If you have been on the internet over the past week, you will have seen the word NFT or non-fungible token. NFTs are pieces of art on the blockchain, whose value comes from some level of scarcity. Since it is on the blockchain, proof of ownership is concrete, though they can be sold on to a new person with the original artists still earning a percentage of the sales. There is still a lot that people are working out like implications for copyright and the environmental implications of NFTs, but artists are piling on.
However, despite the headlines, there is more to NFTs than just a bunch of rich musicians & influences putting out mediocre art to fund their lavish lifestyles at the expense of other rich people or those who don’t value cryptocurrency in monetary terms. Small digital artists are making some real money and now musicians are selling projects as well. While many NFTs are for various items that go along with a song, some are selling publishing and copyright as well. Clarian is doing just that, selling his new album Whale Shark as an NFT and you get something very real in return.
The 12-track album is available to stream and buy, but those who purchase the NFT will be the sole owner of the album’s masters and publishing rights in perpetuity. You get the copies of the songs, but you then become the owner of the album like you were the label or artist. It is more of an investment than just buying crypto-art with the hopes of reselling because there will be some actual revenue earned from owning these files.
"The owner in effect becomes the musical content's rightful owner and caretaker to do as they please with the music (whether they wish to stream it for others online, license for soundtracks, change the music itself, rename the music, remix the music, destroy the music, or purely keep it for themselves for long drives to the beach)," says the auction.
The NFT is available for auction now on OpenSea with the asking price being 100 Ethereum, roughly $180,000. The auction continues until March 20.
You can listen to the album below before you decide to bid on it and watch his announcement for the project. It will be interesting to see if other artists sell their publishing as NTFs and what it might mean for the existing publishing buying market.