By now, you’ve probably heard the term NFTs, and some of today’s top artists — from The Weeknd to Snoop Dogg — are making waves in the NFT world. What exactly are they, and how are NFTs expanding into the music industry?
NFT stands for “non-fungible token” or, more simply, a digital collectible bought and sold using cryptocurrency. NFTs can range from art and sound recordings to tickets and more. NFTs generated an impressive $25 billion in overall sales in 2021.
EDM artists were early leaders in the NFT world. In 2021, 3LAU auctioned 33 NFT collectible versions of his album Ultraviolet, which ended up selling for $11.7 million, and marked the first album to be tokenized.
Since then, artists such as Grimes, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd and many more have launched their own versions of NFTs. Most recently, Snoop Dogg announced that Death Row Records, his former label — which he acquired in February — will be an NFT label.
As for the future of the music industry with the rise of NFTs, Billboard‘s music publishing reporter Kristin Robinson says, “Technology has always been a really big part of the music business, and has really dictated how we make music, how we consume music.”
Watch the latest episode of Billboard Explains above to learn more about everything NFTs and the music business.
After the video, catch up on more Billboard Explains videos and learn about SXSW, the magic of boy bands, American Music Awards, the Billboard Latin Music Awards, the Hot 100 chart, how R&B/hip-hop became the biggest genre in the U.S., how festivals book their lineups, Billie Eilish’s formula for success, the history of rap battles, nonbinary awareness in music, the Billboard Music Awards, the Free Britney movement, rise of K-pop in the U.S., why Taylor Swift is re-recording her first six albums, the boom of hit all-female collaborations, how Grammy nominees and winners are chosen, why songwriters are selling their publishing catalogs, how the Super Bowl halftime show is booked and why Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” was able to shoot to No. 1 on the Hot 100.