Inside Music Curation: Web3 Music Trends

Web3, NFTs, and what that means for music. Watch this episode of Inside Music Curation with industry expert and special guest, Vickie Nauman.

Vickie specializes in the intersection between technology and music. She is the Founder and CEO of the consulting and advisory firm CrossBorderWorks, and works with a portfolio of forward-thinking companies in gaming, tech, consumer electronics, finance, and music since 2014.

Watch the full episode here:


Subscribe on YouTube

The music curation team here at Feed Media Group (FMG) is experienced at selecting music for businesses. While technology and analytics play a critical role throughout the curation process, it’s the expertise, inquisitiveness, and ability of our music curators to put the world around us into perspective that make our music stations so effective. Staying connected to pop culture trends, and understanding the broader context of songs in society is key to putting together a great music station. It's this connection, context, and care that most distinguishes our stations from those the best algorithms of major streaming platforms might generate.

Join us as we explore topics surrounding the curation of music for businesses and brands. From use cases to user experience, we will dive into genre, audience, data and trends. Live on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, the first Wednesday of the month at 1pm pacific. 









Hello and welcome back to inside music curation, where the team at feed Media Group we're a B2B music platform. We get together every uh first Wednesday of the month to talk all things around music curation. I've got my esteemed colleagues Mike Savage and Juan Hernandez Cruz from our feed Media Group music curation team, and today we've got a very special guest. We've got Vicki Naman joining us to talk all about Trends in web3.

Thanks for joining us Vicky absolutely glad to be here a little bit of background on Vicki right she um she's been a a great partner for feed media group. She specializes in the intersection between technology and music with a focus on music licensing which is complicated um products relationships rights helping companies grow Global strategic development she's the founder and CEO of the Consulting advisory firm cross-border works because if music licensing wasn't complicated enough when you try to do it internationally it adds another layer on top of that um and you know has a really ambitious portfolio of forward-thinking companies that she works with across gaming Tech consumer electronics and she's a digital music Pioneer and web3 Enthusiast so that is why we're all here today to make sense of this thing called web3 and and I can tell you between the four of us on this screen we have varying levels of of what we know and understand about web3 but we're just going to dive in and talk about it you know from a music perspective and uh Mike I think you know you kind of had a great kickoff today in in your research tell us tell us what step you took to learn a little bit more about what I thought.

I thought, all right let me jump into the future or the presents, uh and get into chat GPT and I. I asked chat GPT I said uh, explain to me what web3 is in four sentences as if I were a seven-year-old. It gave a pretty good explanation uh for a seven-year-old so even I understood it kind of sort of um I can read it to you if you'd like I have it right yeah yes please well uh web3 is a new kind of Internet that helps people work together in a safe and fair way it's like a secret Clubhouse where you could do fun things with your friends even if they live far away in web3 you can own your own things and share them with others without anyone else being able to take them away it's a really cool place where you can have fun and be in charge.

Okay it's a little bit utopian right once but no one can take anything from you and you get to own your own stuff but it is it's true I think um what I like about the way the chat GPT described web3 is that it didn't get into all of the gobbledygook of blockchain it's more contracts and decentralized systems and you know on and on and on because that's where everyone gets really hung up is they they get mired in the details and they can't see what those opportunities and what the what the difference in the experience might look like yeah

Yeah I think that's that's where I usually end up right I just start there's all these terms being thrown up and I don't have the right wallet or what does blockchain mean like how do I get involved um you know but I think I think there's just this other level of like let's just talk infinite possibilities here and where this might take us yeah and I think the I think the important thing for people who might be new to the web3 world is that it is a suite of Technologies and these these Technologies are um you know they they change the kinds of things that that we can do online and so you know you hear about blockchain crypto smart contracts all of these kinds of things are relate are very closely related to what what we know as nfts I think that as time goes by we'll probably look back and say remember that in the early 19 early 2020s when all we were talking about were non-fungible tokens you know that's a it's a terrible name but it it basically allows people to buy digital Goods by by scarce digital Goods have them you know reflected on the blockchain that they do have ownership of it and then be able to resale and what's interesting there for any creators whether it's art and visual art or music or any other kinds of of things that are being sold on the blockchain is that if you resell it the original art artist can also participate in that resale because everything is reflected transparently on the blockchain um I think that that when we think about music 

I think music nfts and and this whole this whole Spectrum will probably evolve a little bit differently than it will for visual art because I think music I think a lot of this is going to be built around artists and fans and communities and fan clubs of all different sizes and shapes that might allow fans to you know connect with the artist have access to tickets co-create with the artists own some rare goods and be a part of a tribe and a community on the other side of of web3 there's also the more experiential things that we hear about the metaverse and the metaverse is is you know with with chat with that little chat GPT uh connection about being able to play with your friends whether they're near or far and that's very much Central to metaverse type of experiences where they're Virtual Worlds and um you know and you and I can be in different places on the planet but we as avatars can come together and be together in a virtual environment

This can be flat in the sense of just needing a computer or a mobile device can be with augmented reality virtual reality where you need some sort of eyewear or headset and I think they're probably going to be all sorts of things in here for music everything from everything from live concerts that we're already seeing some of this in platforms like fortnite and um and Roblox but I think um a really really you know I can imagine music festivals I can imagine that we will have artists performing for us as Holograms in local venues we will have the ability for people to be live and interacting with each other highly social very much real time and the artists as well and um and so this opens up this opens up I think for music really great opportunities for artists who have fans all over the world but who even if you do a 50 City Tour which is a an enormous undertaking you probably still won't reach the vast majority of your fans because they won't be able to be at you know Hamburg on a Tuesday night to see your performance there and so as we get as we get beyond the kind of simplified avatars into things that are a lot more hyper realistic um I think that those kinds of virtual worlds and virtual virtual concerts will take on a you know a different kind of emotional meaning than what they do now and I think you I think you nodded to something a few things that I've I've identified around web3 and that is it's very experience based right like yes you have nfts and you have these tokens and there's all these benefits of being able to resell and track that back to the original artist um and I think web2 itself has been trying to do this right like especially through the pandemic right 

I think there's been some blurred lines between how web 2 is trying to accomplish you know these same kind of experience based connections so you know what do you see as like the primary differences between web 2 and web3 or maybe where the lines are starting to get blurred I think it's a it's a great observation because I I don't really think that there is this web 2 and web 3 and these are binary differences where we have web you know 2.1 2.2 2.5 we have all sorts of Shades of Gray and that you know even even platforms like Roblox which is really it's not decentralized it's very much a centralized platform but that is still a metaverse and it's still a virtual world um but I think that that you know some of the things that some of the things that are similar about the way that we have evolved music where we're trying to bring artists and fans closer together places like patreon and band page and or um a band camp and um and then you know artists and fans being able to be closer in live streams and chats and some of the things that have emerged in the pandemic which um which I think also have a a different degree of authenticity and you know before the pandemic there was so much um you know requirement around you know anytime an artist is going to do something that's got to be perfect and it's got to be polished and finished and what we saw during the pandemic was you know like artists doing shows in their living room in their jammies for the rest of us who were locked at home and and all of these things lead to this more authentic personal relationship that that we can have through technology with artists that we love but there are some things that are really different about web3 and web 2 in terms of like business models and revenues and that I think is something that is um that's so important especially for artists today because for instance like all of the all of the monetization we have now online streaming services ugc social media platforms they're all really subject to algorithms to volume and to access and so the business models will only really work for you as an artist if your music gets streamed Millions hundreds of millions of times in some instances is the only way that you will make any kind of meaningful money and um and that really doesn't work for everyone and and it's I I think about the a pyramid of artists and at the very top you have the maybe the top two percent um at the bottom you have hobbyists and people who are not necessarily trying to do this as a career but they're it's a creative expression but in the middle there's a lot of Independent Artists maybe some artists on major labels even um and artists that are on Independent labels many of whom have long careers and they have very loyal fan bases but it's really that middle section that that the current business models don't necessarily work because maybe the music doesn't get on playlists or you not let your fans don't listen to your music on repeat over and over and over again and um and in web 2 it's really hard it's really hard to make money and and in in our environment if you're if you're falling into that category but in web 3 there's all sorts of ways to pull in a small group of fans into a community into an nft into some sort of token-based environment or in a matter of and to monetize a small group of fans out of loyalty and out of Engagement and this isn't dissimilar to some of the things that we know about gaming um but it opens up Revenue for artists who can better engage with their fans directly monetize their fans directly and um and not be subject to you know the rules around you know the only way that you can really make money is if your music has streamed hundreds of millions of times 

I think that that changes the Paradigm for a lot of for a lot of artists to take a little bit more control figure out which of their fans want to participate in web3 and then you know come up with a creative idea that is going to really engage them and they will support you where do you think we are um just in terms of of sort of technical challenges right um you know not everybody knows what a metamask is or that they would have to buy Bitcoin and put it into a wallet in order to go and support their favorite artists on web3 like hap like how far out do you think we are in terms of this being a semi-regular you know occurrence yeah I think that's a great Point too um Mike because the user experience is pretty clunky right now and it is exactly as you say like oh okay I want to buy an nft I need to get some crypto over here and then I'm going to create a metamask account I'm going to put the money in my metamask account and my wallet and then I'm going to buy the nft over there and I'm going to open up my wallet and attach it to the nft platform and buy the nft and then close the wallet and the nft is over there and you have a code to get to that and then you have your metamask and it's it's like it is very very far from mainstream and so we have a lot of web3 enthusiasts who are in this world but I think in order I think in order for this to become mainstream it especially music users we've gotten so spoiled by the ease of use of spotify and apple music and the you know the Simplicity of being able to open up an app and find any kind of song that you want um and so I think for in order for this to become mainstream we need to have everything you know the ability for people to pay in just regular currency we need to have much more elegant and easy you know user experiences I think the you know we want to have interoperability so we can have a wallet that works on many different platforms easier ways to display the nfts or you know really engage in all the communities with with you know simpler um simpler transferability across the different platforms and I think we're you know all the companies I I feel like all the companies that were really active in the last couple of years have really proven out a proof of concept that people will engage that there is something there people will exchange money it's no it's not perfect and it's certainly not without issues that need to be ironed out but I think we're still in the now we're in this phase of more sustainability and a lot of companies are building out infrastructure I think that I think over the next three to five years is when we'll really start to see things that are becoming more mass-market experiences and that the um you know 

There's always a separation whenever there's a new technology there's always a separation between companies that have an appetite to do things with music and those who don't um you know music music rights ad so much complexity to something and you know the difference between if you have a if you have a visual art artist versus if you have a musical artist and the kinds of things that platforms have to think about of you know like if you have if someone has created a piece of visual art did you you know did you create that whole piece do you own it the answer is usually yes and yes then you're good to go music you know did you write the song did you perform the song did you were the only one that wrote the song do you have a publisher do you have a label do you have other writers and collaborators or producers that you need to cut in on this does everybody need to approve all of it and there were many times during the pandemic where companies that were that were operating in the web3 space you know they had absolutely no idea what they were getting into with music and you know and I would be be the bearer of bad news and I could just look at them you know like their faces just drop and then they're like are you for real what are you talking about music publishing I just did a deal with the artist you know what are you talking about publishing what is that and you know and and this is you know this is like a discipline and a constraint that if you want to do things with music and you want to do them in a way that you're not infringing and you can raise money and grow you have to deal with all of this and um and I think we will see over the course of the next couple of years platforms that emerge that are really friendly and set up right for music and that's where many of these kinds of what I what I feel are going to be more like interactive fan clubs and really wide-ranging that that's where they'll mostly live hey Vicki during our pre-production call yesterday you you had some great uh tidbits on who would benefit from web3 like who if they lean into it like who really can benefit from like would you mind talking about that at all no exactly 

I think that um one of the things that one of the things that we're that we have already seen is that just because you have followers and you have fans in web2 it does not necessarily mean that you can then go sell an nft and they're all going to flock and buy it and we've had some examples and I'm not going to name them because I think that would be mean but we've had some examples of really significant artists who made assumptions that they that all of their fans would just do whatever they ask them to in web 3 in the same way that they do in web 2 you know I have concert coming of sale go over there and buy tickets I have T-shirts I have merch I have a new vinyl colored vinyl people people will do all of those things because their their experiences that we are that we know and we're familiar with but I think people have to think about web3 a little bit differently and when it gets more mainstream this probably won't be a requirement but right now it is and that is you know is there a subset of your fans that you think are right for web three you know they have to be um willing to kind of try out new technologies and put some money on the table spend some time figuring it all out who will follow you into that world and there's usually a step with that is in between web 2 and doing something in web 3 where you want to monetize and that's creating a community whether it's creating a Discord server or some other way of aggregating your fans that want to do things in web 3 and there will probably be people who you who come to you through web3 that are not current followers as well how do you aggregate them and create a little community and ask them well what kinds of things do you want what are you interested in what should we do do you want you know would you be interested in buying some interesting scarce Goods um but but you know you have to think about that subset of your fans as your web 3 universe and so if you're an artist if you're an artist and most of your fans or over 45 or 50 you know they may not they may not be the right demographic for web3 um so I think a lot of the things with web3 are going to be defined by the generations under 20 right now and it's really an early adoption phase right so if you're an artist and you want to you know be a part of this you're almost tasked with educating your fan base on how to participate right like there's not necessarily a rule book so that I see that as as a possible barrier or a possible opportunity right for artists that that do have that community and want to instigate that you know there's a a place where they might be be driving mattress and that's a good point because it's not just like oh that's not just a negative that oh I can't bring all my fans that there's only going to be a small group but the the benefit there is if you're building an intimate authentic Community it's probably not going to be with 5 million people it's probably going to be with a smaller subset and so you want people who want to be there and I'm always a huge fan of self-selection and music because you know you get people who raise their hand and say yes I'm I'm game for that that sounds interesting excellent you know if you have to try to drag people screaming and kicking in into the future it probably won't it probably won't be successful but a lot of electronic artists have been way out in front on this and I think it's a combination of the mindset where they have always many people in electronic music have operated just slightly outside of the traditional music world where they you know they built communities they built direct relationships with fans far before any artists on traditional labels and Publishers were even thinking about that and they tend to be much more forward-thinking about use of technology and fans embracing the artists use of technology so um is you know but it doesn't mean that that you can't do that as an artist but you just have to you just have to kind of go through a process of thinking about um you know what do 

I want to do for my own creative expression who are the fans that I have that will appreciate that how can I reach them and pull them into a community and then start engaging with them in a in a different way than you would if someone's just on an email list well and I think the other the other Common Thread that I hear a lot on web3 is it's this quantity quality over quantity right you know instead of everything all at once all of the time it's these very Niche experiences you know smaller communities the scarcity model and I think that is the kind of tie back to curation right like what does curation look like in web3 and and where you know where there are music experiences you know will you have you know a gazillion channels to choose from or will each experience be curated in such a way that you know it's a very cohesive experience and everyone in that digital environment is experiencing the same thing yeah I think that's a great that's a really great point and I think that you know our web 2 world so much of that is that is about having every song that's ever created in every single big platform that you can access and that's really you know that's a value proposition that I think has has you know has just been done in web 2 but I don't see any web three companies that are thinking like that they're thinking more about um who are the artists that we want to bring in and what are these Boutique kinds of catalogs or music experiences or immersive experiences or offers can we present and it isn't so much about um come here for one low price and get everything ever created it's like come here and you're going to find something really really special and that absolutely goes down to creation curation and Partnerships well I don't know if we could have summed it up any better than that think that's a I mean a great introduction thank you Vicki for walking us through you know what web3 is what it means to music um some of the differences between web 2 and web3 and again just really tying it back to you know what we talk about here which is music curation and getting the right music to the right person at the right time no matter what platform or what web reverse you might be be in um so it's really great to have you and your expertise here thank you so much Vicky thanks thanks so much for having me yeah are there any I'm just gonna leave are there any other resources for people that are really interested in in learning more about web3 specific for music anywhere that you would Point people yeah there are there's um there's a person Ziggy Ziggy who writes a lot about it and then water and music Community they do an inordinate amount of research and publish papers some of them are free some of them are behind their membership paywall but they've got a really passionate group of people who are who are trying to trying to make sense of this for um for more and more people who want to get into the space excellent and I'll try to drop some links in the comments we did have sherry Hugh from water and music on our voices behind the music podcast with Jeffrey suda so I'll drop that link in here because I think there's some valuable information and thanks again Vicki and if you're new to inside music curation again we're the team at feed Media Group we help businesses power engaging experiences with music and you can learn more at thank you guys thank you guys.