Every year since 2019, crypto enthusiasts have descend upon New York City for the world’s largest Web3 and cryptocurrency convention, NFT NYC. This year, international payments giant Mastercard unveiled a new collection of music pass NFTs that grant access to its Artist Accelerator program, first launched in January.
The Artist Accelerator program is designed to help both fans and artist get a better understanding of how Web3 technology can be used in the industry.
Mastercard’s NFTs are free-to-mint and will be available until the end of this month for both musicians and fans. The Artist Accelerator program was created in collaboration with the popular Layer 2 blockchain Polygon (MATIC).
Collectors and fans who pick up one of the Mastercard passes will snag themselves early access to features like an AI-powered music app, as well as educational materials and an opportunity to win access to a live concert in June.
NFT-gated artist accelerator program
For the artists, the program is designed to aid them in their quest to better utilise Web3 and blockchain tech to enhance their earnings and widen their fan base. While Web3 still remains a fringe pursuit among many creatives and musicians, a growing number of artists have begun integrating NFTs into their marketing and outreach strategies.
Australian entrepreneur Max Shand and his Web3 music company Serenade is one such example of how artists can harness Web3 technology to offer a new generation of product to fans in the modern age. Serenade offers what’s called a Digital Pressing, which is a curated package of collectibles for superfans. These pressings have been used by globally-renowned artists like Muse to offer exclusive access to new music, audio bites, voice notes, photography, video, artwork and tours via NFTs.
This isn’t the first time Mastercard has ventured into the world of blockchains. In September 2021, Mastercard released a sports-focused NFT collection in partnership with football super coach Jose Mourinho. Additionally, the payments company has also created crypt-accessible debit cards alongside Polygon and Web3 startup Hi.
There are a number of globally renowned artists already participating in the accelerator program including the likes of Grammy-winning artist Cocoa Sarai, R&B singer Young Athena, and Grammy nominee Manu Manzu. Mentors of the program include Polygon’s Head of Business Development Brian Trunzo, and rapper/Zora’s Head of Programming Latashá among others.
Overall, Mastercard’s most recent foray into Web3 shows a high level of conviction towards the industry from one of the world’s largest payment processing firms.