At a time when Humanity is going through a particularly dark period because of the most pronounced acronym in recent months (Covid: acronym of COrona VIrus Disease), another one is about to revolutionize the leisure industry in its widest sense...
STRUCK - 04.05.2021 -
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But before we know the implications of this mysterious, potentially savior acronym, what does it mean?

NFT (Non Fungible Token) is a special type of cryptographic token that represents a unique, non-interchangeable thing unlike crypto-currencies (bitcoin being the best known) that are fungible.
This virtual token is based on the secure and independent blockchain system Ethereum, which runs on its cryptocurrency Ether. Thanks to the blockchain, even works of art can now be authenticated and secured like a Bitcoin. Simply put, the NFT is to art what Bitcoin is to currency.

This token is a sort of title deed, a certificate of authenticity for any virtual object, whether it is a tweet, an excerpt from a sports match, a video game element, a photo, a video, a music... For the record, you should know that the NFT phenomenon appeared on November 28, 2017 with CryptoKitties, an online game that allows you to collect virtual cats to raise.

In other words, after currency, it's now the turn of works of art to become digital and these tokens are now trading at a premium, as evidenced by the staggering sale of Jack Dorsey's (co-founder of Tweeter) first tweet, which was snatched up for $2.9 million. When our elders paid a lot of money for grand master paintings, our contemporaries are snatching up tweets.

In the same way, when we collected Panini stickers of our favorite soccer players, today, the NBA Top Shoot application allows us to buy and exchange videos of basketball game action through NFT.

In the same vein as when you collected thumbnails of your favorite superheroes, today several Marvel artists have teamed up with Portion. 25 NFT's were auctioned off and one of them by Adam Kubert sold for 12.75 Ether or nearly $25,000.

In the same spirit, the original GIF of the Internet's most famous cat Nyan Cat sold at auction for €470,000. Finally, the Canadian musician Grimes auctioned off ten of her digital works "Warnymph" and raised nearly $6 million.

While these purchases may seem crazy to some since we can all watch Beeple's work, watch Grimes' video or continue to download Nyan Cat's GIF, the fact remains that these works are owned by one person.

But then how could this new mysterious acronym save the music industry or at least the artists whose sources of income have been in free fall for several years and even more since the advent of streaming?

The band Kings of Leon, pushes the approach a little further by releasing its new album (to be followed soon on Music Waves) in NFT format which is a first.

Of course, the album will still be sold in the traditional way and still available on platforms such as Spotify or Deezer, but the band offers 3 NFT -the "NFT Yourself"- of this new album 'When You See Yourself' whose purpose is to offer additional content to fans. The first version of NFT is the "Album Pack" with a limited edition 'Golden Eye' vinyl, the digital version of the project and an animated cover of the project. The second "Golden Tickets" limited to 18 copies - 6 of which will be auctioned off, the remaining 12 will be kept in the hope that they will gain in value over time - includes a real ticket to a band concert and VIP benefits, such as front row seats for life. And finally, a third NFT containing unreleased artwork.

The result?  In just two weeks (the time-limited sale), the band generated more than $2 million in sales, with the majority of the proceeds coming from the sale of six of the NFT "Golden Tickets. 

Kings of Leon will forever be the first, but considering the few examples like Grimes, it is highly probable that other artists will follow the trend.

And why should they not, considering the amount of money the artists mentioned above have earned, especially when we know that their sources of income have been shrinking as the music industry has evolved and especially the democratization of music streaming?

On the other hand, don't these digital auctions of unique content concern a category of mainstream artists who are already very popular? Will the more confidential artists -of which Music Waves is the spokesperson through its articles- generate as much money as the examples we have just exposed? Nothing is less sure... 

Nevertheless, it seems that the world of art and music is going through a new revolution for once positive for creators. Will this trend continue? To be followed in the next months...

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(4) COMMENT(S)  
Coïncidence notre ami Thomas VDB a fait un billet récent sur France Inter à ce sujet
Excellent édito ! Il est clair que les NFT représentent le futur du marché des collectionneurs. Avec un avantage certain sur le marché de l'art traditionnel : l'authenticité des NFT est immédiatement prouvable (pas besoin d'expert ni de commissaire priseur). C'est donc un levier de croissance que les artistes auraient tord de négliger. Mais effectivement, comme le dit Struck, ça ne concerne pour l'instant que les gros. Cela dit, des genres musicaux plus underground ont une fanbase solide qui, j'en suis persuadé, serait capable d'investir dans des oeuvres numériques uniques pour prouver leur appartenance à l'élite de leur tribu. La question se posera en revanche à l'avenir de la valeur d'échange des NFT. Mais tout le monde sait que la rareté est la valeur perçue la plus importante sur n'importe quel marché. Ce nouveau phénomène est donc à suivre de près.
Il est très probable qu'un ou plusieurs portails d'écoute en streaming de type spotify mais utilisant la technologie blockchain fasse son apparition d'ici quelques années qui permettront via des tokens de rétribuer directement les artistes. Il en existe déjà mais pour l'instant, ils ne sont pas vraiment aboutis et on est encore dans quelque chose de confidentiel.
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