Riding the Wave: Navigating Web3 and Music

Here’s an article I published this week on the waves and trends of the multimedia platforms that have shaped our worlds in the digital realm which have led up to where are now with Web3 and what it enables for the creator economy, collaboration between artists and fans, and new forms of distribution and monetization.

You’ve provided a very comprehensive reading list - just when I thought my own couldn’t get any longer!

If you’ll allow me to summarize your take on Web 1-3 in regards to creative-fan engagement with a bit of my own observations then it would seem to break down, thus:
Web 1 - Direct-to-Consumer (push) (top-down)
Web 2 - Dialogue-with-Consumer (push-pull) (bi-directional)
Web 3 - Community-Driven (emergent) (bottom-up)

Not my finest categorization list but I think you get the picture. The major shift, here, from Web 2 to Web 3 is that the Primogenitor of a creative effort is not a particular celebrity ‘Creator’ (with a capital ‘C’) but a community that collaborates in an effort to find emergent material to endorse (cream rises to the top).

The community isn’t necessarily leaderless - there are all sort of different governance models that are possible - but at the end of the day it isn’t conducive to a superstar culture. Instead, it favors creative teams with different roles to play that work together towards a common goal. DAOs are the structure du jour but I imagine there will be all sorts of variations on a theme as they grapple with the governance issues of mass democracy and the need to get stuff done.

What facilitates this process is that the community also owns the creative output that it creates - by using tokens, NFTs, and whatever else comes along to capture a share of value as a digital asset.

What we have here is a new alignment of incentives and it dovetails nicely with the social mores of the GenZ and young Millennial generations which accounts for the furious pace of development.

great insights here David – I think they’re pretty much spot on; thx!

Thank you for creating this topic. I’m very much focused on the web3 music space.

Right now, I’m paying particular attention to decentralized streaming and hosting platforms like Audius. This Dec '22 green pill podcast shares how the platform is currently serving 6.5M fans per month with 250k artists and is fully decentralized. It also explains how Audius’s open data sets are allowing for new API integrations by fans and contributors to create curated playlists, remixes, etc.

As a personal R&D side project, I’m interested in setting up an Audius Node to support the platform. I love the idea because it’s a complete 180 from the Napster, BitTorrent, and LimeWire days. This time around, artists and fans can support independent music by making the NFT based content available instead of diluting the value. Running a node adds value and is the third leg in a triple-sided marketplace. (Web3 bottom up) #enantiodromia

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thanks for this Nate - I agree Audius is a great example of this new generation of decentralized platforms. Without wishing to date myself too much, I worked with the Napster and Bit Torrent teams back in the day, and I agree that where we are at this stage (and where things are headed with Web3) is a 180 just as you described in terms of empowerment & value.

I agree. I’m a huge fan of what Audius is doing and also Kevin owocki, himself, with Gitcoin, etc. I’m going to listen to the podcast right now.

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