The market of music NFTs is mainly dominated by indie creators as out of 100% around 64% called themself unsigned artists with $55.1 million of reported revenue. According to insights shared by Water & Music, about 1,500 music NFTs generated over $86 million in primary sales in 2021.

Share of major artists vs. indie. Source: docs.google.com
Share of major artists vs. indie. Source: docs.google.com

The researchers note that music NFT sales spiked in early 2021, cooled down throughout the summer, and then rose in the last quarter of the year. Although major artists drove a lot of attention to the NFT space early, the appeal of the absence of middlemen, along with the direct control of rights and access to artists’ communities, "drove a lot of activity to NFTs for the independent sector," the report says.

Top-5 music NFT gainers last year. Source: docs.google.com
Top-5 music NFT gainers last year. Source: docs.google.com

The biggest music NFT gainer in 2021 was American DJ 3LAU (Justin David Blau), who raised $55 million as Co-Founder of Royal, an NFT marketplace focused on music. With Web3 hype growing exponentially, Water & Music says there’s a "clear need for resources or frameworks for savvy artists to think strategically about their fan journeys in a Web3-native context." Thus, creators should remember the following things:

  • How can an artist attract/onboard new fans by driving awareness, providing tech education, or otherwise lowering barriers to entry?
  • How can artists drive early adoption and ongoing engagement of a core audience through utility, content, community, and culture?
  • How can artists retain a loyal premium audience, with contributors and promoters who drive referral and virality in the community?

Read also: DJ duo The Chainsmokers to drop NFTs