Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded in popularity over the past year, with third-quarter sales of $ 10.7 billion (up from $ 1.2 billion in the second quarter).
A multitude of industries – from fashion to music – have taken full advantage of the boom as unique tokens, which create a flow of money for artistic objects, continue to develop well beyond art. digital and collectibles.
Musician, writer and director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson weighed in on the new trend in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live on Wednesday, saying the music industry’s NFT boom was hard to grasp at first.
“When I first heard that digital art was monetized, sold and turned into a big business, it was scratching my head,” said the Philadelphia native, a decades-long member of hip-hop group The Roots.
“But revolutions usually start with a lot of puzzles at first, and then they just become the norm,” he continued.
He added that it was almost certain that “in ten years the idea of tangible art could be a thing of the past” as more collectors and investors accumulate in it.
“Like, ‘Wait, did you actually pay the money to put this thing on your wall? You don’t own a DTV?’ NFTs will likely be the norm by 2040-2050, ”said Thompson.
The statistics for NFTs in the music space are mind-boggling, with some digital items selling for millions of dollars.
Earlier this year, electronic music producer 3LAU sold 33 digital albums for more than $ 11.6 million, becoming the first musician in the world to sell a tokenized digital album.
Prior to that sale, musician Grimes auctioned off $ 5.8 million worth of digital artwork in just under 20 minutes.
Overall, Questlove said NFTs are “a unique way to have an experience.”
“As long as the artist is creative and the art is deemed worthy, this is obviously a glimpse into the future,” he added.
Streaming as “the evolution of life”
Streaming services like Spotify (SPOT) and Apple Music (AAPL) have come under scrutiny because of the way they distribute revenue – which critics say has a disproportionate impact on artists. emerging.
But the platforms are also offering new ways for musicians to connect with fans through curated playlists.
Questlove, who equates creating new playlists with making the New York Times crossword puzzles, said the evolution of streaming is similar to the transition to NFTs.
“Going from collecting 200,000 records to a simple life of streaming… this is part of the pivot and evolution of the life we find ourselves in now,” he explained.
Alexandra is a producer and entertainment correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @ alliecanal8193
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