By Zurab Ashvil, CEO and Founder, L3COS
Blockchain tech and NFTs have the ability to revolutionise how we interact, work and live
Over the last couple of months, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have received global attention. In March, NFTs hit headlines when a collection of art by artist, Beeple, was sold at Christie’s for an astonishing – and unexpected – $69 million.
Since then, at rival auction house, Sotheby’s, over 101 NFTs were sold for $26 million and brands as various at Taco Bell, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Nike have entered the metaverse.
NFTs had a surprising first major outing – Cryptokitties, a game of owning and breeding digital cats represented by NFTs, which launched in November 2017. Things have moved on since then, and now the world’s visionaries are looking at this new technology as a way to revolutionise how we interact, work, and live.
Put simply, NFTs are unique, non-interchangeable tokens which allow intellectual property owners to connect a digital or digitised object to a file. This poses many benefits to content owners and those buying the files.
Powered by L3COS, ENT Global Technologies is tapping into this new opportunity by creating a marketplace for music and entertainment, ENT Global Technologies is enabling consumers to purchase their favourite content directly from creators via the power of blockchain.
Despite the noise over, and price garnered by, Nyan Cat, NFTs are more than simply owning a GIF – they may also end the need for multiple subscriptions to different streaming services.
ENT Global Technologies (music label and entertainment company, TITLE 9 Inc) believes it will be able to eliminate the hassle of subscribing to multiple platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, or Disney+, by instead offering a marketplace that allows audiences to make micro-transactions through an automated blockchain for each viewing, listening, or use of content. This pay-per-use system not only bypasses unnecessary subscriptions to the entire platform, but ensures payment goes directly to the owners of the IP. Creators reap direct monetary rewards for their work and gain greater control and protection over their art.
This win-win model is the brainchild of ENT Global Technologies founders Carmen Murray and Michael Michel. Based in LA, the business is set to launch its new platform for digital rights management and the buying and selling of creator content in Q1 2022. The platform is being developed by L3COS, the world’s first regulated blockchain-based operating system.
NFTs – a bubble about to burst?
With the recent frenzy for NFTs, and subsequent media backlash – crystallised in Kim Kardashian’s recent crypto tweets – blockchain has been criticised as little more than a fad. But its long-term potential proves it has more value than just a bubble waiting to burst.
Michael Michel has set the record straight: “One good thing to come out of the last few months has been that when I tell people we’re building a platform with a blockchain based operating system, that puts IP rights on the blockchain and gives the rights owner a greater level of security, transparency, and control over their IP – they get it. The craze was basically a period of education for everybody about what blockchain even is, and now we’re heading towards a period of creativity with this tech, finding ways to make it work for the industry.
“More than anything, it’s really exciting to know that with the right model, everyone – musicians, filmmakers, record labels, studios, and audiences – can gain from it. And that’s what I think we’re onto here.”
Michael’s label, TITLE 9, carries these values from its technology through to its ethics. Musicians, artists, and content creators will be among the first to have access to ENT Global Technologies’ platform, as well as the opportunity to benefit from managing the copyrights of their assets and to register their music and creative properties on the blockchain. These include multi-Grammy and Golden Globe Award winning entertainment professionals such as Andre “Dre” Harris (a multi-platinum musicians who has produced hits for Michael Jackson, Usher, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and more); Ambré (a Grammy Award-winner who was worked with H.E.R and Kehlani), and Derrick Milano who is no stranger to #1 on the Billboard charts. Music without the musicians is nothing.
L3COS is excited to be working with ENT Global Technologies. Empowering musicians to better manage and monetise their digital assets is one step towards standing up against the powerful players in their industries.
In Carmen Murray’s words, another of ENT’s co-founders, L3COS is not only ushering in ‘the end of paying $10 to $20 a month for several subscription platforms’ but ‘placing the control of art right back in the hands of the artists.’ The L3COS system will give digital, and reassert creative, value to those who produce the music we all enjoy.
An opportunity: growth of global recorded music market, ownership of content, and creativity
According to the latest figures, the global recorded music market continued an upward trend of growth for the sixth consecutive year, despite the pandemic, expanding by 7.4% to $21.6 billion. While the film and media industry suffered more at the hands of multiple lockdowns across the world, this market is still on course to bounce back – and grow by 6.4% this year.
According to a recent Harris Poll, of the consumers interested in buying an NFT, the highest percentage responded that they would want to buy a song (36%), pipping digital artwork (35%), videos (33%) and tweets (17%) to the post.
Presented with this enormous potential client base, L3COS responded with the company’s word-class blockchain based QS. This system fully automates transactions for user ease, is designed to be regulation compliant, and can currently process 1.5 million transactions per second.
This innovative approach may be the key to guide the future of music and entertainment. Since the emergence of technology – from MP3s to the internet – the creative integrity of the industry has been suffering. Free streaming, the latest development in how we consume music, has been something of an anathema for independent artists.
The streaming model allows major labels to maximise profit whilst musicians often make minimum wage. For instance, in the UK, streaming brings £1 billion of revenue annually. But the industry’s lifeblood, the creators, can be paid as little as 13% of the income generated. This translates into £0.002 – £0.0038 per stream on Spotify and around £0.0059 on Apple Music. This paltry form of remuneration is unsustainable.
But whilst technology has contributed to creating these unfair business models, which prioritizes owners’ rights over artists’, it can also unlock the music industry’s creative potentialities.
NFTs and other derivatives allow creators to monetise and regain control over their assets. Blockchain necessitates scarcity and ensures originality, two conditions which will help re-empower the creator and decentralise power away from giants such as Spotify and YouTube. These possibilities are why so many record labels and performers are exploring the crypto world. Whilst artists such as Imogen Heap – who identified blockchain technology as ‘the catalyst for change in the industry’ – have been exploring songs on blockchain since 2016, there has also been a rise in big names experimenting with NFTs, including Kings of Leon and Grimes.
It’s not just creators who will benefit from this new digital marketplace. Through the ability to own and share tokens, fans will be intimately involved in the creative process. A user-centric model minimises the headache of multiple subscriptions, strengthens brand awareness and affinity, and raises the possibility for community ownership and collaboration. Heap herself has contributed lyrics and instrumentals to communal jams through blockchain’s democratising power.
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