What to expect in 2022: David Deal shares his predictions on the music industry


David Deal is both a brand and marketing thought leader. Here, this frequent Hypebot contributor shares his music industry forecast for 2022.

Through David’s Accord, Founder and CEO of David J. Deal Consulting

The Metaverse stands for Mega Business for Music

The Metaverse has already made its mark on the music industry. In 2022, the metaverse will become an economic force to be reckoned with.

The metaverse defined

The metaverse is an interconnected virtual world where people live, work and play through digital twins such as avatars. The metaverse is already there in one form or another. Roblox and Fortnite have millions of daily active users who have been living the avatar life for quite some time. And many of the building blocks of the Metaverse, ranging from augmented reality to cryptocurrencies, exist in the digital world outside of the Metaverse. (You don’t need an avatar to use cryptocurrency, for example.)

We often associate the music and the metaverse with Ariana Grande playing on Fortnite or The Weeknd doing a virtual gig on TikTok – well, not them, per se, but their avatars. Yes, the Rift Tour with Ariana Grande is part of the metaverse, and we’re going to see more gigs where avatars of musicians perform in immersive worlds (as holograms of deceased people have been doing in the physical world for years). But these types of experiences are only a small part of the metaverse.

NFTs and Cryptocurrencies Strengthen a “Musical Middle Class”

Something else is happening that is just as fascinating in the music industry, which will have a profound impact in 2022: the adoption of NFTs, digital currencies and cryptocurrencies, which are the building blocks of the metaverse. In the Metaverse, people and businesses use digital currencies to purchase things that include music, art, and real estate, and they can do so outside of the Metaverse as well. These assets are given unique value through a technology known as a non-fungible token, or NFT. Cryptocurrencies (a form of encryption-protected digital currency) and NFTs are enabling musicians around the world to create economic value at a time when they aren’t getting much feedback from streaming platforms, and touring remains under threat. by the persistent pandemic.

By now, everyone who follows the music industry has heard of Grimes auctioning off a set of NFTs (featuring audiovisuals of space babies wielding a spear) for $ 6 million in 2021. When you watch Beyond the headlines of these unique stories, you see artists gain loyal fans as well as commercial value. For example, Portugal critic’s darling The Man has launched his own designer coin, a cryptocurrency the group uses to provide coin holders with perks like evening saves and music lessons. Portugal The Man also recently collaborated with Deadmau5 to release 1 million copies of their new single “This is fine” as NFT. They aspire for the single to be the first NFT to go platinum.

Portugal The Man’s designer piece is more than access to a fan club; it’s a way of investing in the group, which is a crucial detail that too often goes unnoticed in Metaverse discussions. Remember when David Bowie issued Bowie Bonds in 1997? Designer pieces are similar. I’m sure if David Bowie were alive today he would have been a pioneer with designer pieces.

NFTs and cryptocurrencies empower independent artists around the world. There are too many to list here, but they include Ibn Inglor, Curren $ y, Mick Jenkins, the thought-detecting machines, and many more. For example, Daniel Allan built a fan following on the Discord server during the pandemic and used NFTs to fund his next EP. Overstimulated in exchange for 50 percent of the artist’s share of Overstimulatedmaster royalties. Investors in the digital currency $ OVERSTIM share the profits, with top investors gaining special access to perks such as private listening parties and featured shows. It also sells songs on an NFT music platform known as Catalog.

He said Time magazine that building a fan base on Discord is crucial to its success, as Discord attracts digital currency enthusiasts:

Allan subscribes to the idea that having “100 true fans” is better than having many casual fans. So he spends 6 to 8 hours a day interacting with his fans on his Discord, where they offer encouragement, comments and memes. Because many of them have bought him a share of his masters, they are emotionally and financially invested in his success. For his next project, he wants to break even more the wall between artist and fan. “I want to be like, ‘Here are 20 demos, let’s do an EP together,’” he says. “There are a lot of creatives in my Discord but they don’t necessarily have the mechanics to be able to exercise their creativity.”

NFTs and cryptocurrencies level the playing field a bit for independents like Daniel Allan. As he said Time, “I don’t think it creates rich artists. It creates a musical middle class.

Follow the money

In 2022, we’ll see more businesses grow around the NFT space and cryptocurrency alone – businesses like Corite, a blockchain-based crowdfunding platform connecting musicians and their fans. ; OneOf, an NFT platform specifically designed for the music community and designed to eliminate economic barriers to entry; Rally, the platform where Portugal The Man struck his designer coin; and Catalog (Daniel Allan’s platform of choice), to name a few. Meanwhile, big brands will find more ways to create experiences in metaverse worlds like Roblox. These experiences will include music.

For example, Nike recently launched NIKEWORLD on Roblox and bought RTFKT, which creates collectibles that merge culture and gaming. These steps will help Nike strengthen its presence as a music brand in the metaverse. Musicians who organize concerts in NIKEWORLD? It will happen. Nike will use the Metaverse (especially NIKEWORLD) as a way to create brand activations with emerging musical talent in the Metaverse, much like Warner Music Group does with Twitch in the good old digital world. But music labels will also exploit the metaverse for commercial value. Consider Warner’s partnership with Genies, a company that creates digital avatars and wearables.

We quickly come out of “Wow, isn’t that cool?” Musicians who sell stuff with NFTs! »Phase. Businesses grow and regroup around musicians. When the tours return for real, promoters and festivals will offer interactive experiences and NFTs to complement the live shows. Everyone follows the money.

Virtual star rise

In 2022, the rise of the metaverse means that a growing number of musicians and celebrities cruising the music industry will not be real people. They will consist of digital characters created in computer graphics software by companies like Virtual Humans, and then endowed with a personality defined by a first-person view of the world.

For example, K / DA is a virtual K-pop girl group made up of four themed versions of League of Legends characters: Ahri, Akali, Evelynn, and Kai’Sa. They’re the brainchild of Riot Games, and they’re great for gaming, gateway drug to the metaverse. They have a lot of company. Kai is a virtual influencer developer who created Splash, a game within Roblox that allows users to create and perform their music in front of a live audience. Kizuna AI is a virtual YouTuber with millions of subscribers on its channels. LV4 is a virtual cyborg and hip-hop producer. BumBailey is a non-binary collective made up of multiple characters, each with their own unique body shape, name, and personality. Recently, BumBaily posted a video on TikTok using the song “Rumors” by Cardi B and Lizzo. The post racked up millions of views and caught Lizzo’s attention.

The popularity of virtual artists may seem odd and even off-putting, but not to anyone in the world of video games. That’s the whole point of the metaverse: to create a different world. And that’s what music does. Where virtual musicians and immersive concerts leave musicians in the offline world is an open question, and I realize that there is a very real apprehension that the metaverse will engulf the physical world. I think we’ll eventually see the two coexist. When tours and festivals come back for real, I suspect we’ll see more of a fusion between the two – like NFTs and virtual experiences complementing the onstage action at Coachella. NFTs will be the new VIP tent at Coachella.

At the moment, we live in parallel worlds.

About David Deal

David’s Accord is founder and CEO of David J. Deal Consulting, a marketing consulting firm. He regularly contributes to publications such as Hypebot, Hacker Noon, The Startup and Festival Peak.

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