The Web3 Music Association Members

Sean Paul, The Orchard and Eminem walk into Web3

And some thoughts on music discovery across the generations

Waiting for the next newsletter like...

Hi, it's me - I'm back!

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I was last in your inbox. I can imagine it's been a trying time for everyone.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks: Sean Paul joined Web3, Grimes launched her on-chain merch, I got a year older, and Eminem became the face of one of the world's largest crypto exchanges.

But before diving into the updates, I wanted to talk about music discovery. Like I'm sure most of you do, I spend a lot of time thinking about it.

My Dad discovered an artist in the '60s because of a newspaper article. This artist was performing in a small Scottish town. He had been quoted talking about political topics that were very much in line with my father's views, so he decided to go see him live. That was many moons ago, and he is still, to this day, a true fan of Bob Dylan and hasn't discovered much music since then. Much to my chagrin, there are only so many times you can hear "The times they are a-changin'".

My Dad's number two hero, after me.

Music discovery has developed significantly across the generations, driven by tech advancements and changes in media consumption habits.

Growing up, my generation (millennials - bless anyone who thought I was younger) didn't discover music through the newspaper.

I grew up spending hours in front of MTV, practising my backup dancer moves. I also discovered music on Limewire, where the song was 40 seconds of tune, and the rest was a dog barking. I was also the person who would install MP3 dongles with new songs from friends, only to find that I riddled our only computer with some trojan virus that no version of McAfee protection could stop.

Then we have my niece, who is from Gen Z. She primarily discovers music through experiences, whether gaming, viral trends or TikTok dance challenges. I'm not allowed to participate in those anymore because I am not apparently a good dance partner.

With so many choices available and only seconds to keep consumers interested, how can artists stay top of mind?

I know you're all waiting for me to say Web3...

Yes, Web3 is a solution, but first, we must understand consumers' psychology, habits, and desires. In my opinion, the focus should be on Gen Z because they are the online generation. Understanding their preferences requires research and engagement, exploring how they interact with music daily, what platforms they frequent, and how they share and consume content. We're working on this for our W3M members to collectively build something (yes, on blockchain!) that ensures artists can reach consumers where they are.

I have some thoughts on true fans/superfans, but I'll leave that for next week (yes, next week; I won't leave you for this long again!).

News from the Web3 x Music space

  • Sean Paul (not Sean da Paul, as we all thought for years) launched membership quests for his fans on Campaign. It's always great to see more artists utilising Web3 to strengthen their relationships with fans. I spoke with the team yesterday; hopefully, we can do something together in a few months!

  • The Shredderz, a Web3-native virtual band, has launched limited edition collectibles in partnership with Sony's The Orchard to give fans a gamified environment to experience their music. Shredderz digital collectibles' holdings extend beyond passive ownership; they empower fans to influence merchandise designs, artwork choices, and even cover song selections.

  • Korean-American R&B singer Audurey Nuna is launching two digital fashion items alongside the release of her latest single to heighten fans' experience. Talking of fandom, FanSociety gave an interview on how Web3 is an important technological advancement for fan-to-artist relationships. It's short but worth the read.

  • Slim Shady, aka Eminem, aka the poster that was on my wall as a teenager (please don't judge me), is now the new spokesperson for Crypto(.)com, replacing Matt Damon. This didn't surprise me because he is very active in the Web3 space, engaging with fans on projects across the space.

  • Grimes created on-chain merch; inside her physical merch, there are chips fans can tap with their phone to unlock experiences, which she can constantly keep updated. Talking of phygital products connected on blockchain, deadmau5 dropped a new line of toys that give access to digital VIP experiences. It's also cool to see DJ Richie Hawtin utilising blockchain to strengthen fan loyalty.

  • This is a very interesting read on AI copyright. I know the music industry is heavily discussing this topic right now. I was thinking about this personally the other day as I was playing around with Suno (I won't make you suffer by listening to my songs; Ted said they needed a bit of work!) and saw that I could easily download them. So then, is the copyright mine? This felt weird because I didn't do any work for it to be mine; I just put in a prompt. But I assume most consumers wouldn't care because they'll be excited about launching their new pop career. I'm always open to discussing this topic if anyone wants to have a call! We can see regions, especially MENA, adopting AI technology in various cultural touchpoints and their investment approach. I understand how GenAI is negatively impacting the music industry, which is why I believe that coming together to define solutions is the only way to move forward.

This lengthy newsletter hopefully makes up for the last few weeks. I promise I'll be back next week chatting away about superfans!

I couldn't resist!

Thank you for making it to the end; I appreciate you.

Katy x

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