Understanding ESG (Social) Tokens on Solana Blockchain

Remark founder Jermey Vaughn shares his pov on the current state of social tokens on Solana and why he believes ESG tokens are a better framework for understanding brands and creators.
Rimark founder Jermey Vaughn shares his pov on the current state of social tokens on Solana and why he believes ESG tokens are a better framework for understanding brands and creators.

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Background

Mint Season 4 episode 18 welcomes Jermey Vaughn, who is the founder and CEO of Rimark – the soon-to-be social token issuance platform on Solana. The main premise behind this conversation revolves around the current state of social tokens on Solana blockchain and why he believes ESG tokens are a better framework for understanding brands and creators.

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:25 – Intro
  • 05:21 – Rimark-able
  • 11:29 – What are ESG Tokens?
  • 16:21 – Why Do Musicians Need ESG Tokens?
  • 26:22 – What’s the Difference Between an ESG Token and an NFT?
  • 40:10 – Social Media Funnels
  • 43:45 – What’s on the Horizon for You?
  • 45:48 – What’s Next for Rimark?

…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.

Thank you, man.

Thank you. Thanks for being on.

Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Intro

This is the first in person, like high quality session. I upgraded everything. We try to record it, but the studio for recording is not up to par. We are in my my dining room and if we tried to record it, you’d see the living room light shine. So anyways, I digress here we are. Welcome. Give us a quick brief on yourself. Who the hell are you? What does a world need to know about you? But more specifically. Yes. What were you doing before crypto?

It’s a good question. It’s a good question. So my name is Jeremy. I’m the founder and CEO of ri

mark, which is a CFI exchange then at mints tokens for creators communities and companies. And let’s see, yeah, born and raised in the bay area, California. I am with background in music, specifically music graphic design have a master’s degree from Berkeley college of music in global entertainment and music business. Since I was young, it was my goal to start a company. I didn’t know what, part of the starting company is the journey to find out what, you know, what that company is about. And it changes along the way. So,uprior to starting this company, I actually just came right outta grad school and just said, you know, there’s no better time in my life to experiment to build this. Just dove straight in. I did working for five years at a live venue before.

Oh, okay. Why’d you wanna start a company so bad?

It kind of runs in my family. Both my parents were entrepreneurs, they were both fashion designers. So they had a company, my grandparents had companies, all that sort of stuff. So it’s built into our DNA as the Vaughn’s if you will to start companies.

Is there a family business?

There is not a family business anymore.

But there was.

There was when my parents were in their twenties.

So got it. So when you say fashion, like what kind of fashion? Like street wear?

Like suits and dresses

Suits. Okay.

Yeah. That kind of stuff. They had a shop DAOn here in LA. But now my dad works for a company called Marmon

Marmon.

Okay. Designer there.

Cool. So when you tell them that you work in crypto, how do they understand that? Do they understand that?

Yeah, definitely. Parents are very supportive helping me through this journey, building the company. They’ve been learning along with me, so I always share with them what I’m working on, they’re right there with it. They’re excited about it. It’s been part of the journey also is to make sure that what we’re talking about is understandable to everybody kind of making it part of our vision is bring crypto and what we’re working on to as many people as possible. So it’s always great to stress test that description with the people around you make sure that they at least understand it first. Yeah.

How’d you actually get your start in crypto? Like, was it like through an asset that you bought? Was it research like everybody has their own unique, like entry point what’s yours?

I was familiar with blockchain for a while. Not so much on the crypto side, thinking about it from a data management side. So a lot of what we do stems from data first party data. So that’s how I was thinking about it originally. Then I had an opportunity last year beginning of 2021 to do a hackathon called the Youth Global NFT hackathon. The team that I was with, ended up winning a prize from Circle for our project, which was super exciting and kind of gave us, myself and the rest of my team, the confidence to be like, Blockchaining crypto is not that scary. Right. Yeah. We can make something cool here. So that was kind of the first like foray into actually building something. Of course I had, you know, my Coinbase account and dabbled in it a little bit before that, but,uthat was sort of the unlock. It’s not so scary. I think we can build something pretty cool.

Was that your first hackathon?

That was also my first hackathon.

And you won a prize from Circle? What was the prize?

Just some cash.

Okay.

Okay. Not super exciting, but it was more the experience of being recognized for our ideas. That was more important than the actual winnings, but yeah.

Rimark-able

Okay. So rimark equals social tokens in the grand scheme of things. What are you guys building at rimark?

So, yeah like my intro, we’re building a Ce-FI exchange and basically Ce-FI is like De-FI. It stands for centralized finance. So we’re kind of bringing the best of both worlds of your De-FI, decentralized finance elements when it comes to the trading and the crypto assets, but then bringing, you know, web two kind of, usability to the platform. So you can log in with email address, password, that sort of stuff. We are a custodial exchange. So we provide wallets for our users, that type of stuff. I almost like to call it sometimes web 2.5, that there’s a little bit of, best of both worlds. We’re really building this crypto exchange. We are actually, thinking of our tokens. Yeah. They are technically social tokens in that space or brand tokens. We actually like to call them ESG tokens, which we can get into a little bit later, but, they’re basically tokens for creators communities and companies. We do focus on those, that have a business unit that goes along with it. They’ve got a team, they’ve got a marketing budget. That’s really key to our business model. It’s less about, you know, of course community is super important, but it’s more about customers. If you will, kind of that differentiation where the token can actually be used to drive business more than just fan engagement and that type of stuff. One of the things that, I always make sure that the team is focused on is like the things that we’re innovating, they should be things that you couldn’t have done with web two, right. Actually using the technology to do something new rather than just bringing an existing system into web three.

So what are some things that you can’t do in web two that you can do in web three? Very dumbed DAOn stupid question, but just to kind of carry the same thought

Some things would be, let’s just say you’re an emerging brand. You can’t go public on a stock market. Right. Right. The only way at this point to, previous to web three, to get investment from your community is maybe like a crowdfunding thing or you’re selling equity, but that’s not really liquid. Right. Because when you buy and sell equity, the only way you can cash that out is if there’s somebody acquires the company or if you go public, which is hard for smaller brands and certainly for artists. So that’s sort of, one thing is the community angle to investment is one thing. We focus ourselves as a finance platform, more than like a social network or a fan engagement thing. So all the examples kind of come around finance.

Yeah. The way I like to think about it is it’s a financialization of everything, of everything, digital it’s being able to actually provably own and verifiably own X, whatever, whatever it is, that’s digital like yourself, you clearly have an interest in creator economy. You have an interest in brands being tokenized which I think is a really up and coming niche that has yet to be fully explored. We see other platforms kind of experiment with tokenizing people or tokenizing brands, quote unquote but nothing at scale just yet. And that’s really like product market fit. In my opinion. I think people still have like their questions and their uncertainties around what a social token is. But one of the reasons why I wanted to bring you on is because you introduce like a new light to it. Right. Primarily by coining it as an ESG token. So for starters, what does ESG stand for? Okay. Why is it different than a social token? Is it different than a social token? Just take it from there.

Yeah. So ESG comes from the world of stocks. So it’s an acronym that stands for environmental, social and corporate governance. So it’s really a way for companies to put a value upon their intangible assets. It’s usually used as a way of evaluating stocks, whether they’re impact driven or good for the environment or they have sustainable practices and that type of stuff. At this point it’s a little bit of an unregulated space. There are a number of companies in that sector, stock ratings, ESG ratings that kind of come up with their own metrics. It’s really advantageous for a lot of large fortune 500 companies to have higher ratings, cuz then they can be put into, better sustainable funds and it has a meaningful impact on their stock price. So one of the reasons why this is really important for us and we chose to go with this branding is again, to move a little bit away from the monetizing celebrity or monetizing the individual and make it a little bit more brand or company focused. And also, so if you like dig a little bit deeper into the definition of ESG, it’s really about evaluating those intangible assets. And that’s really kind of what these social tokens or brand tokens are. They’re a monetary value of the intangible assets of an artist or creator in sort of traditional thinking about it, right? You, you’re not necessarily putting your income as part of it. There’s not necessarily property backing it, right. It’s just the tokens or the US dollars or euros, whatever the currency is that backs the value of these, smart contracts on the blockchain. So we found that the ESG metric is a nice way to differentiate ourselves a little bit in the market from a branding perspective, but we also use the categories actively. So tokens on the Rimark exchange will be in the categories of environmentally driven. So socially driven, which really falls under the existing social token umbrella, for artists, athletes, creators, that type of stuff, and then also governance. So we’re not, not going full DAO with the token, but you can do like token based voting or things like that. So the tokens kind of fall under those three use cases.

What are ESG Tokens?

So why call it again, like ESG over a social token and when you call it an ESG token, who does that cater to? Like what type of investor do, do consumers understand ESG factors or is that more tailored towards like traditional funds, hedge funds, for example that see this as maybe an alternative asset, for example, like how do you think about that?

Yeah, there is a specific ESG target and we’re working on developing that as well. I think that’s more of what we use as like a technical definition rather than necessarily what can be what’s over on the website or when, you know, fans are talking about it or engaging with their specific token that they want to. Right. So let’s just say, okay, the first token that we will be launching on the platform is from a Grammy nominated artist. Misago. He’s really into crypto he’s really knowledgeable about the space. But we’re not gonna be referring to his token in the marketing materials as the Misago ESG token. Right. It’s more of like a technical definition of how we define what our platform does more than how we sell the product or encourage our customers, users, communities to sell the product. So his will just be Misago coin. So that type of stuff.

Got it. So when you present this in marketing materials, okay. You don’t use the ESG I guess term you use his name, like you said. But then again, why call it ESG over social token? Like I’m waiting for like the aha moment kind of thing. Right. I understand companies on the stock market using like people basically create metrics using their ESG factors. Right. And how they’re kind of like treating the climate, right. How are they like thinking about their social impact, all these other things. And they use that as a metric to kind of further evaluate the value of a stock. Right. Rather than using that entire metric to kind of value the entire company, for example. What I’m understanding is like this ESG factor is used as another metric to kind of evaluate a brand, in artist versus valuing them entirely by their public price. Is that how you’re thinking about it?

Yeah, absolutely. I think we’re thinking about the tokens as, not necessarily, I don’t want the value of an individual, especially as an individual to live and die by their token price. Right. It’s certainly a aspect to their business. It is a way of evaluating them compared to their peers. Right. Okay. That’s usually what these metrics are for. So you can kind of create a standard and a rating system. But I think really the key piece is that it’s not a evaluation of social or celebrity, which I think there’s a existing understanding of that’s what social tokens are. Right. And we have a broad mission than just celebrity and social. There are definitely musicians gonna be and creators on our platform, but we’re also talking to brands and other types of companies and communities. So we wanted to have a broader definition of the tokens that we’re providing. For example, if you’re working with an eCommerce brand, right, you don’t necessarily want think of that as a social token, right. Maybe it’s more of a brand token or maybe it’s driving sales impact for them. So it’s not necessarily about fan engagement for when it comes to a brand. So the goal was to really find a more all-encompassing angle. And why we picked ESG is because it has the ability to put a value on the intangible assets of a brand. And that’s what it’s used for. But we also say there’s an opportunity to make the term ESG more action based, more impact based right now it’s more of like a passive rating of things they’re doing. What we’re getting into is like, can you actually use the tokens to drive change? Maybe you do a payout of tokens for hitting certain metrics or things like that. So actually making the, the ESG acronym a little bit more action based.

Why do Musicians Need ESG Tokens?

Yeah. You know, for the longest time, even in the beginning of season one of mint, I always saw social tokens as like this what’s the TV show Black mirror. This like type of black mirror scenario where there’s gonna be a human stock market. And everybody’s gonna be bidding on everyone. And like your social clout is now based on your financial clout and your worth is determined by your publicly traded price. And by introducing the ESG element, it actually really eases that narrative. And just makes it another thing that people look at, for example, beyond your social media, following beyond your engagement rate, all these other external metrics, the ESG factor is just an additional metric as well. Rather the entire pie of like who you are, like when big club came out, for example, that was like the epitome of a human stock market. It has a better marketing play in my opinion. So when you think about where we are right now in music. Why do musicians and artists need ESG tokens, for example, like, what is that thing? What the purpose for launching one for building a community around one? How do you guys look at that internally?

So we look at that as a little bit roundabout way, but we look at it from starting with data. Right. Okay. As a musician, as an artist for the most part, you don’t know who your customers are, which is something interesting to think about, right. As Nike, for example, you know exactly who your customers are, who’s buying from you as a musician, the, your biggest point of sale is like Spotify, for example, or apple music, right. And apple music and Spotify don’t share the individual customer data with you. So the only way you get to know your customers are on social media, but there’s also a limit to what social media shares with you. So the idea of the social token is to find that one place where your fan base can coalesce from multiple platforms and to use the, the token to drive business directly or to invest in the future of the artist. Of course, that is definitely part of it. But for example, well, if you’re doing ticket sales, right, maybe, you know, one of the things that, my favorite example, when it comes to using these tokens for business is like a cashback, right? So it’s not necessarily, I mean, you can do gated access, but you can also do, Hey, maybe my ticket’s $50. Yeah. But I’m gonna do a premium ticket that’s for 65 and the fan ends up buying $15 worth of their you know, that artist token along the way. So really using it to a consolidate audience across platforms really understand who your best fans are. Cuz we have a number of tools that help the fans, you know, so, you know, promote and share the content of that artist that they believe in and be rewarded for it. So consolidating that, using the data, building a bigger, you know better data model for the artists and their business teams to be able to utilize in their sales process. And then also of course, using it then in step two to actually drive sales and incentivize, you know, fans to engage with the business side of the artist outside of just streaming or, you know, watching a video on YouTube,

Why don’t you think Spotify provides this data to their artists.

That’s that Shopify That Spotify that’s their

Value, right? Because if they give you that data, then you can just take that data and leverage it and take traction off their platform.

Similar thing with like TikTok, right. Videos on TikTok perform worse if they’re directing you to an external site. Right. Right. So all these platforms it’s about keeping you within their ecosystem for as long as possible. And they’re providing you in information that allows you to go without their ecosystem. Then there’s less of a value that they have to control of the relationship.

How do you build that similar moat in web three and in decentralized products, for example?

You’ve been well, for example, what we’ve done is that the social tokens on our platform are only trade-able within our platform. Mm. So the, and again, this kind of goes back to the CFI element a little bit in that the, of course, when it comes to the blockchain part, we run on salon. So it is a little bit, again, a central more centralized blockchain as some people argue. But that part of it is decentralized, right? It has is the, the crypto aspects to it. But the actual trading happens only in our platform. Now we do have a platform token called Rick, which the future goal is to have trade-able in other places. But one of the ways that we can build value, we can build that moat is to have the best artists have the best brands, have the best creators and communities in our exchange. And that that’s how we can build value. And because there is a corporate team behind rimark that’s what we can work towards and, and strive for.

So can they take that? Okay, let me backtrack. So from what I’m understanding that their token, the creator coin, the ESG social token, however you want to call it that it stays native on your platform, meaning the creator or the artist or the brand, can’t take it outside of the rimark exchange and they can’t trade like, I guess, freely on the salon blockchain. Correct. Okay. Why do you think that’s a better model versus kind of making everything more free? And more, I guess interoperable for example.

That’s a good question. It’s something that we definitely thought about a lot. And it comes DAOn to the process of launching a token and the liquidity required to do that. So one of the things that we do is we provide an offset to launching the token so that, you know, it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of funds to, to mint or, you know, initial, initially start a token. But you can still have a, you know, a competitive or meaningful price. It can start at $1 or $2, $3, something like that. So in order to do that, we don’t wanna open up that trading to anybody to come and start trading with it because then we can potentially lose liquidity from the pool that way. So there’s a sort of a technical reason for that. But it also, I think provides a more cohesive experience for the, the customer. And also there are different things like the concept of arbitrage, where there are ethereum can have a different price slightly on whatever exchange you’re trading it on. So there is an ability to have slightly different values of a cryptocurrency wherever you’re trading it. So when we’re Val think talking about valuing a brand or a creator, we think it’s important to have one source of truth when it comes to price. And one source of the truth when it comes to value, cuz one of our, you know, missions and incentives as a company is to be a trusted third party when it comes to regulators when it comes to customers, when it comes to our clients as well. So that we wanna make sure that people who are engaging with our products know exactly what they’re getting. And it’s not that we’re trying to say that you can’t use the token anywhere else. There’s some things that we’ve been thinking about with NFTs maybe in the future where that token experience can allow you to get into other platforms. But for, for the moment in starting these tokens, keeping them within our ecosystem is what we we’ve chosen as the strategy.

How do you think about when De-fi products get more evolved and more advanced and creators wanna start implementing De-fi into their communities, right. From either lending and like peer to peer lending and borrowing staking et cetera. Like how would that translate on your platform for example, cuz like they could also technically create their own Mo of liquidity, right. With the right level of expertise or the right level of subject, subject knowledge, right. Yeah. Which I think is actually very much of a value add for creators who just wanna focus on creating and they’re not as advanced right. When it comes to that, having that crazy team behind them that have De-fi experience sure. Crypto experience, whatever. So it’s very much like the individual and what their, what their level of understanding is. But again, backtrack, like how do you think about when De-fi comes into the, into the picture right now? I feel like it’s very much institutional focus. Right. We haven’t really seen sticky examples of creators using it. We see like NFT lending and borrowing and used as collateral. But yeah, I don’t know. I’m like ranting here a little bit. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

So we actually do enable staking for all the, to on our platform. Okay. and this is, you know, I think it’s a great way to be able to earn passive income as a fan, be able to continue to support your, your artist

Or so once, like when they stake, they get the rimark token.

They get, no, they get an additional amount of that artist, our creators. Got it. Okay. So basically just to get into the token, just a tiny bit, we have their tokens are untapped, but there is an initial supply of 10 million. And then the creator brand receives 10% of that market. So they receive 1 million tokens. But again, going back to our offset, we don’t put all 10 in of those tokens into circulation. So the way, so maybe we start with, you know, 5% of the total supply. So how do we increase from 5% up to a hundred percent, all the way up to 10 million tokens? Will we use staking to do that? So it is based on the actual you know, interest in the token. So the more people who are staking it, engaging with it, the faster it unlocks and gets hundred percent. So that’s sort of a practical way we can increase the, the liquidity and supply of treatable tokens.

Okay. So it’s an uncap token. Yeah. So is that also how you kind of mitigate inflation right. I guess the value of the tokening token lessening, for example, like how do you kind of cuz like the first thing that comes mind and I ask you from a very like dumb DAOn or I try to ask them from very dumb DAOn point of view, okay, uncap unlimited supply you think inflation, right? You think about like dilution, right. Does staking solve that?

I think we use staking as a, as a way to control price. Not, not that we’re saying that we’re gonna be going in there and like manipulating price there’s it’s a set formula that all the tokens work on. So it’s the same for everybody. But the idea is that maybe not all tokens get up to a hundred percent, right? Depending on your size of your brand. I think one of the reasons we wanted to do this was because if some token does blow up, right, maybe they’re is an opportunity to have more tokens available. And that’s one of the things that I particularly like about this token space versus NFTs in particular, is people can buy into the ecosystem at whatever price suits, their wallet, right? Whatever they can choose to. If I wanted to be part of the board, a yacht club, right. I have to put DAOn some serious money in order to be part of that. And that’s part of the value proposition it’s to make something exclusive. What we want to do is we want to drive business. We want to drive commerce and we want to make this accessible to as many people as possible. So having the flexibility to have unlimited supply if we need it I think that’s an important concept, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are inflating the price of tokens. That will still be a nice, I, you know, bonding curve increase in price.

What’s The Difference Between an ESG Token and an NFT?

How do you think about the difference between a social token or an ESG token and an NFT and the utility that comes around that?

I kinda use this sliding scale analogy where on the right side, you have an NFT and on the left side you have a social token or ESG token. And on the right side, basically there are fewer NFTs. That’s how NFTs gain in value, right? The more scarce there are, the fewer of them, there are the more valuable it is on the other side, in our model. At least when you talk about these tokens, the more they are, the more valuable it is. So kind of the goal is to it’s a little bit different, right? NFG is the goal is to have a curated, tight community of people who are buying and selling that one particular asset in our version of ESG tokens. We want to make it as broad as possible and make it as accessible to people as possible. So that’s why we’ve designed our model in that way. So that the tokens as they’re, you know, using staking in different means of distribution, as more people receive them, buy the, sell them, trade them, earn them the value goes up. And so as the community grows, so does the amount of tokens. And so does the price. And so does the value

I see. So I see people issuing like membership passes as NFTs as a way to kind of create a top level funnel of entry. And then kind of exploring what the funnel looks like beyond that from monetization, from utility, et cetera. How do you know which one to choose over the other? Like if a creator comes in here right now and they’re like, okay, I wanna become more web three native. I want to own my audience. I wanna build a community around some type of asset. Yep. What type of creator goes the ESG route or the social token route? What type of creator goes DAOn? The NFT membership path route?

One, yeah. One other difference I put here is, is that I think of NFTs as products, right? It’s an individual experience per NFT, even if you have a number of them in the collection, right. Versus a ESG token is more of a long kind of long game sort of longer value it’s more currency base. Of course. So I think it depends on the, on the project, right. If you’re trying to do a one off experience or something like that, just kind of dip your toe in, see what it’s like. I would definitely suggest going the NFT route if you’re trying to create a new business process and have a more holistic strategy when it comes to utilizing the tokens in different ways. I would maybe consider the ESG token route. I think both have value, both models have value. It’s just about finding the right use case for what you were trying to do as a creator artist or brand.

Yeah. I’m curious to see how this unfolds, cuz there’s no playbook, everyone’s still experimenting. And when you think you’re late to the game, you’re actually beyond early because there is no playbook. There is no set rule. Everyone’s building in public, everyone’s storing at the fan and seeing what and seeing what sticks actively, you know? So yeah. I’m curious to see how that kind of unfolds. You also come from a music business or music background. Yep. And part of season four is all about music X, crypto. How are you understanding what the current state of like the music crypto landscape is currently?

I think it’s, you know, we’ve definitely seen a lot of NFT focus. I think social tokens haven’t had their moment yet. Like you said earlier that there’s no maybe market leader, there are definitely other platforms out there that have gotten significant funding in traction. When we haven’t seen a market leader yet or that quite yet in social token. So I think it’s definitely focused on NFTs at the moment, certainly around, you’ve seen examples where you’re, you know, tokenizing royalties or you’re doing one off projects or things like that. I think that’s probably the focus and probably will be the focus for the rest of, of 2022. So I, I think that’s where we’ve seen in at least my research opinion seen the most use cases for artists getting into crypto and, and web three sort of stuff. And maybe I think it’s also around fan engagement. That’s been sort of the main use case buying NMT GI access to this, or, you know, own part of my future through royalties or things like that. Those have been, what, what have you seen has been interesting or successful or not?

Yeah. Finally somebody asks me a question. Geez. I feel like I’m always asking the questions. Nice. So what have I seen be successful so far

Music crypto

The best use case to date the base, the best success story. And I take, and I say this with a grain of salt because it’s, it’s still fresh. Right. It’s still new, but what we’ve seen so far is someone like Daniel Allen who’s building who’s an independent artist. Okay. super talented, really started product music, I guess, full time. And don’t take my word for that a hundred percent. I don’t wanna butcher his story, but really got more active in music and producing music during COVID to which he started publishing just tracks continuously on Spotify, built some type of an audience. And then later crowdfunded and EP where he basically he’s like, I’m gonna tokenize my artist of all the songs that I want to produce. And respectively give 50% of that to everybody who supports this crowd fund to bring the EP to life which is a questionable model. Right? Sure. But ended up being really successful. Okay. Now, when you think about creating like an informing a creator DAO, right? Cuz that’s what essentially what it is a creator token based community around a creator around his art, around his craft. You have to think, okay, how do they actually derive value back to their token holders? Right. Right now that everybody kind of pitched in money and he raised almost $200,000 in 48 hours. Because they excited about this aspect of getting ownership in his artist, share of an EP like super cool, you know you think about, okay, how can you derive value back to your token holders? Where does the money come from? Yep. Because let’s be real like the royalties, unless he becomes Justin Bieber, unless he becomes the kid Laro right and earns millions upon billions of streams and actually makes money from his royalties. Right. He’ll make money. He’s giving up 50%. But the people who crowdfunded the campaign, if you do the math, it doesn’t make sense for them. The amount of money that I contributed, I will not be making back in a very, very long time based off royalties. But what he did do that was super cool. He’s like, okay, not only will you get 50% of the royalties, you’ll also get 50% of revenue from any other source that pertains to the EP. Nice. So he sold music NFTs, right. One of one’s additions and took 50% of that at revenue and put it back into the treasury. Right, right. The community treasury. So you start thinking about, okay, so not only will he start selling his art, AKA his music to collectors, he’ll also be doing events, right. These events will be at some point on chain, too, meaning the tickets they’re gonna have value. Everything that’s kind of generated from the over to MEP is gonna go back to the treasury. So what’s the best example that I’ve seen. That is the best example that I’ve seen. I think we’ve scratched the surface. And like tickled actually. Yeah. The surface of what’s possible with music NFTs. I think we’re seeing a lot of interesting people doing interesting things and monetizing and creating value, but again, there’s no playbook yet. Yeah. Everybody’s just building a public. I think today the Grammy award winning artist or producer R E C just released his kind of like value a experience or X or utility, however you wanna call it for his token holders where he basically built a a custom website, a destination, similar to what, like Don Diablo did the DJ when he released his new album, it’s like this really cool, like 1990s types of homepage where you can connect your wallet. And that was like really cool digital experience. If you collected his stuff, if you bought into his social token or received his social token, I don’t think you can buy it. Again, that’s not really connected to music. Like it wasn’t necessarily connected to his his music success. People got the token because he is a musician like his entire story. Maybe not directly because he is a musician, but it’s all kind of like tied together. But again, it goes by to, everybody’s just experimenting. There is no, there is no playbook here. So yeah. I could tell you that there’s one of ones that people have been doing really well with on catalog additions. Right. the list goes on and on, but yeah, we have yet to really see what what’s successful. I don’t know. We’ve went through an interesting phase and back to you, like the last few months we see a lot of experiment around NFTs, anything specifically that stood out to you from an artist’s point of view, from a platform point of view from a strategy point of view.

Well, yeah, I think part of the example that you gave, which I think is a great example is, is that NFTs and all these crypto, you know, web three models need, you need to think about where the money’s coming in, right. Once you’ve done the done the initial sell, you’ve done the fundraise, how do you bring value back to the treasury? Right. and there needs to be multiple revenue streams for that. I actually wrote a little bit of an article on this. Why I don’t think that in my opinion, you shouldn’t buy a music NFT for the royalties is because from coming from the music space, knowing that the payouts take, you know, a quarter to six months, and then you have to then put that on chain. And what if you got a royalty check from your label, if you’re assigned to a label that encompasses a bunch of songs that doesn’t necessarily just encompass the one song you put on chain. So there are a lot of sort of backend processes that make that a little bit difficult. So I think what we’ve we’ve seen in my experience is that there’s been a lot of experience experimentation building in public, which I think is the, which is exciting. That’s part of why I’m in this space is there’s we have an opportunity to build something new in the blue ocean. And I think what’s been great as been the community around at people that I’ve talked to. Like you people are just excited to experiment to try something new, to, you know, put it out there and see what happens. And that’s been, for me, the most exciting piece is just meeting other founders, other artists, and who are really passionate about this. You know, our previous, we did a little bit of a pivot last year to come into web three. We were working on email marketing and advertising for Instagram and text messaging while important. Nobody was really getting excited about that. You know what I mean? Right. So that has been for me, the most exciting thing is how once you are, you know, you’ve done some of your own research, you’re get excited about the space, what can potentially happen in the future? And the conversations that come from that, like this one,

Social Media Funnels

You know, another thing that I find really interesting is the platforms in which people build communities. Okay. So let’s talk about like the funnel, for example, people use their social media Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Twitch, et cetera. They use these like grandiose platforms to build I roll audiences. Yep. And then they use sub platforms like SubT stack or Patreon or only fans, et cetera, to basically monetize that audience. Yep. Right. Their quote unquote 1000 true fans, a hundred true fans. Everybody has their own phrase around it. Okay. But when you talk about like creative entrepreneur, we’ve talked about creators and how they’re using I guess web two platforms to build a life. How, how they, they monetize. Yep. One thing that I’m excited about is their introduction into web three, through social tokens, through NFTs through DAOs a lot of the premise of why mint was started was to create more conversations as to how creators can use these primitives, to build a community, to monetize that community and to scale that community. And, you know, it’s interesting because people on NFTs people, on social, social tokens, and they fall trapped to this, like this sheep narrative where it’s bad, it’s not good. It’s evil, blah, blah, blah. But when you think about it, it’s actually the first time in history where you can create a true, authentic, direct to fan relationship, owning that communication channel, owning that monetization channel, something that you weren’t really able to do in the past. Yep. Okay. What do I mean by that? When you issue an NFT, when you issue a social token, your audience buys that, okay, there’s no Patreon, there is no only fans, there’s no centralized platform that actually owns that community building element. Right. Right. You use a platform like cord or telegram to build that community and have a direct line of communication to your audience, which you otherwise wouldn’t have really had if you didn’t have SMS or email, in my opinion, really like outdated forms of communication and really annoying forms of communication.So, you know, back to community building forms like I’m beyond interested to see how musicians for example, are using their one of ones, their additions, their social tokens, their DAO communities to form more tight knit groups. Right. And focus less on the virality that comes from social platforms and more of the, the, the, what’s the word, like the more of the intimate experience that comes from buying an asset and then creating value around that asset. That’s, what’s personally exciting to me, like minting is cool. All these numbers are cool. Yeah. Yeah. But like it’s very short term value. Yeah. Right. How do you create long term sustainable value? So yeah, I, again, we haven’t seen a playbook like that developed either, right. Maybe the closest thing to that is board a yacht club. Yeah. But that’s more of like a, a creator community. It’s not a creator to his audience, to her audience, et cetera. Yeah. It’s just some thoughts.

No, definitely. I think also a lot of the narrative has, like you said, it’s been about the minting, but not necessarily what comes after the menteeing. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And that’s something that when we are working, trying to find clients to work with, we need to make sure that there is something there’s a repeatable process. And that’s also why the, the, I feel like the social tokens or ESSU tokens are really great because you can embed them into different things. You could say, you know, reward a fan for pres saving a track. You could give the cashback example that we talked about. You could use the tokens as gated access to a specialized, you know, a private event for token holders or something special like that. So there are a number of different ways that we’re working with our, you know, our clients and partners to be able to build these repeatable experiences, some of which can be set and forget, right. If you have something on your web site, right. You’ve got a cool hoodie. And you know, it’s, you get $15 cash back. You can kind of set that. You don’t have to always be like, Hey, buy my token, buy my token. And I think that’s for me also in the music space, since we’re, you know, the season is about music is in, you know, in traditional fan artist relationship, even the artists do talk about, Hey, this is all for the fans. This is all for the fans, but they do immediately kind of go and turn around and say, Hey, well actually it’s stream my song though, or buy my stuff. Right. So it’s has the, the sort of the, you know, notion or impression of being a two-way street, but it’s not really, there’s selling to a customer base and the customers are buying or engaging with their products. But what web three allows us to do is actually allow the artist to reward their fan with an appreciable asset, say, Hey, I appreciate you sharing my music to your fan base, to your community, going with this. And I want you to be able to grow along with me and my future success and kind of, you know, almost make a digital web three street team for artists where everybody can participate and gets rewarded for engaging and building the community and kind of gets a little bit into a future of work thing. Right. What if you could, you know, that was your job was promoting different communities or you making money from the web three ecosystem. And I think that kind of stuff is exciting and it unlocks a true two way street for artists and fans.

What’s on the Horizon for You?

Yeah. Another thing that I’m excited about that I haven’t seen done exceptionally well yet is once you buy that asset, similar to what you were just saying, how do actually incentivize and verify contribution. Right. Okay. So for example, in the context of music, let’s say an artist releases an album. Okay. And they do a bunch of promotions on it. How can you actually reward the listeners who bought into that asset and are part of the community that DAO whatever you want to coin it. Sure. How do you incentivize them to promote and then exchange reward, right. Where, okay, sure. The asset itself might appreciate that initially got him into the door. Yep. But how can you add tier of monetization and tier of rewards and verify contribution and build reputation and do this all digitally, right? Yep. In a very like sustained long term, kind of like, yeah. I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s so much room. Yeah. There’s so many things to do. There’s so much room to experiment. There’s so much room to, to build and no creators doing it. Right. Just yet. What else are you seeing? What else are you excited about? It’s a start of 2022. We’re in February. It’s February 10th right now. Yeah. What else are you looking at beyond, I guess where we are today?

Well, I actually wanted to touch on that last point. Okay. That you just said which is something I’m also excited about which is, you know, bringing back to rimark for a second is that is one thing that we’ve built into our platform is building the tools for the, you know, the creative communities or companies to be able to engage and reward their, you know, stakeholders. So that is, we call our peer to peer ads or rewards model. And basically the idea is, is that we reward fans, customer stakeholders for taking different actions. So let’s say that could be, you know, buying a product or it could be engaging with a brand campaign. And instead of, you know, traditional social media advertising it, the payout is for impressions. Right. But we said, let’s move that payout from impressions to actually actions. So, okay. Let’s just do an example real quick. So I’m an artist I put out on a music video, right. And I’m gonna post it on socials and that sort of stuff. And normally when I go to run an ad on Facebook, when I do, or Instagram is I put some cash in and it does a story ad or a post ad, and the user experience on Instagram is like, oh, I saw an ad. I’m just gonna scroll right past this. Cause I wanna see the content I actually wanna see. Right. But now what, if you could make that content, you know, you could post on your story and say, Hey, swipe up to watch the video and earn tokens or swipe up to watch the video and share the video with your network and earn more tokens for doing that. So that’s kind of the peer tope ad the rewards model that we’ve built, that kind of incentivizes continue engagement and turning that ad spend, right from an expense where you’re just paying Instagram or Facebook, turning it to actually an investment. Cuz what you’re doing now is you’re investing in your community. You’re paying your community, you’re rewarding your community for helping to promote your collective brand, right. Because are an important part of your brand and the success of your brand. So that’s how we’re kind of looking at. Can you make the community a real part of, of what you’re doing by using this peer to peer ads or, or rewards model?

What’s Next for Rimark?

Got it interesting. So much to unpack so much to do. So what’s next for a mark? Where are we headed?

Well, we’re headed we’re gonna be doing a launch end of March, beginning of April. So top line, you know, token is definitely gonna be with Misago Sego coin. He’s nominated for Grammy this year. He is playing a Coachella cool, really deep in the space, really excited to be working with him and his label E Q T they have a JV with capital record which is short for joint venture and yeah, they have, you know, some really great guys over there just had a meeting with them yesterday, some really fun and exciting conversations, excited to be about that. We’re also working with another label called three they have a number of emerging artists to which are ILA one in which is also so Johnny West, he was on American idol in 2020. And he also worked with kind of an OG bay area rapper by the name of too short. So we’re gonna be working with them and their clients as well to be doing some exciting stuff. And those all becoming as part of our launch as well as another kind of community. And this is an example of how we’re looking music a little bit as well. So there’s this community called make they’re sort of the original protagonists or promoters of the term web 2.0 actually back in the day they have this community of makers that are sort of like DIY you know, creators of different projects and things like that. So they also have a magazine. So we’re looking at how can we use the token with their magazine? How can we use it with their upcoming amazing make awards, rewarding, the community of makers that sort of stuff. So yeah, some really exciting, diverse projects that we’re working on and they’ll all be part of the, part of the rollout in end of March, beginning of April. So that’s, that’s, what’s next for us kind of building up that story that go to market and getting ready to Lindsay.

Well, look, we’ll have to do a recap closer to that time or after that time and check in and see where everything’s at, but thank you for being on this was really fun. And hope to have you again soon.

Thanks for having me on Adam.

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Releasing an EP in Web3 with Queen George

The modern jazz-pop artist joins Mint again to catch us up on her journey in web3 and how she plans to release her EP in a web3-native way.