Streaming music services have made it easier for musicians to find an audience and get their songs heard than ever before. They have, however, made it more difficult for musicians to make a living. Artists are typically paid less than one cent per stream by services such as Spotify and Apple Music. This means that unless you’re Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran with millions of fans, the rockstar lifestyle you’ve always wanted is unlikely to be attainable.
What is Web3?
Although different people have different ideas about the details, it is generally agreed that it represents the web’s third major iteration. The first web was the static, read-only HTML web pages that launched everything. The second web was the social media web, which was interactive and user-generated.
Web3 will be more immersive and experiential, with 3D graphical user interfaces replacing flat text pages. It will also be decentralized, thanks to technologies such as blockchain, cryptography, and distributed computing. This means that instead of us all logging into services and applications owned primarily by large corporations such as Google, Facebook, or Microsoft, we will, for the first time, fully own and control our own data and how it is used. But how is this relevant to the world of music?
Hope for aspiring artists
In fact, most aspiring professional musicians will never be able to quit their day jobs and focus solely on music. But is Web3 about to change that? The immersive, distributed platforms that many see as the next level of the internet could give artists and fans new ways to connect in the metaverse. Furthermore, the new breed of applications and platforms that it enables may allow songwriters and performers to access new funding models. So, while it may not be a ticket to a world of mansions and private jets, it may enable thousands of people with a passion and talent for music to turn it into a source of income.
The Limits of Unlimited Music
Many of us now count a monthly payment to Spotify or another similar service among our regular outgoings – effectively giving us access to whatever music we want, whenever we want it. But does this vast choice prevent us from developing deeper, more personal connections to music and artists than we may have done in the past? Some experts believe this is the case. The idea is that the open, persistent and collaborative nature of the metaverse – which we can think of as the “front end” of web3 – could very well be ideal for creating the social sharing and listening conditions needed to return that element of connection between listeners and artists. The promise of web3 is that it can bring about a totally different landscape where artists own their content, and they are compensated fairly, and fans have that direct interaction with artists they love we’re seeing the beginnings of that today, but blockchain is really going to blow the floodgates open.