Web3 Music Business

Is 2022 the Year for Web3 Music? Why a $10m Fund Might Change the Music Industry

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Crypto influencer Cooper Turley has announced the launch of a US$10 million fund to bring musicians and Web3 startup founders together in what he’s calling a “hybrid between a venture fund, record label, and an incubator.”

Having secured backing from existing blue-chip crypto projects like Audius and OpenSea, Turley’s new fund looks to solve the financial imbalance between traditional streaming giants like Spotify and individual artists.

In a blog post that provided further details of the fund, Turley expressed his concerns over how notoriously difficult it has been to invest in the music industry in the past. According to Turley, Coop Records aims to democratise the music investment landscape by allowing artists to directly monetise their work without needing to sell their creative work to a record label.

Traditionally, creators in the music industry seeking investment would do so through a streaming service or record label which typically has significant control over their creative output and monetisation avenues. Coop Records looks to solve this by helping creators in the space sell ownership of their music and related products through tokenized assets.

In the fund’s Twitter thread announcement, Turley said that his fund will act as an incubator, venture capital firm and record label all in one, supporting artists in making profitable Web3 technologies of their work.

“We should be able to invest in our favourite artists,” he wrote.

“What if an artist raised capital to build an ecosystem for their fans? This is the focus of what we’re calling ‘Artist Seed Rounds’”.

Artist Seed Rounds are designed to help artists find funders who believe in their work, without exercising the same amount of control as a record label typically would. Turley sees this as being a boon for the long-term future of the music industry, as Web3 allows creators to create economically practical communities of fans around their art.

Turley clarified that Web3 technology won’t ‘replace’ streaming services, rather it offers a unique and varied stack of new monetisation models for creators in the music industry.

“There’s a common misconception that NFTs are meant to replace streaming — I believe this is incorrect. Streaming is a growing industry, and it will continue to grow in the coming years,” Turley wrote.

“But what about markets for patronage? For those who want to go deeper than adding a new release to their playlist? That’s where Music NFTs come in. Music NFTs are a net new revenue stream — the first of many offered by web3,” he continued.

The Coop Records fund launch symbolises a significant step in the evolution of NFT technology as it seeks to expand the reach of Web3 technology to aid creators and businesses in the music industry.

Notably, Turley was the co-founder and key campaigners of the Friends With Benefits DAO.