seen so many amazing examples of fans backing music now. They make their playlists. They make very creative ways to share the music and they are excited and caring about everything that happens around the artists.”
Bringing transparency to the center
Finally, Olsson explains that the new generation of both fans and musicians are calling for more transparency.
“They question things more. They get into the details. They investigate companies. They hold them responsible for more things. So I think the major labels will always succeed in some form, and signing away your Master’s could make sense, I believe [in certain circumstances.[But] I guess everyone wants to own what they have put a lot of art, energy, and time into instead of just giving that away to someone,” she says.
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