Music’s financial relationship with technology has been turbulent through recent decades, but can one new startup’s novel use of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) marry the tech, crypto and music industries to form a prosperous new future for music’s Creators, Curators and Collectors?
“What we have with Token||Traxx is the perfect hybrid of music discovery, adoption, curation and monetisation,” explains acclaimed award-winning music producer TommyD, who is co-founder of the London-based blockchain start-up, Token||Traxx.
Through blockchain and Decentralised Finance (DeFi) technology, the Token||Traxx platform is set to create a whole new income stream to support the traditional and established music community. Furthermore, the platform will be the first one ever to provide curators and tastemakers with the ability to monetise their playlists and mix choices.
“NFTs have opened up a world where fans can generate income not only for their heroes, but alongside them,” TommyD continues.
Fans Sharing Financial Revenues With The Artists
Having a keen interest in tech, especially crypto, TommyD saw an opportunity to develop a platform around blockchain and DeFi that focused entirely on music and the unique multifaceted relationship music creators have with their fans.
Token||Traxx aims to become the leading one stop portal to allow those music fans who are cryptocurrency adopters, to engage and support on many different levels with their favourite artists, sharing in the potential financial returns generated. It will do this by essentially tokenising music, not only the music which has been created, but music that has been curated and collected into the form of traditional playlists, similar to those found on Spotify or Apple Music but turbocharged through blockchain.
There is a uniquely intricate and symbiotic mutual relationship between music’s Creators, Curators and Collectors and their role in the implementation of music. The Token||Traxx platform will allow these three essential roles to work and profit together through a new income stream: NFTs. However, unlike other NFT sites which sell any type of potential NFTs from music to art, sports memorabilia to videos, Token||Traxx is exclusive to the music loving community.
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“This is important because we are about building a unique community of support for music creatives and so it is essential that Token||Traxx feels like a ‘music’ platform in the same traditional way,” enthuses TommyD.
The platform can be highly customised and personalised, whereby users can browse music by artist, genre, play list and location. The platform will have a focus on mobile to encourage usage within events and will be as easy and fun to use as Spotify when discovering music and as simple as Amazon to trade on.
The gamification, competitiveness and ultimate profitability of Token||Traxx trading is designed to build on that basic human desire to achieve status from owning something rare, or the success of profiting from the early-stage ownership of something that increases in value.
Blockchain Holds the Key to the Future of Music Engagement
Token||Traxx is built from the ground up to function on blockchain. Without blockchain Token||Traxx would just be another music streaming platform. Blockchain provides NFT rarity and functionality across many aspects of music engagement, from tracks, playlists, tickets, merchandise and tailored VIP packages.
Because NFTs are smart contracts, versatile digital certificates of authenticity which can be tailored to individual needs gives Creators a more flexible arrangement with fans and these can be transferred to anyone in the world.
They can also be geocentric, allowing Creators to hold NFT auctions around specific events. Blockchain provides simple direct transactions that can be securely accounted for on every level, facilitating new accurately defined breakdowns of royalty payments, a problem that the industry needs to solve.
How Token||Traxx Believes it Can Succeed Where Others Have Failed
Existing platforms fall into two categories. Firstly, streaming platforms such as Spotify, Bandcamp, or Beatport. Secondly, emerging platforms that are selling NFTs.
“In the first category those platforms would struggle to compete with Token||Traxx as we are built from the ground upwards to work within blockchain allowing us to sell limited edition NFT versions of any Music Creators output and allowing the immutable blockchain process to organise and distribute the royalties from these transactions is our business model,” explains TommyD. “All the other platforms work on a commission or subscription model. It would therefore take a complete rewrite of not only the platform but the entire business model.”
“Of the platforms in the second category, we are only seeing tech platforms, with music bolted on,” continues TommyD.
“Past platforms have failed because they tried to attack the status quo, especially in relation to major labels who have a total stranglehold over the industry. We will be working with the majors, and they will see our novel use of NFTs as a facilitator to increase their profits, not diminish them. Working with the majors and allowing them to profit greatly from what we do will enable us to flourish. This was Spotify’s policy and it worked.”
A Highly Credible Team Of Industry Heavyweights
Token||Traxx has already demonstrated their willingness to work alongside the heavyweights of major music labels and dominant platforms such as Spotify by onboarding some of their biggest former C suite execs.
Miles Leonard, ex-Chairman of Parlophone Records/Warner Music is a co-founder and Marco Bertozzi, formerly a Vice President at Spotify, has recently joined the board of advisors. TommyD has worked with Kanye West, JayZ, Beyonce, Kylie, Rita Ora and Frank Ocean and has been involved in the sale of more than 60million units and over a billion streams. Another co-founder, global music industry leader, Richard Zijlma, ran Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) the largest electronic music festival in the world, for 20 years.
Alongside these music industry legends are Tim Gentry, the ex-global Head of Revenue for the Guardian Media Group who built their US and Australia operations, Carl Weir, whose 25 years of banking and tech has seen him at the forefront of blockchain adoption with Cardano and HSBC and Brian Elders, a founder of Sors Digital Assets who has a long track record in international finance and professional services. The team are currently fundraising and building the platform ready for launch in Autumn 2022.
“Token||Traxx has the opportunity to set a precedent in this new age of blockchain and music, most notably around song writing and performance royalties which have traditionally been much lower than master rights, set to be redefined,” summarises TommyD.