Cherie Hu is a music tech writer who has published a document displaying her research into the music NFT market, and it gives some indication of what kinds of artists have cashed in on them.
The data in the report was collected by monitoring 20 leading NFT marketplaces between the 6th of June 2020 and the 25th of April 2021. Some of the marketplaces such as Zora, SuperRare, Curio and Rarible, each raised millions in March and April of this year through venture capital funding as investors started to see the potential profits generated by crypto collectables.
Music-related NFT sales have grossed $60.2 million since June 2020 and $55.7 million of those have come in the past two months. Despite the large amount of money generated from NFT’s, there are only 150 musicians and brands that sold them in the past year.
Of those musicians and artists profiting, the vast majority are from top tier successful artists including the likes of Grimes, Aphex Twin, Steve Aoki and The Weeknd. 80.7% of the total was earned by artists from electronic music genres.
Unsurprisingly, Cherie Hu also discovered that buyers of NFT’s tend to come from “niche, ultra-wealthy crypto communities… people who are already familiar with the technicalities of how crypto works, and who are sitting on enough crypto to be comfortable investing $600+ in buying a digital artwork.” She also noticed that “the most successful music NFT auctions to date have centred visuals, not audio, at their core.”
There are also still some grey areas relating to the specifics of copyright, which later down the line could cause some ownership disputes between auction winners, labels and publishers.
Some have also criticised NFT’s for their negative impact on the environment. For example, the Ethereum cryptocurrency’s annual energy consumption is similar to the total amount used by the country of Portugal.
You can read the full report document HERE