When blockchain technology first emerged, most people saw it as the bedrock that ushered in a new world of decentralized finance. And while it is that, it is much more as it heralded the coming of Web3.0. This is the latest iteration of the internet and is essentially a fully decentralized, transparent, and immutable set of tools that are transforming how we use the internet.
With the emergence of several cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DOAs, dApps, and even the metaverse, we understand that Web3.0’s transformation stretches far beyond finance. One place it is already proving to be a new lease of life is entertainment. The creator economy is finding ways to utilize Web3.0 solutions to amplify their careers in a more immersive, impactful, and profitable way for creators and their fans.
“The advent of Web3.0 doesn’t exactly spell doomsday for Facebook, Youtube, Spotify, Twitter, and all other Web2.0 technologies that have made our lives better over the years. But it does mean that we will need to key into this new world to stay relevant and have the best chance of growing,” says Christopher Khorsandi, the founder of Gybsy, a Web3.0-commerce platform that caters to venues, performers, and their fans.
The entertainment industry is set to experience major changes in cornerstone aspects of the industry that will take power from its traditional gatekeepers and place it firmly in the hands of the artists, entertainers, and their fans.
Granted, it has become a lot easier today to make it as an independent artist than it was a decade or more ago. There are many artists who have made their own success through sheer grit and the help of social media. Artists and bands like Lana Del Ray, Chance the Rapper, Nipsey Hussle, and Imagine Dragons come to mind.
But with all these successes, there’s still a sense that the artists and content creators signed to major labels have the edge over those trying to pave their own path. But even with the obvious career advantages that come with being signed to a label, the reality isn’t always as graceful. Labels can seem to benefit too much from their artist’s creativity; it sometimes appears like artists are glorified employees working for a boss.
In 2015, Prince announced that he would be sidestepping record labels and releasing his music exclusively through Jay-Z’s streaming service, Tidal. He even went ahead to describe record contracts as slavery and advised budding artists to stay away from them. Besides Prince, many other artists, such as Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, who lost the rights to her first six albums, have felt the sting too.
“It’s unfair that an artist will spend countless hours in the studio making good music only to have the masters go to the label. Labels take such a large piece of the pie that there’s relatively nothing left for the artist. This is why we created Gybsy to help artists and every entity in the entertainment value chain take control of their own destiny.”
Gybsy looks like a typical Web2.0 platform, but it is built on blockchain technology to ensure transparent and effective commerce and ticketing markets. The platform eliminates current ticketing problems that enable ticket scalping and fraud. It also has a royalty strategy that allows artists and venues to make money transparently from secondary ticket sales. Gybsy's e-commerce solution also affords artists, promoters, and venues the opportunity to engage with their fans and audience by creating and selling NFTs to their fans.
The opportunities in Web3.0 for artists to build authentic relationships with their fans from the beginning of their careers are endless.
One way this can happen is through NFTs. This Web3.0 product has given artists and the wider creative community a way to incentivize their audience. Fans want to be involved as much as possible in the lives of the artists they love, so artists can offer them this opportunity through the sale of NFTs inspired by different elements in their careers.
Khorsandi calls NFTs, particularly those with real-world utility, the stock of the future. “You know how we loved to collect baseball cards as kids hoping they’d appreciate in value and make us a profit? That’s the same idea with NFTs. Artists can create NFTs inspired by a hit song, a special moment in their life, an exclusive behind-the-scenes moment, and literally anything else of perceived value. And as the artist’s success grows and they begin offering special access, rewards or merchandise to only those holders of their NFTs, this leads to the increased value of the NFTs, so its a win-win for everybody.” This means fans can have a stake in an artist’s future from the beginning while offering them the resources they need to build a successful career.
Another useful tool in the Web3.0 arsenal is the use of Decentralized Autonomous Communities (DOAs). This Web3.0-compliant forum can help artists build a loyal community of followers who are not just there to demand content but to actually be involved in the creation process. Fans will have a front-row seat to any project their favorite artist is working on and also be part of the decision-making throughout the process. This direct relationship with the actual consumers of the content will prove to be more effective and impactful than the red tape of record executives, agents, publicists, etc.
Artists would also be able to own all the rights to their music and use it whichever way they see fit. Also, because of blockchain’s immutable record keeping, minting NFTs for their content would provide a solid and verifiable track record of their ownership of the content in a way that is near-impossible to counterfeit.
Along with artists, sports brands are also able to adapt and grow their model now utilizing fan engagement tech through Web 3.0. Oracle’s
Warren Jones, SailGP's Chief Technology Officer, said of the new venture, “We are a Web2 company moving into the Web3 space, so we are still going to have Web2 customers. So that frictionless approach needs to happen. We are working on how that will work for a Web2 user, and how that will work in a Web3 environment.”
Oracle’s director of sports marketing and business development Amr Elrawi opined, “A lot of sports brands’ biggest challenges is, during events the fan is actively engaged. But what do you do between events, what do you do pre- and post-event, when you don’t have the hero content which is the event happening.”
“This is an opportunity to start engaging with those fans, delivering to them exclusive experiences or exclusive content.”
The overall ability for artists and brands to maintain ownership and governance over their content and career path while making the experience and benefits available to fans in a transparent but monetizable way is the future of entertainment. NFTs, DOAs, and these new incentive structures are just the beginning of this internet-powered revolution in the entertainment industry, and artists and fans alike seem to be loving it.