Despite bear market conditions and no end in sight, music continues on weaving its way deep into the NFT and music metaverse world. It seems artists are made for this. As the metaverse frontier opens, their creatively is allowed to be unbounded as the open landscape has seemingly unending space in which to inhabit this uncharted territory. Where ideas can flourish and mutate, creating yet more ideas and ways for the music industry to revive itself like a wilting flower.
Here you’ll see who’s making waves in the music metaverse space. Big names and up comers alike are piling in. It’s an environment primed for innovators.
The price of Ethereum dropped 47% in June, making it one of the worst months for crypto on record. How is the music NFT market doing? In spite of the volatile market, the top 10 music NFTs generated over 1,000 ETH ($1.1 million at June 30 conversion rates) in trade volume, with notable collections from Snoop Dogg, OMGKirby, and Chaos. Compared to June 1, however – before cryptocurrencies’ latest crash – that same 1,000 ETH would be worth almost $2 million. It stands in stark contrast to the multi-million dollar drops of early 2021.
Still, Web3 enthusiasts remain bullish with many in the space focused on reimagining the music industry — with a focus on independent artists (among the month’s top music NFTs, none of the artists are signed to major labels). “Whether the market’s up or down, we’re in the business of how do we help artists reach the most amount of people and how do we help artists make money from their music?” David Greenstein, founder of NFT platform Sound.xyz and former A&R at Atlantic Records, recently told Billboard. “The mission transcends a bull or a bear market.”
While many artists have pushed their NFT drops to later dates in hopes the market rebounds, others have pushed ahead. And in the meanwhile, secondary sales continue on platforms like OpenSea. Based on analysis of sales data from 14 different NFT platforms, here are the 10 biggest-selling music NFTs and collections in Web3 in June 2022.
1. Chaos – “Chaos Packs”
Volume traded: 484.8 ETH ($492,000 at month-end conversion rates)
Only in Web3 can a group of independent artists outsell legends like Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Chaos is a collective of 80 independent musicians and artists that came together in a digital songcamp. The musicians rotated into different bands every two weeks and produced a total of 45 songs, before packaging them up into 5,000 NFT “packs.” Holders can choose whether or not to reveal them, like opening a pack of Pokemon cards. Chaos is one of the most ambitious music NFT projects so far (even Diplo took notice and picked one up).
Volume traded: 148 ETH ($150,072)
Deafbeef is a vintage synth project with a twist. The entire collection is ‘generative’, which means the music was created by an algorithm, and coded into existence on a 10-year old computer by musician Deafbeef.
The collection was released back in March 2021 but it’s enjoying a resurgence as the crypto winter sets in. Generative collections like Deafbeef are considered culturally important in crypto collector circles, as they represent a new artform not possible without blockchain technology. These rare items are often referred to as ‘grails.’ As the price of ETH drops, big art collectors are swooping in. There were only four Deafbeef sales in June, but each one changed hands for more than 32 ETH ($32,448).
3. Royce da 5’9” – “Caterpillar (featuring Eminem and King Green)”
Volume traded: $124,911
Released in 2018, “Caterpillar” by Royce da 5’9” with Eminiem and King Green has already racked up 46 million streams on Spotify, making it the Detroit rapper’s top track. Now fans can get a piece of future royalties through a limited edition NFT. Royce da 5’9” dropped the NFT with Royal, a platform that gives NFT holders a percentage of streaming royalties. Three exclusive ‘Diamond-tier’ holders also get to book a studio session with Royce da 5’9”.
4. OMGKirby + OMGKirby Genesis
Volume traded: 114 ETH ($115,596)
OMGKirby is a lo-fi music YouTube channel-turned-NFT project. The ‘Genesis’ collection, launched in January is a series of generative lofi beats paired with hazy, cartoon images. In early June, OMGKirby dropped a second collection as a free mint. This time, it’s a series of profile picture (pfp) NFTs designed to be your avatar for the metaverse. Holders also get access to new music NFT drops in the future. The hype sent trading volume on both collections to a combined 114 ETH in June.
5. WVRPS by Warpsound
Volume traded: 62.38 ETH ($63,253)
WRVPs is a collection of 9,999 profile picture NFTs, each with a unique music soundtrack created by AI. Launched in January, it is consistently one of the most-traded music NFT collections.
6. Snoop Dogg – “B.O.D.R.”
Volume traded: 43.85 ETH ($44,463)
B.O.D.R. is Snoop Dogg’s first album since taking over Death Row Records in February. Alongside the traditional album release on streaming services, Snoop dropped 25,000 NFT “stash boxes,” each containing one of 17 tracks from the album. The NFTs also give holders access to future airdrops including comics, films and gig tickets. Snoop has been a pioneer in the Web3 music space and aims to turn Death Row Records into the world’s first metaverse label, suggesting this is just a taste of more to come.
7. BT – “The Orbs”
Volume traded: 41.89 ETH ($42,476)
The Orbs are a series of 3,333 audiovisual NFTs created by DJ and producer BT. Each NFT has a musical soundtrack designed to play forever without looping or repeating. The collection was released in February.
8. Steve Aoki – “Piss on the Dance Floor”
Volume traded: 25.6 ETH ($25,958)
Yes, that’s the real name of the song. In June, the NFT community descended on New York City en masse for the NFT NYC conference. Steve Aoki headlined the Goblintown party where he debuted a new track, “Piss on the Dance Floor,” and later released it as a free NFT to attendees and select members of his Aokiverse. If you missed the ‘Goblintown’ hype, by the way, it was a free NFT project based around goblins that bizarrely reached a floor price of 9 ETH in early June — approximately $17,000 at the time.
9. Cartoon – “No Halo (feat. Asena)”
Volume traded: $21,690
Cartoon dropped their bouncy drum’n’bass track “No Halo” in late May, and followed it with an NFT through Royal that gave 151 token holders access to streaming royalties. Unlike the Royce da 5’9” track, this grants streaming royalties from day one. One diamond-tier holder also gets a 1:1 virtual studio session.
10. Angelbaby – “The Otherside (ft. Gino the Ghost)”
Volume traded: 20.45 ETH ($20,736)
Angelbaby is a “metastar,” a fully virtual artist that only exists in the metaverse. Angelbaby performs as a Flufworld avatar — a collection of 10,000 rabbit NFTs built around a community of creatives and musicians. Their debut track, “The Otherside” features an anthemic chorus written with Grammy award-winning songwriter and producer Gino the Ghost, who uses a Bored Ape avatar for the project. The track is only available to listen to through Web3 streaming service Audius and was released by The Hume Collective — a metaverse record label backed by several influential VC firms in the crypto space. The Otherside NFT also gives fans an allowlist space for Hume’s upcoming genesis NFT.
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