Compared with other artists, music creators are more vulnerable to frustration and to lose their creative passion. Since the very beginning of human civilization, music has accompanied human society and undergone various changes. However, most of the time we don’t even know the creators of many familiar melodies and music around us, and society seldom pays attention to or gives back to them.
This has plagued many music creators, and is the main reason why the music industry has become a lost empire.
The Music Industry Is Built on Artists, but Shuns Creators
The following is a quote from Dave Edwards on Future:
“The music business has practiced reductive and punitive copyright policies and failed at building immersive, community-based ecosystems on top of its substantial IP. In its current form, music is seen as disposable, easily replaceable not just with video games but podcasts, audiobooks, and news.
The music industry must fundamentally reconsider what both copyright and major project releases look like today. By creating universal copyright “rails” to unlock user-generated content (UGC) at scale, the music industry can reclaim its reputation for innovation, convincingly compete with other forms of entertainment, and forge a new, fan-focused future.”
With the ever-changing Internet, music creators are gradually shunned by the “attention economy”. On one hand, it is difficult for individuals to compete with huge streaming media platforms, copyright companies, and professional celebrity teams. On the other hand, affected by various algorithms, the income of music creators has begun to plummet, and many musicians have to cater to the market demands.
There is an urgent need for a new ecology to support music creators with material feedback and help them to maintain their creative passion.
Web3 is regarded as the clarion call for the revolution of creator economy
Sounds of Longinus is a trilogy album released by a mystery music creator named John Keynes in the Discord community of Melos. The first song, Song of Destruction, was minted into 4000 NFTs. With the support of Melos, those NFTs were grabbed within 15 seconds.
However, what has attracted the attention and continuous discussion from the community is the deeper reason behind Melos’ support for such a mysterious musician.
“Melos gives music lovers like us a platform to freely and openly showcase our musical values, and I would like to release a few pieces of music I have written on the Melos platform as my debut stage. My current plan is to upload three pieces of music, and then, I will disappear like Satoshi Nakamoto, the only true god on the blockchain, to pay my tribute to him.
I will call this trilogy: Sounds of Longinus
I believe that the goodness of mankind can create the future; I believe that God will give His kindness and peace to all of us, and I firmly believe that everyone will be happy.
But still, with the heaviest heat, I will write music, and may more people awaken.
That the heavens will ring with hymns and sweet music.
And I will no longer even sing. —Epitaph for Keynes
The above is the declaration made by John Keynes before the release of Song of Destruction. The declaration attracted the attention of the Discord community administrator, who contacted the Melos official. Melos and John Keynes reached an agreement that the Music NFT would be publicly distributed on Melos Studio and free to mint. John Keynes would use the digital royalties to support musicians and charities on the Melos Music NFT platform.
From the declaration and his name, John Keynes, it can be seen that he had studied the entire Web3.0 creation and the music NFT platforms, before he decided to release his music on Melos. Melos and its fans thanked his trust in their unique ways.
He hopes to use music to convey culture, carry culture, and even to reach people’s hearts and souls more directly than words, so as to have a wider influence on people’s thinking and actions. John Keynes’ behavior has given Web3.0 a more profound meaning-to use his royalties to support and motivate future musicians.
Melos is striving to hold up the lost empire of music
The act of John Keynes is like the clarion call for revolution. There are also many details in the market which have proved the correctness of this difficult yet necessary revolution.
But the music consumption experience in 2021 is not fundamentally different from that 40 years ago. There is still a lack of mechanisms to directly support musicians, and there are almost no measures taken to attract consumers to pay.
Almost everyone knows that musicians can only receive an average of less than 3% of the commercial value generated by the copyright of their creation.
However, looking at the economic and cultural wealth created by top musicians from a macro level, it reveals a completely different reality.
From a cultural perspective, musicians are the most powerful creators across all cultural industries. 3 of the top 4 most followed Twitter accounts are musicians. 23 of the top 50 Instagram accounts are musicians, while only 6 are athletes. When the followers of all mainstream social media platforms add up, the trend remains the same: musicians are the most followed people in the world.
The top music creators are one of the wealthiest celebrities in the world. However, the strange thing is that their wealth is rarely driven by the music itself: a creator conveys great cultural importance through their music, but the importance is reflected in a completely different industry.
The deeper reason for this phenomenon is that streaming media makes it difficult for music creators to make a living, let alone to make a fortune. This is why the music industry must fundamentally think about the potential for interactivity, community building, and immersion.
On FUTURE, a content sharing platform directly managed by A16Z, Dave Edwards summarized his thoughts on the music industry under the WEB3.0 creator economy with the following sentence:
“I am calling for the industry to invest in building the technological backbone—the ‘copyright rails’—that will enable limitless remixing, meddling, and reinterpretation of any commercial work while ensuring the original rights holders are compensated.”
After carefully observing this sentence, “enable limitless remixing, meddling, and reinterpretation of any commercial work while ensuring the original rights holders are compensated”. Isn’t this just the application scenario of the Melos DNAtree for music NFT? !
The above quotes are from an article by Dave Edwards, which was published in FUTURE on October 5, 2021. In the end, I will quote Dave Edwards and John Keynes on Discord to sum up this article.
“Music has an inherent and powerful advantage: its creators are the arbiters of pop culture, driving our collective reality forward with their creations, memes, and syntax. The combination of music’s cultural influence with a more progressive view of what music can be in the 21st century would likely be a truly powerful force for the industry, artists, and fans around the world. It’s one I sincerely hope we get to see.”
“At a time when I am at a loss for the rights and benefits of being a musician, I see the opportunities that Melos brings to the music industry, which is one of the reasons why I am here to speak out.”
“Hopefully my little efforts, with the help of Melos, will lead to more opportunities for more musicians and people who care about the community.”
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Michigan Journal USA journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.