NFTs are arousing great interest because of the new relationships they are creating between music and art. The NFT movement is global, and now a new NFT service has been launched in Japan: . walled (pronounced “dot mu-ura”), a marketplace for musicians and music fans.
Norikazu Yamaguchi is the president of Studio ENTRE, which is responsible for the .mura project. He started his career as a music producer and has extensive experience in everything from book publishing to human resources and business development. Evangelist active in the field of entertainment technology, he took advantage of the launch of .mura to write this special article.
The close affinity between blockchain technology and music
The development of blockchain technology is expected to have a profound impact on the structure of society – an impact equal to or even greater than the rise of the internet. Let me quote a passage from “The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Blockchain,” written by Muuto Morikawa, who is the author of numerous books on blockchains and who is also the CEO of Ginco Inc., which provides custody systems. cryptographic and node provider services in Japan.
âBlockchain technology integrates the best of the analog world by bringing certainty to digital spaces. Blockchains extend and evolve the trust established between individuals.
By providing the certainty of the analog world, one of its outstanding characteristics, blockchain technology gives individuals the ability to manage their own rights and the value they create, without needing to rely on others to manage it. This is why people talk about the strong affinity between blockchain technology and music since the technology first appeared. The rise of digital technology has changed the very structure of the music industry, putting power in the hands of individuals. The use of blockchain technologies increases both the need and the inevitability of distributing works, managing copyright and collecting payments. This article will focus specifically on NFT technology.
The importance of NFT technology in enabling musicians to ensure scarcity
The appearance of NFTs will be a historic turning point for copyright. Indeed, they will allow the fundamental structure of copyright, consisting of originals and copies, to be reproduced in digital spaces.
With the advancement of the digital revolution, music and pictures have become digital files, which can be easily copied. While digitization has provided many benefits, driving the evolution of music, it has also put enormous pressure on musicians by making content free. NFT technology, however, allows musicians to define and control their own works on their own. musicians can decide their own rules, without having to go through record companies, in order to be able to go back to a time when there were clear and indisputable masters. NFTs will produce what you might call a “spiral evolution”, flowing backwards while moving upwards.
From a master recording market ecosystem perspective, NFTs also offer tremendous value. In our modern era of subscriptions, streaming services are at the heart of the music ecosystem, and it all comes down to the number of plays. The system of distributing total sales based on number of plays is a fair and easy to understand system, but it is not suitable for the whole ecosystem of the music industry. The musicians themselves go through different phases of activity with varying funding needs. NFT technologies are expected to play an important role in raising the funds needed for music creation processes such as recording. This is an area to which we hope that .mura can contribute.
The deep meaning of “owner of common goods”
The .mura market aims to form a new community of musicians and music fans, so it calls auction buyers âowners of the commonsâ. This neologism is rooted in the idea that a buyer who owns a work is a representative of the community. It could be seen as the 2020s way of supporting musicians.
The owners of commons who place the winning bids for the works (music files + works of art) accompanied by NFT in the .mura auctions are the first to recognize the quality of these works, designed with so much care by musicians, and are responsible for conveying this value to others. If the value increases, they can make a profit by reselling the works. The .mura market seeks to create a cycle of positive feedback, in which people use their eyes (and ears) to reinvest those profits in new work and talent. We hope to attract not only existing fans of the musicians, but also other users who are discovering musicians because of their NFT works, bringing them into this round of investment. The existence of common property owners is vital to the formation of this community of music fans centered on musicians.
Collaborate with Ginco to provide updated experiences and create a “musician first” world
The current boom in NFT, which some believe to be overheated, is in part due to the speculative impact of cryptocurrency, with which it shares a great affinity. The .mura marketplace aims to provide even more convenience to users by leveraging digital currencies, but, at the same time, it intends to keep its distance from the excesses of speculation. There is also growing concern about the use of NFTs in money laundering globally, which is why .mura was designed to carefully verify user identities and match buyers and musicians. By focusing on the ability of NFT technology to be used as a certificate of authenticity by musicians themselves, .mura is dedicated to forming an ecosystem that improves the sustainability of musicians’ activities.
He believes that by working with Ginco who excels in improving the convenience of services through the use of blockchain transactions, digital currencies, etc., mura will be able to reduce speculation and provide musicians strong fund-buying capabilities.
Turn music files back into âmusical worksâ and cover thumbnails into âworks of artâ in their own right
One of the goals of .mura is to transform music from thoughtlessly consumed content into musical works by musicians and the almost symbolic thumbnails of digital service covers into artwork from creators.
He also wishes to present creators of works of art. He’s even considering a twist on the âmulti-jacket albumâ – in this version, a single photographer would team up with multiple musicians to sell different songs with the same artwork. Hopes are high for the use of .mura by art directors, illustrators and other musicians. It could even offer opportunities to discover new musical paradigms.
The .mura market aims to create a world in which musicians enjoy the healthy support of their fans and are able to engage in sustained activity. the musicians themselves will have the power to set the prices of their works, and the prices will be determined through user auctions, with the proceeds of the resale going to the musicians.
We believe that with the proper use of NFT technologies, we can solve the three challenges of securing funds for the creation of master recordings, fostering organic communication with fans, and protecting the distinctive characteristics of creators.
Building a high-quality music-loving community that puts musicians at the forefront, launched right here in Japan
The world of blockchain technology transcends national borders even more than the Internet. The existence of an NFT market should provide opportunities for interaction between Japanese musicians and overseas fans. Much is also expected from the popularity of DFTs to stimulate even more interest. Of course, works by non-Japanese musicians are also welcome.
It will be important to have curators who can convey the value of works from all kinds of different perspectives. We will increase our number of official commissioners, making .mura a multifaceted space for sharing the value of musicians’ creations.
There have also been some interesting developments in the anime world. The SAMURAI crypto service was founded by Shinichiro Ishikawa, CEO of Animation Studio Gonzo. Its basic idea is to serve as a “system to provide income to animators, who play a vital role in the world of anime but have not yet been able to enjoy its economic benefits.” This concept of providing benefits to members of the creative process through direct user funding is shared by .mura. We hope to collaborate globally and further improve the positions of the Japanese brand.
Rhizomatiks, who is responsible for Perfume’s digital performance, launched her own NFT marketplace and started selling works through it. The efforts of Japanese musicians to use NFT technology began in earnest.
Participating musicians include Tetsuya Komuro, Nirgilis, The50kaitenz, Yusuke Asada, Clammbon and other prominent musicians
The business model of the .mura marketplace is simple: conduct auctions to sell audio files and cover image files with NFT Certificates of Authenticity. Special extras relating to the background of the individual works of each musician are provided to the owner of the commons.
Some of these include the rights to use the purchased music in the owner’s own videos and even the sharing of copyright revenue and sales of digital services.
Musicians with exceptional musical sensibility and expansive vision participate, including am8, Tetsuya Komuro, Nirgilis, The50kaitenz, Yusuke Asada, Clammbon and Yuki Hayashi. We hope that music fans around the world will participate in this auction.
Timely service from a startup studio that builds one business after another
The .mura marketplace, which sells NFT works using an auction approach, was launched as part of a collaboration between start-up studio StudioENTRE and Ginco, which has been hugely successful as a blockchain company. .
A startup studio is a business format based on the Hollywood film production approach. It focuses on the product while creating something from scratch while developing entrepreneurs and cultivating new business. Many start-up studios have been created across the world in recent years. Their objective is to validate in depth the business hypotheses before creating a company and to collect funding from investors.
Studio ENTRE is the only start-up studio in the world focused on EnterTech. He also plans to incorporate .mura through a carve-out. We are currently forming a corporate foundation team, so if you are interested in updating the music ecosystem through launching a new business, we are waiting to hear from you.
This article by Norikazu Yamaguchi first appeared on Japan billboard.