I’ve been a fan of music my whole life.
There’s never been a way to bet on the songs (and artists) I love - until now.
Over the past year, I’ve dedicated the majority of my time to collecting Music NFTs - or collectible songs.
I’m proud to be the leading collector on Sound.xyz - with 600 NFTs from more than 200 artists.
Throughout this time, I’ve developed a collecting strategy.
Support emerging artists using web3 to meaningfully impact their career.
In September, I announced Coop Records - a $10M early-stage fund investing in the next generation of music.
5% of the fund - or $500k - is set aside for purchase Music NFTs.
In this post, we’ll highlight how it will be allocated - expanding on how I think about collecting Music NFTs personally, and hopefully creating a framework for those to come.
But first - let’s start with the basics.
A “Music NFT” is an NFT containing a song (i.e. an .mp3 or .wav.) and a cover art.
Music NFTs are most commonly grouped in a “collection” or a set of NFTs all representing the same song - however they can also be sold as 1/1s.
This is important to define as it helps narrow down they types of NFT we look to collect.
As a good rule of thumb - if you can play it on Spinamp, it’s a Music NFT.
Coop Records aims to hold valuable Music NFTs in our portfolio.
Music NFTs allow the fund to invest in collections with historical relevance that reflect the taste and preference of the brand.
Music is subjective, and collecting is a good way to showcase the songs, artists and genre(s) Coop Records finds particularly interesting.
When announcing the fund - we received an influx of requests from artists to “sign” their next single, EP or album.
This made me wonder - what do deals look like where you only participate in the NFTs, not the masters or publishing?
The initial thought was to provide an advance (i.e. $50k) in exchange for primary and secondary sales (say 25%) on future Music NFT collections (i.e. 10 songs).
After trying to reverse engineer the economics, I landed on a much simpler view.
Coop Records purchases Music NFTs.
This prevents the need for the NFTs to gross a certain amount of ETH to breakeven while ensuring that the artist is still properly allocating time and resources into their collections.
We retain exposure in the most native format possible.
So the next logical question became - what NFTs do we collect?
Coop Records will purchase Music NFTs using the following framework:
Identify an artist which has cultural relevance with the Music NFT community.
Target emerging artists that get their roots from the use of web3, done by:
Releasing Music NFTs every time a song comes out on Spotify.
Releasing songs exclusively as Music NFTs.
Onboarding and collaborating with other web3 artists.
Collecting Music NFTs from other web3 artists.
The target artist is one who has web3 at the front and center of their release strategy and is actively looking to bring other artists into the space.
We believe more value will accrue to Music NFTs from emerging artists than existing superstars.
However - Coop Records also has an interest in artists who have seen commercial success and have recently left a major record deal.
We believe these artists are in search of a new chapter for their career, and find their earliest Music NFTs to be the best way to capture this pivot in their journey.
Zoom in on the collection(s) with historical relevance to an artist’s web3 career.
Genesis collections can be thought of as rookie cards.
Coop Records collects artist’s rookie cards.
Beyond genesis collections, we identify collections which have a unique edge or story that gives it historical credence.
Collaborations, newly independent releases and collections that experiment with rarity and ownership fit this bucket.
For many established web3 artists, their genesis collections are either illiquid or command a high price premium.
In these scenarios, Coop Records looks to participate in the primary market for their follow-on collections.
Coop Records looks to acquire 5% of the total supply for a given collection.
This is done through the primary market, and then on the secondary if unable to acquire at inception.
We prioritize single digit editions (#1-5) IF on or near floor, followed by sweeping the cheapest listed NFTs.
Beyond ownership, we look to acquire the rarest asset(s) in a collection.
This includes Golden Eggs, Legendary Editions and other “1/1” like traits.
The goal is to target a minimum 10x resale on what they are acquired for.
Coop Records will look to collect from many web3 artists over the course of the next year.
There are no immediate plans to trade these Music NFTs, more so to participate in their development and demonstrate day-to-day awareness of the cultural movements of the space.
We expect the average holding period to be at least a year, though much of this is dependent on the growth of the market as a whole.
While there’s a strong development around royalty-backed NFTs, Coop Records is not acquiring these assets at this time. This is a much larger topic - and one we will expand on in future articles.
We’re most excited about supporting emerging artists selling Music NFTs as editions, and to date - the vast majority of that is happening on Sound.
We’re eager and excited to collect Music NFTs on other platforms, but believe Sound has developed the strongest market for Music NFTs that fit the criteria above to date.
We want artists to be proud to have Coop Records as a collector - and to show portfolio companies that we have direct connections with (and exposure to) the most exciting acts in web3.
Using this thesis, Coop Records has acquired NFTs from:
In aggregate, Coop Records has spent ~34 ETH or $54,000 on Music NFTs to date.
You can find a full breakdown of these purchases here.
For an up-to-date look at the collection, visit the Coop Records OpenSea profile.
While Coop Records is acquiring Music NFTs - it’s important to highlight that selling Music NFTs is natural for the growth of the space.
While it’s optimistic to expect every collector to be in it to support the love of the art - it’s far more likely that people will get excited about buying a sold-out drop and reselling it for a profit.
This behavior is what drove momentum for Crypto Art, PFPs and DeFi tokens.
In the same way that XCOPY’s early 1/1s were sold for ~1 ETH and resold for 500 ETH+, we expect the same trends to play out with music.
The more we can prove that Music NFTs allow fans to make money trading their favorite songs, the larger these markets will grow.
We actively welcome and invite collectors to make private offers to Coop Records.
We will continue to refine our thesis and share updates.
We encourage other collectors to share their thesis and help us update our thinking.
In the meantime - you can stay up with the latest stories, drops and community chatter through my free newsletter This Week in Music NFTs.
It’s shaping up to be an exciting next couple months.
We can’t wait to see you out there.
Special thanks to Brett Shear, Craig, Spinz808, Adam D’augelli, Ben Brown, Studio Nouveau, Steve Hall Reo Cragun, Mija and John Itzler for feedback on this post.