Here’s Why Social Tokens Are Critical For Music Artists

William-Bailey-Mint-Season-4-Adam-Levy-Levychain-Social-Tokens
William Bailey of Bolero Music shares his POV on why social tokens are the perfect medium for music artists.

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Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 4 episode 12 welcomes William Bailey, Founder and CEO of Bolero Music, a platform that brings artists & fans closer together by investing in music through Social Tokens and NFTs. 

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:57 – Intro
  • 06:15 – What does Bolero look for in an artist?
  • 08:23 – Current State of Music NFTs
  • 16:03 – Understanding the value behind social tokens
  • 23:07 – Monetizing social tokens
  • 29:23 – Tokenomics
  • 38:24 – The creator virtual circle
  • 44:26 – How do we bring off-chain music data on-chain?
  • 50:29 – How can we convert more listeners into collectors?
  • 54:12 – Do artist have access to the accumulated social token value?
  • 59:02 – Outro

…and so much more. 

I hope you enjoy our conversation. 


Support Season 4’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co

2. Polygon Studios – https://polygonstudios.com

Interested in becoming an NFT sponsor? Get in touch here!


Welcome to mint, my friend. How are you? Thank you for being on.

Hi, Adam. Thank you for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be

Intro

Here. Yes, yes. Yes. very, very excited to have you part of season four, you guys are doing some cool stuff at Bolero. I think you’re actually one of the only platforms I came across. That’s actually focusing on the social token side for the music industry in particular. There’s other platforms doing other social token related stuff, but I like yours specifically cuz the music social token angle. But before we get it in into there. Okay. Who are you, what does the world need to know about you? How’d you kind of get your start into crypto.

Yeah, that’s a good place to start. So yes. So my name is William Bailey. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Bolero. So before jumping in web three, I was already working in tech. So I’ve spent almost four years working in an AI company, basically doing some product stuff and business development stuff. During the year of 2019, I was going down the rabbit hole in web three, basically learning everything about web three blockchain. I discovered De-fi and I was also writing a thesis about the sharing economy and the opportunity of tokenization in this space. So after the first lockdown and like all this COVID crisis I was basically like everyone wondering what I was doing with my life and if I could probably do something more meaningful and during the summer of 2020 I had this like brutal ID actually. I had a few friends in the music industry struggling to make a living from their art. And I was wondering if we could be able to tokenize them and let people invest in them. So it was the, it was the Genesis of Bolero. So I basically quit my job in September, 2020 I went [inaudible] which is a coding bootcamp to basically learn web programming. During this bootcamp, I met Arthur who is the co-founder and CTO of Bolero. And because we had little, an employment compensation period in front of us we thought it would be a great idea to test something related to the idea of investing in music. So this is what we’ve started, from December 2020 during three months, we have programmed the first version of Bolero by ourselves. And then April, 2021, we released the first beta version, which was basically back at the time, a simple web app on which you could invest in more than 50 artists by tokens and access to zip rewards. So yeah. It’s been a hell of a ride since then actually. And I’m pretty happy, pretty excited to be in this space, really feeling like a pioneer, but not because it’s cool for me or for the team working at Bolero but it’s super like energizing to be working for artists for the music industry to try to shape something like farer in the future for the music.

So actually before we even get to the type of artists that you guys are looking after, what fair really means what value means. Cause these are all things I wanna kind of talk about. Are you a musician? I always ask that because a lot of the builders that I come across in the music scene end up coming from like a deep music background of some sort and deep can mean they’ve either played in bands, they’ve either produced or engineered music. They’re either DJs or whatever and they just pivoted into the, the music business side of things. So yes what did you grow up playing or did you grow up playing? Gimme some context on that

Actually mean like music has always been something really important in my life, the way I was like having a relationship with my father the way like it has a lot of weight in my family. Everybody’s listening to music, but everybody’s passionate about music, so we all have a huge culture based on music. So obviously I started to play guitar when I was a teenager. I was like really passionate about this stuff, rock and roll. Like basically, you know, the first musical genre is that you love when you are young and then I’ve discovered like electronic music. So I started to buy some vinyls to try to scratch some yeah, but just for the love of music. So I was not trying to become a musician because I think that you really have to be a special talent inside of you, to become an artist. But I knew deep inside of my heart that day I would join this music industry and try to do something. And just for you to understand the perspective and how we are building this company and what are like the background of people joining Bolero, the pitch is pretty simple. It’s a team of insiders and outsiders joining forces for the better. So we have tech the people really passionate about the blockchain perspective of the company. And we have music people. So people who have seen all the issues from the inside and getting a way to try to fix those issues in another company.

What does Bolero look for in an artist?

What are the types of artists you guys are after? There seems to be a shift in terms of the love for independent artists to already established artists that have labels and have backings, like what are you guys after? Or does it matter and why?

Yeah, it doesn’t matter, man. So actually we are looking at all the musical genres okay. It doesn’t matter since it’s music. It’s cool. But what we are really trying to see, and this is why also we affirm that we are curating the catalog of Bolero. We are really trying to find like potentials. Because if you are talking to your users that they can invest in an artist, it’s better to propose like two of your artists who will grow in the future. So what we are only looking at is what is the current situation of the artist where he or she is in her or his career arc and what would be like the best trajectory in the coming 12 months. So it’s just a way to protect the users because you don’t want to invest in an artist, someone who will like run away with the cash, you are doing that for a passion. You are doing that because you love music and you want to become like more than a fan, so you don’t want to see scams. So yeah, only looking at like the state of the career.

Got it, got it. So it doesn’t matter if they’re independent or they’re already established that doesn’t really come into account.

Nope. And also we are working with, and I know that it’s sometimes a little bit tricky to say that, but we like definitely own it. We are also working with the majors with the labels because we believe that they are young people inside the majors who want to change the paradigm. Yeah. So we are working hand in hand with everybody just trying to offer the best experience to the auditors and the final users, because at the end they are the one who decide. So you better have like the artist they love in your catalog, if you want to build something meaningful.

Current State of Music NFTs

Yeah. William, from your point of view, what do you think is the current state of music NFTs in 2022?

I think it’s really early. We are still at the point of experimentation. I think that’s like, so we are at the end of January, 2022 right. People are trying to find like the killer use case, but I definitely think that the killer use case depends on the artist category, if someone is an emerging artist or a youngster, a rookie, I think that the killer use case is unleashing the artist from all the tensions, all the financial tensions he can meet, but for an established artist or global artist, the killer use case is how music NFTs help him or her to fiddlize the fan base and still grow the career, even if they are already on the top. So it really depends. I think we are seeing a lot of like pretty interesting dynamic, around this topic. Like we are seeing exclusive tracks, so tracks that will not be like, distributed on traditional platforms. We are seeing, ticketing initiatives, so backstage, like yeah, backstage tickets, VIP tickets and all that stuff. We are seeing like, pictures, like all the story behind covers album records. And finally we are, and I think that the value is definitely here. We are seeing some master shares NFTs. And I think that this is the sweet spot for both artists and fans, because for a simple reason, I think that an artist is totally open to give away five or 10 points on their masters. If they can have like the kind of admins, if they can have, like, if they can benefit from money, like before making money with streaming or radio. And I think that there’s nothing more powerful for a fan than owning piece of a song that is distributed on the platforms. So I think that the killer use case is here and we are still building it. And until artists didn’t like really like take over the topic, we still have a long way to go, but it’s definitely super exciting, and it’s my own point of view. Maybe I’m wrong. We will see in six months.

You guys have taken like a pretty substantial bet as social token, so you guys brand the project. Okay. And the intention here is not necessarily to show the project rather to understand more the mechanics, right. Because we are in the experimentation phase, we’re seeing music NFTs as the medium for collecting songs, right. Buying tickets. But you guys are trying to introduce this concept of social tokens for music artists. Sure. We have other platforms that are exploring social tokens as well, but this one’s the first platform that I’m seeing for music artists for the most part, at least. Okay. Why are social tokens or medium for a value capture than NFTs? And maybe it’s not necessarily better. Okay. Maybe each have their own respective category for value capture. Maybe you can talk a little bit more about that.

I think they are complimentary. Okay. Like I think that they are working well together. We chose the social tokens as the basics of Bolero because we believe that it’s the easiest way to take a stake in an artist carrier and to help the artiste be propelled through the carrier. The basics of the social tokens at Bolero is that we have an algorithm that we have called the index. And thanks to this algorithm, we are able to assess each artist progress on a weekly basis. So we are like gathering 30 different data points, which are basically related to streaming social media, radio, play-listing concerts, tours. Based on this assessment, we are able to give a score to each artist. This score is a figure and thanks to this figure, which is again, updated on a weekly basis, we’re able to track the artist’s progress. And we are able to give rational valuation to the artist. And I think that this is where the hack is. It’s the ability to give proper valuation to a creator based on the fact that his or her image is pretty subjective. Based on these figures, you can give a proper valuation. And then the whole social token aspect as an asset, because it’s a financial asset, this whole aspect is now like worth it for the user. And it’s also a nice way to see the evolution of your investment. And if the artist you are believing in is progressing. So this is like the whole, like yeah, mathematics behind our social token. And we chose this specific type of token because we believe that with the NFTs, if you use NFTs collection as a way to take a stake in an artist career, you are like not helping your fans who don’t have a lot of money because when you are simply releasing music, maybe you are like, maybe in your fanbase, you have people who have money, but there are also people who don’t have money. And if you can take a stake in an artist career, starting from one buck, it’s definitely great. But if you have to invest 500 bucks or a thousand bucks to get a step in it’s difficult and it’s start to feel like it’s something premium, something like almost like luxury,

Understanding the value behind social tokens

You know, when I had a Gary V on the podcast, okay. We talked about different trends, like creator trends for web three in 2022. Okay. And I talked to him about like, does he prefer creator coins over NFTs or vice versa? And one thing that he brought up that was interesting, he’s like these coins, these social tokens feel too much like a financial transaction, whereas NFTs have like a different element of collectability to a community, which I agree and I disagree with. Right. Like when you think about and by the way, like the whole premise of Mint is actually around these concept of social tokens, of tokenized, creators and whatnot. So I do see the value in it, but when you hear like naysayers say that, okay, it feels too much like a financial transaction, or it feels like to too much of a stock market of some sort. How do you guys think about that? Like, because there’s obviously value to it, right. There’s obviously value. Like we’re seeing people like Daniel Allen, for example, start the over stimulated DAO and accrue, 50% of revenue to the DAO empowering all of the token holders. Right. So there’s value in these currencies. How do you guys kind of think about that when naysayers hit you with these types of critical points or criticisms for the most part?

Actually at Bolero, we think that because the social token is trying to get the digital representation of the relation you have with an artist it’s pure, like the value of the social token is purely subjective. It’s purely based on emotions. It’s purely based on what kind of music is trending. So yes, sure. There is a financial aspect, but we don’t think like it’s going to overtake the initial premise behind the social token also, because, and this is what we are trying to figure out at Bolero is how do we make sure that each artist who is producing the social token is not doing that only to raise funds, but also to keep a meaningful relationship with their fan base. And, for instance, and this is a way for us to like reduce the financial aspect behind the social ticket, we are doing a lot of retroactive drops. So for instance, an artist minting his social tokens on Bolero will be able to airdrop a lot of tokens to their fans who have like previously bought some merchandising who went to gigs, who bought some physical, albums or CDs. So it’s not mandatory to make them costly for the fan, they can jump in for free. If they have been involved from the get go, then they can jump in for free. I think this is how we reduce the financial aspect, but I can only agree with Gary V, because yeah, there is a financial aspect, but yeah, again, I think that artists rather like to have a financial aspect on their career than becoming a luxury product, again, like the real fans, the one who don’t know Web three at the moment, they will not have the chance to buy the NFTs because it will be too expensive. So maybe you can fractionalize the NFTs for sure, but it’s complicated. It’s complicated regarding the UX regarding the experience. Like people are used to like click, buy, chao. It’s done. If you are telling, okay, so you gotta go on this website. So starting from there, connecting is already tough for them for not crypto enthusiast, connect your wallets, then buy these tokens, which are a representation of this NFT that you don’t really own, but you own these tokens, it’s starting to be like difficult, but I don’t know, man. We’ll see.

We’re all testing here. We’re all building in public. We’re all experimenting. One thing you touched upon right now is the value, the relationship between the artist and the fan, the community. Okay. How do you guys think about utility at Bolero beyond air dropping? Like, are there utility frameworks that you kind of guide your artists who get on-boarded onto Bolero? Like what are the most valuable add-ons that creators can implement in their communities? Talk to me more about these utility frameworks that you guys kind of think about internally.

That’s a pretty good question because this utility you’re talking about is like, really depends on the creative universe of each artist. For instance, if you are like trying to onboard a hip hop artist or rapper, these guys are used to have a close relationship with the fan base, but sometimes maybe you will talk to a pop artist or another music genre, but these guys don’t want to have like proximity with the fans, but still they want to have a relation, but they don’t want to take the phone, speak to the camera. Hi guys, how are you doing blah, blah, blah. They don’t want to do that. So you have to find the good ways to provide utility behind the tokens based on the creative universe of each artist. So each time an artist comes at Bolero and wants to make something meaningful, we are asking them. Okay. So how do you like to keep track of your relation with your fans? How do you like to release some tracks, release some records, how do you like to promote your, I don’t know, tours and everything. And then based on this assessment, we are providing IDs. So sometimes like for the most like engaged artists who will suggest them to bring up a discord or even just a private WhatsApp group sometimes we are suggesting them to create a close friend story on Instagram and each one who has got token, will access the close friend story. And they will like have insights of what’s happening in a typical day in the life of the artist and then it’s basically discounts on merch. It’s basically discounts on concert tickets and also what we are trying to do. And I think it’s a pretty good way to do that on Bolero for sure. We have the social token, but we are also allowing artists to Mint NFTs, and sometimes artists are using Bolero to make sure that they’re Mint. So the initial sale of the NFT is like token gated. So you have to be a token holder to access the NFTs. And it’s also a nice way for the artist to make sure that a fan has his chance to access the NFT first thing.

Monetizing Social Tokens 

Yeah. Yeah, it makes sense. So, okay. So utility frameworks, the concept of social tokens and NFTs differences and similarities, what they are used for. Now when you talk about actual monetization. Because a lot of what we’re doing here is to basically provide creators the opportunity to be the best version of themselves, right. And to monetize themselves their brand and do it in a way where it feels more authentic, more direct to the fan. And the question is, is when you take community building, when you take music creation, when you take all these concepts that you guys are kind of after what’s the real monetization here? Like how does a creator better themselves by using a social token. Why is that a better opportunity to make money, for example, versus let’s say issuing additions of their songs? Issuing one of ones? I ask this because I saw specifically on Bolero you guys have this concept of like rewards too. Right. So I guess, talk to me more about how you guys are thinking about like monetization around these social tokens for the artist.

So it’s pretty simple actually like the framework behind monetization. Let’s say you take an emerging artist who has 20 K followers on Instagram. What is the possibility for him or her to monetize those followers? Sometimes they will have to do some brand partnerships, brand content and they are not all really at ease with that. So sometimes it’s easier to raise a social token to monetize this fan base, then making some brand partnerships. Another important point is sometimes artists are like really seated on like a lot of merch and stocks that were not like sold before. So they have that. And for the fan, the value of these items is like going to the moon because sometimes it’s some limited edition, all that stuff. So you can use the social tokens to rewrite your orders with those remaining pile of items and merchandising stuff. So it’s a nice way to do that. And finally again, I really insist on that. I don’t think that we should like put in opposition the NFTs and the social tokens, because I definitely think that an artist should release the social token because it will follow like all the career and all his development, but a different moment of the career. So based on what is going on, if he plans to raise some projects, new records, tours, he should leverage the NFTs formats to make some more bucks on this. So actually what we are doing in Bolero too, is to like, we are providing royalties on the social tokens for the artists. So sometimes artists think that they can just make some money at the initial means that it’s wrong. You can still make money and rake in revenue along like during all the lifetime of your assets.

So where is the royalty coming from? From their craft, from their music? So that gets like denoted through or captured through the social token value?

For the social token? No, it’s based on the trades on the market. So the more, the social token is traded, the more they earn commission.

So there’s like a rev share going on as well. Okay. Yeah. So I wanna, I wanna take a moment really quick and actually share my screen and pull up one of the artists. Okay. Cause I think you guys have done a nice job with basically allowing people to see what the value add is based off the frontiers that they unlock. So let me see if I can share my screen really quick. And if I can’t share my screen, I’ll just end up let’s do this Chrome tab. Okay. Here we are. Let’s see if this works. So 10 KA, okay. A trap artist from France. Okay. I want to quickly take a look at fan rewards. And this is actually the most interesting part to me because it feels very much like, and I don’t want to compare the platform cuz Bolero is its own platform in its own respect, but it feels like more of a, like a web three of Patreon, where depending on the tokens that you buy, determines like your access and your utility in the community. Now that’s not a new concept more so I love how you guys kind of structured the tiers. Cause like, if you think about it like traditional SaaS products or traditional creator creator communities, if you’re looking at web two, they have these types of tiers. Like whether, like I remember doing research on only fans or doing research on Patreon or Sub stack, et cetera, like you can integrate tiers. So this is kind of like what you guys have done as well. Talk to me more about these like fan rewards, and does a creator get to choose this?You guys work with them to kind of steer the ship as to what they should be charging for each tier. Walk me through how you guys are thinking about this.

Thanks a lot, Adam. So actually it’s totally customizable by each artist. So each artist chooses the amount of token needed to access a specific reward. So let’s take for instance, this seven token stage. Okay. So on this seven token stage 10 KA is telling to the fan base, if you own seven TN K tokens, you will be granted an access to my VIP channel on this Discord. If you own 10 tokens, you will be granted a zoom meeting with me. And it’s like a nice way to reward their fans for the support in the short term, because obviously we hope fans are here for the long term, but until the artist is really like propelled for world, they have something to like to enjoy instantly. Yeah. So this is the purpose of the rewards and this is how we thought about it. But definitely each artist is really like choosing each piece of the reward and it’s fully customizable. So we are just here to provide advice if they need, but they have to handle this.

Tokenomics

Another thing that I noticed that’s unique the whole, I’m curious to learn more about like the tokenomics. Okay. Because you see total issued tokens out of total tokens. So 7.2 K tokens out of 18 K tokens issued. How do you guys think about tokenomics? Is that also flexible in the creators point of view? And I ask this again from a macro state, because a lot of what we’re seeing right now, we’re seeing a lot of communities or creators do like a million or a hundred thousand or 10 million, right. Yeah. And have that locked in reserve. So like, how do you guys think about tokenomics behind all these creator coins?

That’s pretty good question. So back to what I was saying, just before, you know, I was introducing the topic of the index, we have got it, to assess each artist, thanks to this index. We are giving to each artist a valuation in USD. So let’s say that an artist comes to Bolero he says, okay, what is my valuation based on my score? We will tell him, for instance, your valuation is at 1 million dollars. And we can simply ask him what would be the best starting price for you? What kind of initial price you would like to put in? If he says $1, then we will create 1 million tokens. It’s simply like the valuation we give divided by the starting price. So this is why it is rational. And also the supply is fixed. So it gives some [inaudible] to the social token. And just for you to know each time an artist joins Bolero and mints the social token he will be granted 20% of the supply in a vault. Yeah. So that he can be also incentivized on the value of of his tokens and actually gives a little bit more trust for the fans because they feel like, okay, we are all in the same boat. Like the artist has a lot of interest to see the tokens gaining value.

This reminds me Mint season one. I had this gentleman by the name of Dave Young. He has the Play coin. It’s a really, really cool ecosystem and many really cool utility frameworks, which is why I brought him on. But he shared this interesting insight where when the market tanks and all the holders like tank with the market, it actually okay, sure. Like it sucks. It’s annoying, but it ends up bringing the community closer together. Right. So whether the community’s down, whether the community’s up, you experience this interesting, like, I guess social, psychological, like effect where the community bonds over that. It’s like when the market tanks and all of crypto Twitter starts meme-ing, you know how they’re starting to work at McDonald or they’re gonna start doing all these things that, because they’re just like a bunch of poor de-gens that are rich on paper, for example. So these are like some of the things that I’m thinking about when, okay. Like why invest in an artist through a social token versus collecting their editions or their one of one music? Right. I do see the value in it, but I do think it takes a specific user to actually understand what it is and what it means to actually buy an asset that fluctuates more like a currency versus a collectible. So when you guys are trying to identify these users for the artists that you’re bringing on what is the ideal demographic? Like, do they use their traditional channels through like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat to bring in collectors? Are they trying to tap into a new group of users in web three that understand more of the concept of tokenomics? Like, walk me through that. Like, how do you actually find these collectors, these end users who not only like the music, but understand the financialization behind supporting an artist.

So this is like a really important question because it is where it gets interesting actually. So we have designed two types of targets and two types of collectors we have on the one hand, what we call the music lovers. So they are the ones who are not like, well educated about crypto and they will jump in the social tokens or just because they are loving specific artists. So they will jump in because they will follow an artist and they want to get closer to him. Yeah. And on the other hand, we have what we call the crypto enthusiast, which are obviously people already familiar with crypto and they are seeking new kind of tokens and new kind of opportunities to diversify the investment, but in a nice way, because it’s all driven by emotions and music. So yes, we are definitely using traditional channels such as Instagram, Twitter. But we are also trying to reach out to crypto enthusiasts on a daily basis. But the thing is we are trying to build this product for the users, for the [inaudible] but we are like shaping each feature based on what we see during our user research sessions. Based on the feedback that we have and the new type of user that we are seeing emerging lastly is what we call now, the music diggers. So these guys are like really like able to find new gems and new talented artists. So their [inaudible] is to find the next star. And what they love to do is to simply browse the catalog, listen to music, discover new artists, and based on what they feel when like jumping in the artist creative universe, they will decide to invest or not. But you also have to keep in mind that we are really trying to onboard regular user on this solution. We are not trying to build a product, which is only triggering crypto enthusiast. So I think today it’s much more like understandable for someone who is a stranger to this crypto world to invest in the social token than invest in NFTs. Because when you are talking to your neighbor or someone who doesn’t understand anything about Ethereum or web three, they will be like, what are you doing? You are like collecting digital copies of this track, but I don’t understand why. So until they have made their way through the rabbit hole, they will not be able to seize the value of this amazing asset, which is the NFT, but it’s super easy for them to understand that they can buy a stake in an artist career with the social token, they will be like, okay, so it’s like a digital card, like a digital membership card, or it’s like a stock. So it’s like easier to understand, I think, yeah.

The creator virtual circle

I’m starting to understand it more and to think about it more deeply is the social tokens are like non equity shares. Okay. And the collectibles and the one of ones and the additions that are in the format of like NFTs, whatever token standard of an NFT it is, are what drive a lot of the revenue that then gets circulated back into pumping the value of the social token, for example. Right. So beyond trading, beyond investing, beyond buying into it, there’s also the element of the appreciation or depreciation. And that comes from the value accrued by its other assets. So let’s talk like a real world scenario because I don’t wanna just theorize. So artists go and play at Coachella. They sell their tickets as NFTs. And the revenue accrued from playing that show as an artist, part of that gets sent back into the DAO or the social token treasury. Okay. So from performing to selling tickets, some of that revenue goes back into the treasury selling digital fandom. Part of that revenue goes back into the treasury to support token holders selling one of ones like selling your music on chain. Part of that goes back into the treasury to boost the token value. Selling editions, selling all these other assets that may be formed NFTs later than accrued back to the social token, back to the treasury and makes everybody happy. So I kind of see the social token, like on one element, like the NFT could be the access point in the membership that lets you in like the top level funnel. But I also see the social token as being the entry point as well. And all these additional assets linking back to that social token that ends up driving its value up or down. Right. I think it’s a model that makes a lot of sense, honestly, but I don’t know. I’m just like recapping based off learning lessons from season 1, 2, 3, and now four and seeing how people are kind of approaching this across other crowd-fund sites like mirror or the list goes on and on, right. Not important to name. Okay. But what do you think about that? Like, does that model make sense? Because I do see again, the element of buying NFTs as a membership and like getting into the funnel and then kind of like figuring out your monetization as you kind of go. But I also see the ability to buying a social token and that being the ultimate funnel and then all that other revenue generated from all these additional assets via NFTs kind of accruing back. I don’t know. I’m very much thinking out loud.

No, it’s pretty interesting because I’ve never like put the thing in perspective, but actually you’re right. It’s kind of a virtual circle, but like you told something really interesting here, you talked about DAO treasury. And this is an important criteria regarding investing in an artist because I don’t think that a lot of artists are ready to set up a DAO treasury behind a project, and allowing people to have a look at it. Maybe some artists will will be at ease with that. And I think it will be like far more independent artist, but I really think that the dynamic between the social token and the NFT is more related to the project cycle to during the artist career. So let let’s say on average age, it takes 18 months for an artist to release a new album today. What happens during those 18 months of producing, recording, adjusting, mixing, you have the social tokens, which is living. You can tease the fan base, right? You can do a lot of stuff. You can also like give some part of decisions to your fan base. You can ask them what would be the best cover art for the album. You can ask them what would be like the first track to be released, but at the end where NFTs gets interesting and also help to pump the social token is when you release exclusive NFTs related to this record, because you have been working on it during 18 months. So you have a lot of art and you also have a lot of studio takes. Sometimes, some record, some featurings will not fit the artistic direction of this record, but it doesn’t mean you have to let this record sleep. You can release it. And I’m sure that your hardcore fans will love to collect it because they will feel it’s a piece of history. It’s a piece of the creative universe that you can own. And so actually I think that social token are here to support the career during like quiet times and during touring times, and then the NFTs are here to support the artist, to leverage all the creations he has done in the last months

So this is sparking a new thought, okay. I think a lot of artists, a lot of creators who are entering the space, who’ve already been into the space. They’re gonna realize down the line, they’re gonna encounter a problem. Okay. And the problem is this they’re gonna have all these different types of assets on chain. Asset is a very like subjective word. An asset can be a ticket. It could be fandom. It could be a one of one, it could be editions of music. It could be anything, anything that’s mint on chain, that’s each gonna have their own respective value. A lot of artists are gonna have all these different collectors and like scattered everywhere online. And I think their biggest challenge is gonna be actually aggregating all that value into one asset.Like their own like index, for example, like their own ETF of some sort. That’s where the social token comes in. Right. I truly believe that because like the value needs to come back to one thing. Okay. Everything can have its own value. Every asset can have its own individual value. But for me it makes sense like, okay, what is that one thing that I’m buying into that allows me to accrue all that value for whatever reason. So maybe it’s less of actually like staking the assets themselves more so accruing some of the revenue back to that treasury, for example. But I don’t think enough artists are exploring that concept. Right. Like for the right reasons too. Right. Not shitting on anyone rather this, all this stuff is like so difficult to understand and catch up with. This sparks like an entire new thought and an entire new model of like how creators should actually be thinking about their on chain assets and really being strategic with what they issue and then how that accrues back to benefit all their collectors in the entire ecosystem. You know what I mean?

Yeah, definitely. Man. I couldn’t agree more because what I am seeing and what the team is seeing from where we are is that artists are also starting to be diluted. They are minting here. They’re minting on this platform. Yeah. They’re minting on Solana. They are minting on Ethereum. They’re minting like everywhere. How do you aggregate all those pieces of content? Yeah. And how do you make sure that you are offering the same, like quality experience to the user based on which platform you have chosen? So it’s very difficult and obviously I agree with you, the social token is the aggregator of the value you are sharing with your fans. Yeah. And I think it’s the best way to sum it up, but NFTs also have a lot of that.

How do we bring off-chain music data on-chain?

Sure. For sure. But what about the off chain value? Let’s talk about the value that doesn’t live on chain yet. For example, like streaming royalties or revenue paid out from YouTube or TikTok, right. These core platforms that actually help build audiences and are our main drivers of revenue today. So like that whole mechanic of bringing something off chain on chain is still really broken. Right. So if you start a DAO right now and you start like a music DAO and you tell your collectors X amount of royalties are gonna be circled back into the treasury, you’re really just trusting the person that that’s actually gonna happen. Like there are no dashboards for me to actually see the streaming data and what that accrues to revenue and how that kind of comes back into the treasury, which by the way, is like a whole other product, a whole other business within itself. Right. Like bringing the off chain value on chain. So again it all accrues down to that one funnel whether or not, again, this is the right model or not, this is something I I’m just like building upon as, as we kind of break this further.

Yeah. So actually I think it’s a little bit too early to bring everything which is off chain on chain because obviously there are a lot of technical limitations today. Imagine each time you want to stream a track, you have to wait for the transaction to be validated.

Let alone get paid every quarter just for the revenue that you accumulate. And that within itself is a headache.

Yeah. Also there are a lot of gatekeepers if you want to set up that you have to like, make sure that Tunecore, all these companies, all these distributors are on board, and I’m not sure that they will all find their value.

It’s almost as if you need to start a DAO and create this asset, that’s collectively owned by them. Right. And they band together to basically drive this new wave of music, adoption of technology.

Maybe they will find a way to have like a common standard or a common protocol to address this issue and to administrate all the royalties on chain.

It’s so difficult getting one party to do it.

I’m pretty sure it’s coming and it’s coming hard, so we better be ready. I can tell you that even if today we are trying to have breakthrough with social NFTs, we are already thinking about that at Bolero. But I think not before 2023 it’s still too early. Like I can tell you today, distributors are only experimenting with NFTs with merchandising aspect. How can we sell some digital merch? So they are really far from all this royalty issue and distribution issue.

Yeah. Another thing that comes to mind for those who are actively listening to Mint, I thank you. And you’ll realize that this is a question that I start bringing up with more and more founders or investors, is this concept of music labels transitioning into like on chain, creative hedge funds.So like, okay, in actuality, there already are hedge funds. Like they’re already making bets with their capital and their time and their resources, but they’re doing it in very like I, from what I understand, I’ve never been through one of these from what I’ve been told in very constrictive ways. Right. They end up owning the person and artists get cut out in really like shitty deals. They’ll get like an upfront of like half a mill but have to give up 80% of the revenue, for example. But this model will soon become outdated, I believe with the introduction of all these on chain assets. Right. And we talked about this again, excuse me, one of one NFTs. Editions, social tokens, digital merch, et cetera, et cetera, all these assets gonna be on chain. Do you imagine a world where the record label ends up actually being the asset purchaser, right. And ends up acquiring all these assets as a way to kind of reap the profits of their traditional model. So I guess in short, like, do you imagine these record labels end ending up becoming like web three native, like digital asset hedge funds

I couldn’t agree more again. Do you believe me if I tell you that it’s happening right now?

Yeah, that makes sense because man. We’re seeing, DAOs like collector DAOs pop up. Right. But we haven’t seen like an Atlantic records or Universal Music Group or an Interscope really form their own DAOs and explore this sub niche, they could be doing it investing in other DAOs like, definitely could be a thing.

Let’s take a simple example for the ones who are listening to us. Let’s say that you have a producer, a famous producer who is selling an instrumental. So the master is related to this instrumental as an NFT. What would do major or someone who is working in a record label, he will want to buy this piece of master to let his artist or their artists put something on it and sing on it. So you will see there will be a new way to produce records, to craft creative ideas around the fact that what kind of masters I’ve been able to purchase on the market. So you would see more and more things like that. And I also think, and deeply in my mind, and I think that people are meant to do that actually. And they’re already because of the figures they’re already doing that, but fans will become the new A and Rs . So fans will be the one who will tell which artist is going to popup and which artist is [inaudible]. It’s already the case, but it’s through like streaming statistics. Now you’ll be able to see how many people are really like investing in an artist and supporting him. So you will also have metrics and insights about, would it be a good idea if I buy this artist master in six months?

Adam (49:58):

So just so I understand. So when you say fan, are you implying one party as a fan buying it, or do you imagine a fan could also be a record label as well? Or like a fund as well?

No, actually when I’m seeing fan is someone who is not working in the music industry. Okay. It’s just someone who is consuming music who is only listening to music.

How can we convert more listeners into collectors

Got it. How do we make more listeners collectors? Cause if you’re a collector, you’re likely listener, but if you’re a listener, you’re not likely a collector.

Hmm. Good question. First out by on-boarding more artists. Okay. Because today like just for the record, I know so many people who are really enthusiast about this whole music NFT space, but they will not jump in until their favorite artists jump in. So they will follow these guys because they are the opinion leaders. So they’re waiting for them. Second thought I think that we need to find the best practices and we need to finish our experimentation to define the market standards. This is what we’re trying to do at Bolero with our four NFT types. We are trying to make it easy to understand and not going in any kind of way, you know because an artist can be real creative, but if you’re not providing scope, sometimes it’s difficult for the fans to like find good pieces of content that they understand. So I think that once we will have the standouts, the best practices, people will see similarities, common aspects between different artists NFTs and they will like more related to these NFTs.

Yeah. Makes sense. I’m so glad we’re as early as we are and we get to see this stuff happen in real time. Me as like as a documenter, you as a builder it’s definitely a very, very exciting point to be in, in history and technology.

Like honestly, it’s still a blank page. Yeah. We have so much work to do and I think that’s the most satisfying emotion that you can have when you are in this space

It also makes you super anxious too, because you’re like, like where do I go? What’s my direction? What’s the first step? Like, what do we do? Like, you’re just throwing shit at the fan always. You’re just always like everybody. I mean, not everybody, but I feel like many people are building in public and many people are experimenting and concept of social tokens, concept of NFTs. There’s gonna be likely new standards. There’s probably gonna be something after NFTs that everybody’s gonna latch onto at some point that they’re gonna realize it’s gonna be able to drive more value than the NFT standard for whatever reason? I’m just going on a tangent here and sharing my excitement.

And I’m super excited too. And, and just put the things in perspective, look back six months ago or eight months ago. Yeah. It was not the same statement. Like layer twos were not like mainstream.

They were not, no.

It was something else. So I really believe, and sorry for that and sorry for the one who listened to us, but I really think that there will be market cleaning though. I think that there are too many projects, too many stuff, scams around there. Just after this market cleaning, we will find like true foundations of all this music NFT space. And I think that it’ll be a really like nice time.

Do artist have access to the accumulated social token value?

Really quick now that I’ve been like marinating more on our conversation, again, we’re coming towards the end one quick question, which I ask from a very like dumb point of view, the pool of money that the artists accumulates through the social token. Do they have direct access to that? Is there access limited? Can they just take the money and run, like what’s the security level behind that for collectors?

So actually we don’t have we are not like locking the phones. So the phones are directly going straight from the smart contract to the artist wallets. So they are receiving the phones directly. Oh. But what we do here, it’s like, there’s no freelance, it’s not an open bar. So artists, before being able to release their [inaudible] tokens, they will have to show us and show to the music department that they are serious in this dynamic. And they will have to prove that they have 12 months in front of them where they are going to bring up value, record some stuff, release some tracks and return value to the users and to the fans. So actually we are trying to really give a lot of freedom to the artist. He can benefit from the turnover and the gains directly, because maybe he needs it to produce some new records. But then we are like supporting him also. We are like really following up, checking in. And we are doing that for the users because even if we are decentralized non-custodial. So even if Bolero disappears the social tokens in the NFTs will remain, but we are here to create and to support. So this is where we, as a company are bringing value.

Yeah. So are these tokens on Polygon, Ethereum on Solano? Where are they?

Polygon.

So we’re seeing a lot of activity on polygon. Okay. We’re seeing, obviously they raise money, they’re acquiring companies. I think they just also brought in the head of YouTube gaming to be the CEO of polygon studio, which is huge. They’re also like full transparency, a sponsor of this podcast. Right. So actually just to say it even more, or like your correlation being on polygon had no correlation to them sponsoring, rather, I just saw it on the website that it’s an overlap, but I find it interesting because these L twos are critical for actually allowing scalability for more micro collectors. People that don’t have thousands of Ethereum, you know, to buy and spend a hundred, $200, $500 on gas. It’s important to implement these L twos as a way to kind of scale what creators want to do in their, their own economy. So what do you think is next Bolero and how are L twos enabling that?

So actually what we are trying to achieve at Boro is to offer a real social experience. Okay. So, because we believe that music is profoundly social, it’s profoundly something that you are experiencing with your friends. We believe that you should be able to invest with your friends. So what we are trying to achieve at Bolero and [inaudible] are definitely helping in that way. We are trying to provide an experience in which you will be able to see what the influencer you love are investing in. You will be able to invest together. You will be able to do alot of, you know, actions in app, and you will be able to experience a lot of interactions in app so that we can be more than just the music assets exchange, because it’s not the mission. The mission is to get fans and artists closer together. So you have to provide an experience in which they can interact. So I think that this is the most important challenge for Bolero helping people to have a really like delightful experience in app. Also I think that the real goal behind that, because it’s more like product related and user experience related, but the real goal regarding [inaudible] and again, layer twos are helping that way. The real goal is to get on board the next million of regular users. And I’m not talking about the crypto enthusiast here, like early adopters are super valuable. They are super helping with feedback and all that stuff, but we will provide real revenue to artists when we will have on-boarded the regular users. So the one who are just here for the music and not only for the assets.

Outro

Yeah. Interesting look, dude, I’m excited for you guys. I think what you guys are after and what you’re tackling is super unique and really makes you guys stand out. We should definitely do this again in a few months and catch up with the current set of social tokens. I think, 2022, is the year of social tokens. So first of all, thank you for being on. I think it’s a great place to wrap up before I let you go, though. Okay. Where can we find you? Where can we find Bolero? Give us the details.

Thank you, Adam. O basically you can access Bolero on boleromusic.com. Obviously, you can find us on Twitter and you can find me on Twitter too. It’s William Bailey. I’d be happy to always be down for a conversation. So feel free to hit me up.

Amazing, dude. Thank you so much. We’ll talk again soon.

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