Here’s How NFTs Are Enabling a Better Future for Music with Catalog

Catalog.works co-founders Mike Mckain and Jeremy Stern share why music nfts and the art of collecting is merely the start of building a better future for the music industry.
Catalog.works co-founders Mike Mckain and Jeremy Stern share why music NFTs and the art of collecting is merely the start of building a better future for the music industry.

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Background

Mint Season 4 episode 24 welcomes the two co-founders of Catalog.works, Mike Mckain and Jeremy Stern. We had fun recording this one in person during Eth Denver where we got to explore how they’re enabling a new era of valuing music for what it’s worth. They’re legends and the music NFT movement wouldn’t have been possible without them and their hard work.

In this episode, we discuss: 

  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 09:29 – What Is Catalog?
  • 10:32 – How Does a Music Artist Get On Catalog?
  • 16:59 – Music Industry On Chain; What Happens When One Uploads Someone Else’s Song On Chain?
  • 21:36 – Does the Music Industry Need Its Own Protocol?
  • 28:20 – What Does Streaming Look Like Through Collecting and Owning Music NFTs?
  • 34:10 – 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!


Intro

Jeremy. Mike. Welcome to mint. How we feeling? How are we doing?

Mike Mckain: Feeling good.

Jeremy Stern: Fantastic. Thank you for having us.

Thank you for being on. We’re at Eth Denver and Eth Denver right now. Give me a quick recap what has Eth Denver been like? You guys threw a killer event.

Mike Mckain: It’s been good, we got the whole team out here that line to get in was a bit ridiculous. Took three hours to get a ticket that I haven’t used yet, but it’s been solid. Just good to connect with the whole team out here.

Jeremy Stern: Yeah, definitely different than previous years. Like a lot, lot, lot more people. I’m not quite as easy to catch all the things you want to catch. On more side events which has been fun or more fun, but really great seeing everyone. Always good to have an opportunity to connect with people, catch up with people, party with people

Yeah. No better experience and partying with people that you chat with and make friends with online Alright, let’s dive right in. Okay, who are you guys? Give me a quick intro on yourselves but more specifically, how did you get into crypto? We can start with Jeremy and then go to Mike.

Jeremy Stern: Yeah, so in early 2017, one of my computer science partners, like homework partners was like asking if I want to buy some solid the dark debt and looking into it. First up was buying Bitcoin but yeah, I ended up buying some bitcoin started looking to other cryptocurrencies we were roommates in college at the time, just looking at different a different option learned about like CA Coins, Storage coin. One point Mike was like, what’s this Ethereum thing? It’s only $8.

Mike Mckain: $80 at the time.

Jeremy Stern: $80, April 2017. I was studying, like taking classes on distributed networks, always been a big BitTorrent fan and fan of just like peer-to-peer technology generally. Come from a computer science background. So yeah, that was kind of our introduction to it. Went through that cycle stuck around, you know, learning about different projects, dabbling with development. But I come from, you know, both of us are big SoundCloud heads. Definitely spent a lot of time in kind of golden era SoundCloud. Finding a lot of new artists and diving into a lot of those different communities. I make music in Ableton, been DJing, since like high school, play a little bit of bass guitar, but.

What’s your style of music?

Jeremy Stern: It’s all over. I’ll send you some after.

 Okay

Jeremy Stern: Recently listening to a lot of house, more laid-back stuffs, some R&B, Drum and Bass cool lover.

Nice mike.

Mike Mckain: Yeah, I think for me, I bought Bitcoin in 2013. Early on, just like $500, let it sit for a bit, a minute. And then like Jeremy was saying, I think I bought Ethereum on Coinbase, April 2017. Just as like, you know, I had bought a little bit of Bitcoin and I saw it on Coinbase. I had no idea what it was. But I just, you know, threw a couple 100 bucks and went on a trip where I was offline for about two weeks, and came back online. And that Ethereum went from 80 to $240. And so, it was like a good chunk of money in a couple of weeks. And so, I think a lot of people get into this space through speculation originally. And that’s how I kind of entered in through 2017, just fell down the rabbit hole completely, was completely enthralled and absorbed in Ethereum, specifically. And this was my last year of school in Boston and was kind of figuring out what I wanted to do. My major was an entrepreneurship and music after bouncing around a lot. And by the time I graduated, I pretty much committed like I’m not gonna not take a job in crypto, I’m going to work in crypto, whatever that is. So, I got out of school, I moved out to Denver. And for a while for a couple months, I would just scroll coin market cap, click on every interesting project I could find and go to the jobs board and reach out to somebody.

Oh, no way

Mike Mckain: My background like my education isn’t in product design. But we’ve been working on side projects for a minute. And I’ve kind of just always done, you know, design work, whether it be for my music production, cover art, or, you know, just side projects trying to kind of flesh out, build my skills. And it was like probably 100 applications in that I applied to Coinbase for an internship, I got rejected. And I was kind of like at the end of the road. Like I think I was applying to places for four months, I still didn’t have that much experience. And one of the last applications that I put in was an organization called maker Dao. One thing led to another I eventually got an internship. Shout out Henry who hired me, really put me on and like I just Yeah, I ended up working as a product designer maker Dao for three and a half years. And it was a really just incredible experience, the ups and downs of that organization and really just learning a lot about defi. Always knowing like, again, like Yeah, produce music and DJ a little bit and music had always been kind of the passion in the background. And I knew I wanted to build something. And also knew I wanted to build it in crypto. So, it was all these kinds of things happening at once. I was working as a product designer full time and crypto, was making music. And, you know, working on side projects throughout the years, which we’ll get into, but all that kind of combination of things happening in parallel led to eventually, you know, where we’re at now.

So how did you guys’ kind of butt heads then? Prior to catalog, was catalog actually, the first thing you guys started building together?

Mike Mckain: So, we met, we met in school, my sophomore year of college, and pretty early on started working on projects. I think we always wanted to build something we had. We went through tons of things we went through, like subscription box ideas we went through, we had a candle making era, where we’re like, yeah, making candles and labeling them, just trying to like put stuff out there and make good things and see what happened

Candles. 

Mike Mckain: Candles. They were good candles.

 Were they?

Mike Mckain: Yeah, we might have to bring them back at some point, some low-key catalog merge. Yeah, we went through them on our kitchen stove. It was it was great. It was an era 

Jeremy Stern: Candles are expensive to buy, but they’re actually really cheap to make, and not that hard. But yeah, we were we were very deep in SoundCloud world, you know, budding producers, but recognize a lot of the problems that SoundCloud had sort of just the user interface and user experience level, and got the feeling that they weren’t really listening to their artists, or, you know, power user communities. And from a lot of those frustrations, you know, aside from just the artist don’t make very much money. From a lot of those frustrations, we set out to kind of build a better version of SoundCloud. And we’re obsessed with this idea of micro tipping. So, like what if you could leave a small tip on every single song you listen to, or potentially to add a song to your likes, you give, you know, pay which you want type of tip. And a lot of those, we started looking at ACH transactions for that kind of stuff. Turns out it was relatively expensive, you know, if you want to send like a 10-cent tip, you’re paying roughly the same amount, and just transfer fees. That actually led us to one looking into cryptocurrency as an option, because back then, you know, transaction fees were less than a cent. And also, just taking that idea and boiling it down a ton, because it was the first you know, real major project that either of us have done. We kicked around other business ideas through school, but none that really felt as important. And yeah, that led to our first sort of project after college called Love radio, it’s a 24/7 Beats Radio, kind of taken after those low fi streams that you see on YouTube, where as an artist song came on, you could tip it in 25 cent increments, and 100% of the tip would go directly to the artists. 

So, it’s kind of our first experiment with music and web three, we on boarded over 50 artists, got them set up with Meta mask wallets, paid out at the time, you know, in like late 2020, what was worth, you know, like $1,500 or something like that and tips are nothing substantial but got a lot of interest from people on the crypto side. We got a meta cartel grant, shout out Peter Pan, really cool experience talking to a lot of those folks. But when it came time to scale it up, we had this vision for creating, you know, multiple stations, not just one. Stations for labels, for artists, for listeners, it’s kind of network that was tied in. And this infrastructure that we were built on wouldn’t support that very well. So, we took a step back, recognizing that while you know peer to peer payments are cool, it’s certainly not the most interesting thing that you can do with Ethereum. Talk to a lot of artists in our circles, just about their experience with sites like Bandcamp, what worked, what didn’t, what they wanted to see, what they didn’t have. And a lot of those ideas led to an early version of catalog that we built for the seed club and Eth Online hackathons in October of 2020. And that was a very different version of catalog, it was based around artist tokens, kind of like staking those tokens on the artist to receive a share of their income pivoted away from that from a number of reasons but the November of that year in a rework the idea but and then December onwards, just been building what is now catalog today. launched on March 9 2021. The rest is history.

What Is Catalog?

So, what is catalog? For those who don’t know. It’s a cat liner?

Jeremy Stern: Sure, catalog is a digital record job and music community for artists to press one on one digital records and for fans to discover, listen to and collect their favorite music.

Why do people want to collect their favorite music?

Jeremy Stern: So, a large part of our own identities and forms of self-expression, comes in things like the clothes we have in our closet, the books you carry on your bookshelf, the vinyl records that you have in your collection, or for some just the songs in your Spotify library. But these are all like integral parts of our identity, it’s the kind of thing where you could walk into someone’s home, take a look around, and without ever having met them, get a kind of an idea of who they are. And a large part of our digital identities is now moving in the direction of what you carry in your wallet. So, collecting music has always been a part of self-expression. This is just the latest iteration of that.

How Does a Music Artist Get On Catalog?

So, when you guys basically, you guys have a selection of artists publishing one of one’s, their fans and most beloved listeners collecting those. What does the curation process actually look like to get on catalogue? And what kind of artists are you guys actually looking for?

Mike Mckain: That’s a good question. I think early on, like curation is, is really, really important in this space, specifically right now, because music NFT is a market is still relatively young. Our role looks more like a marketplace today. And what that takes is balancing supply and demand. While the collector interest for music NFT is still growing, we don’t want to, you know, overdo the supply of artists that are coming onto the platform. I think the, you know, the curatorial vision from the beginning was really at the end of the day just comes down to the music. How good is this music and we work specifically with independent artists who aren’t tied up in complex contracts that we can’t necessarily work within, within the bounds and tools that we have available. So, it’s, it’s really like the music, we don’t look at streaming numbers, we don’t look at social media following. We want to put on new artists and undiscovered artists, as well as you know, maybe more well-established independent artists. And I think we value diversity of genre, diversity of geography, diversity of identity, all this is really important, especially, you know, we’re building what we hope to one day be a shared ownership. Catalog into a shared platform. Sorry, shared

Co ownership. Yeah,

Mike Mckain: Co-owned platform, right, co-owned by the community. And I think it’s really important that we build up a diverse base of artists so that we’re not accumulating all that ownership into a non-diverse group of people.

You know, I’m thinking about it, because back in the day, when vinyls came out, it feels very reminiscent to collecting a physical vinyl, right? Beyond being able to play it, you can show it, you can show it off, like I own this, I’ve collected this right, and I’m just looking up a stat right now. And it’s like I searched up our vinyl sales growing in the US. And it says vinyl sales in the US increased from 21.5 million units in 2020 To 41.7 million units last year, according to 2021 report from MRC data billboard, media consumption company, whatever. And I’ve never collected a vinyl, right, so it makes you think like, it’s a new medium for a new generation to appreciate music and the collection process behind kind of owning a song that you feel so, so connected to, despite actually needing to collect the vinyl to listen to the song. Right? It seems like people still enjoy collecting these physical assets that kind of represent a song, right? Do you ever imagine with time music NF T’s kind of dying down in terms of collection? Just like vinyl did. And I guess like that question is also like pegged to Okay, technology happen, new forms of streaming kind of got introduced. But I guess like, how do you imagine the future of like collection kind of looking like?

Mike Mckain: Yeah, I think it largely depends on like, the culture and experiences we create around music NF T’s and you know, whether the ecosystem can create value and create this new economy around collecting. I think there’s a long way to go on one level just on like the social value of collecting new music NFT. And I think it’s really important. If there’s not spaces to express yourself online, through the music that you collect, then we’re missing out on a pillar of value that should exist for music NFT. So, I think it’s really dependent on in a lot of ways how the ecosystem develops. But I do think, like, I’m more bullish, I guess, personally on web three, music versus music NFT’s particularly, I think there’s so many opportunities for, you know, especially when kind of NFT’s and defi have some sort of convergence down the road for artists to monetize their work in 1000s of new ways. One on One record is, again, like a small sliver of a value model. And the whole pie of, of new value models, whether that’s through NFT’s or streaming money, or any of the other kind of like, infrastructure that develops on Ethereum moving forward.

Jeremy Stern: Yeah, I think it’s worth noting that, you know, collecting music and just its Ross form. While is one really important mission that we’re on and a battle to be fought that there because of what through technology it enables so many different, like new, previously impossible types of models. And then you can look to a lot of interesting used cases around like jam bands and other artists who have like cult followings that have found really creative ways to, you know, kind of have a shared experience and support a fan base that they can connect closely with both digitally and in physical space. That are also just like very valid used cases. The music NFT’s, like kind of a fuzzy word people throw Yeah, people throw it around. And it can mean a whole slew of different things. It could be music videos, it could mean you know, more like other collectibles that surround music. But the mission we’re on is very focused around bringing value back to music itself.

Music Industry On Chain; What Happens When One Uploads Someone Else’s Song On Chain?

I want to talk more about macro discussions. Okay, so what happens when somebody actually uploads the same song on chain? Like how are handles dispute? How are disputes handled? Excuse me, Of course, we can look back and see which one was uploaded first, right? Given, but it’s on chain now like it’s forever there? It could accumulate money, right? It could accumulate revenue, then is not associated with the initial person that uploaded the song. So how do you guys’ kind of think about that at catalog and then music industry on chain at large?

Jeremy Stern: So, what you’re talking about is largely an identity problem, which is not specific to music, NFT’s but the space at large. And it’s also one of the main reasons why we’ve been curated. That’s one of the many reasons we were curated at this time is that it’s a very unsolved problem, even in web to music to prove that, hey, I am the original rights holder for this and that person is wrongfully making money off of my music. Sampling is as a whole gray area with that, but purely just, hey, I uploaded a Kanye song. There, it can be really difficult to, there’s things you can do too, you know, look at like content fingerprinting, and try to prevent that at a UI level. But ultimately, if, you know, there’s nothing stopping someone from using permission-less tools to upload a Kanye West song and sell it. So, with that in mind, it’s, I think there’s a lot of things that can be done in general to improve identity on chain.

It’s a different problem space to tackle.

Jeremy Stern: Right. But with regards to music specifically, you know, we take sort of your running standard, like run of the mill steps with regards to like Terms of Service and identity verification on our end, internally. But I think that’s going to need to be improved as we as we hit scale.

Yeah. Anything to add to that, Jeremy? I mean, Mike? Excuse me.

Mike Mckain: that’s all good. No, I think that about heads it, I mean, it’s a very difficult problem to solve. And like Jeremy mentioned, it’s a problem. That’s pretty much just an extension problem that exist today. Blockchain does not solve this. And yet, until we have, I guess, more rigid, decentralized identity systems, it’s going to continue to be, you know, a manual process, at least for us, I think there is an opportunity to decentralize this process and kind of give the opportunity or the responsibility of arbitration to the community to handle these things in a decentralized way rather than a core team. But, again, that’s an entirely complex and system and complex problem to solve. 

Yeah, for those less familiar with music NFTs and our artists kind of entering web three right now. They’re overwhelmed with all the buzzwords, all the processes from Meta mask, to uploading, to minting, etc. A lot of them just understand streaming platforms, right. And when they come to catalog, they try to understand okay, what is catalog and how do I kind of think about it from a bigger picture? I guess, Mike, my question is like, do you guys I see ourselves kind of like competing with streaming platforms to an extent, like, let’s say, Spotify were to embed and create a feature where you can support the artist through micro tipping, for example, or collecting their song file itself, right? Do you see yourselves competing in that matter? Or how do you guys kind of think about that? From a big picture point of view?

Mike Mckain: I think on a long enough time scale, we probably see ourselves competing with, you know, major DSPs. I don’t think that’s, you know, a scenario that we would hope for tomorrow. I think that’s actually a potentially nightmare scenario of streaming went away tomorrow. But I do think we need more robust systems, we need better developed infrastructure, we need education, and we just need more people participating in the space. Before, we’re kind of ready for that kind of scale. Yeah.

Jeremy Stern: it’s an interesting balance strike, because most of the time, when you’re abstracting, at least at this stage in the game, when you’re abstracting too much away from the user, it oftentimes means that you’re taking some amount of sacrifices in terms of centralization, or custodial wallets. If you’re abstracting away gas fees, then you’re on a layer to which some may be more trustworthy, your will have more longevity than others. So yeah, we’re gonna tricky, the stage is still it’s in infancy, or the industry is still very much in its infancy. And it’s always important, I think, to step back and remember that, it’s still kind of the first inning, or in the sort of dial up era phase of things.

Which is crazy to think about. 

Jeremy Stern: It’s exciting. Very much like a blank canvas, we all get a chance to sort of collectively paint. And yeah, it’s an endlessly grateful to be building and in this space for that reason. 

Does the Music Industry Need Its Own Protocol?

Yeah. On that topic of infrastructure, do you think the music industry needs its own protocol?

Jeremy Stern: Hmm. Interesting question. I mean, there are some amount of like protocols that exist today in terms of how money is facilite, like, how money is moved around from the pockets of, you know, everyday people who are using Spotify to, you know, when a song is played on the radio, or licensed via sync, it’s all, you know, has somewhat, has some amount of standards moved around. But admittedly, they’re pretty garbage. It’s not very clear, or rather, like there’s, there’s a lot of black boxes where money gets lost, and people are always having to chase things down. Putting a lot of that those movements on chain is undeniably, I think, a net positive for musicians getting paid instantly, and transparently, would be a huge, huge, huge step forward. And there’s a lot of cool companies working on stuff like that today. But to sort of broad strokes generalize, it’s, I think, difficult to say that there’s any one, you know, sort of proven way to monetize music. We’ve, you know, we’re doing things one way in a catalog. And I think there’s no shortage of possibilities there. So, in terms of a protocol for music, and web three, it feels like there’s going to be many, rather than just sort of one overarching standard.

What do you think Jeremy? Mike, excuse me.

Mike Mckain: Leave it there.

Leave it there. So, do you think the end goal of all this is to kind of build a trustless music industry, because there’s a lot of human error throughout the day to day from assigning rights to contracts to the DSPs and adding associating royalties to people the list goes on and on, of just like different human error and touch points that kind of get many people screwed over? Would you agree the end goal is to create a trustless music industry? And when you even hear trustless music industry? Like what does that really mean? It’s like two questions kind of thing.

Jeremy Stern: Yeah, trustless feels, obviously very important. It’s like a ethos. It’s a big part of the ethos of web three, generally. Like philosophically, it’s something that we should all strive for in the tech that we’re building. I think a big part of that is owning the tools that you use in your day to day so that, you know, we don’t have to trust that SoundCloud has our best interests at hand. But that, you know, we can actually, if they do something that we don’t like, as users that we can have a say in that, and are incentivized to act in everyone’s best interest. I would say that, like, the term gets thrown around a lot, even in the context of like, permissionless. And in permissionless systems, you know, like I was saying earlier, I can go and upload a Kanye West song and sell that. And if there aren’t checks and balances in place, I’m going to make money off of that. And probably someone high up is going to, like the music industry has a long history of suing or buying out disruptive technologies, and I think this is absolutely no different. So, to do things trustlessly can enable, doing things too trustless I guess, or too permissionless can open up a lot more risk for platforms like us. And I think taking an approach that’s more harkened to like to like the Pirate Bay or like RDS or something like that, something that is truly, you know, unable to be stopped. And that is immutable is a step in the right direction, but I don’t know it. It’s a nuanced topic. The more permissionless tools that you have, the more powerful things you can do. And some people might use that as a tool. And some people might use that as a weapon. So, there’s also a huge responsibility when building the space to, you know, make sure that people are, you know, doing things, moving ethically, like putting the right stopgaps in place to try and prevent the wrong people from, you know, making money off the backs of others. Yeah. But I feel like we can have a whole episode on that.

Yeah, Mike.

Mike Mckain: Yeah, I think you’re always going to have the, you have in your human input in these systems, as opposed to, you know, a defi protocol, the code is deployed, and you’re just interact with it, you don’t have people uploading content to a system, all over the world, all different kinds of people. And I think inevitably, in a system like that, you’re going to have bad actors, and dealing with bad actors. You know, as far as the infrastructure provides right now, depends on trust in a lot of ways. So, until we have, you know, better developed infrastructure or more tooling around dealing with these sorts of human problems, I think we’re, there’s gonna be a degree of trust in these systems for the foreseeable future.

Jeremy Stren: An interesting example, that’s more concrete is splits.

I was just about to say that yeah.

Jeremy Stern: Yeah, like a lot of record deals are, you know, say on like, a five-year contract. Yeah. And if that expires, and it’s not renewed, then the record labels not entitled to split from that anymore. So, in the context of music NFTs, if the live labels while address is permanently hard coded into that split, then the deal expires, then they shouldn’t be getting their share anymore. So now you need someone to oversee the split to make sure that it is being actively maintained. And these things change all the time. So, who should have the authority to update the split? Is it just,

Or input the split to begin with.

Jeremy Stern: Right. Now what if you have a bad actor who suddenly goes rogue and says, hey, actually, I, I’m not going to vote myself out of this split, even though they technically should be? Who should have the authority there? How do we make sure that, there’s honest cases where things can happen to like, oh, I lost access to my wallet like this happens a lot in these early days when people are still learning? Well, how can we be sure that they actually did lose access? How can we be sure that a bad actor who gained access is unable to do anything malicious? Again, not these are not problems that are specific to music, but.

Nor web three, because web two as well, you go and distro kid, and you could easily delete someone from his rights and his royalties, right? So, web three doesn’t necessarily solve it like, sure if there was like a contract where you can set a time limit, right? And you can put all these details to the actual written contract on chain. And sure, but we’re not there yet.

Jeremy Stern: Right. Dan Fowler has some great writing on that, on this topic, in particular, but yeah, a lot of these problems are human problems and coordination problems that are not easy to solve.

What Does Streaming Look Like Through Collecting and Owning Music NFTs?

Yeah. One thing I want to talk to you guys about what’s the canonical format of a song? Like, is this model of collecting a song and having everyone streaming for free the future? How do you guys kind of think about that? It’s something that we talked about yesterday, during the good karma showcase, the panel that we had at Eth Denver? So, I’m just curious, like, what is streaming look like, through collecting and owning? Right? How does that play a part in it, I know right now, it’s just treated as a way to kind of value music as an art the way you would buy a Picasso the way you would buy any, any form of art. And it should stand at that. But it’s composable. This technology is composable by nature, right? You can build on top of it. Sooner or later, all these top collectors, there might be a decentralized Spotify, where you can license the music that you own, and you can earn streaming royalties on it in the native governance token, right? Like, these are things that may eventually play out. But what does that look like from your point of view? And I know this is like very much like a macro like Oh, in the future, but I think it’s important to know.

Mike Mckain: Yeah, at a high level, I think that canonical, the idea of canonical is to serve as a source of truth. And what that source of truth contains, is pretty primitive right now, but it can grow into including permissions around licenses, or, you know, containing attribution and royalties. So, just to have that one of one source of truth of which not to say one of ones is the sole value model, but one of one serving as that canonical version that you can look to for any other value models or composition that you might do on top of that. So you build for example, we saw with BPM bot which was a discord bot built on top of catalog records originally, hosted club BPM and discord, invited a bunch of people sold tickets through their BPM token. And there was a question around, you know, these ticket sales to get into quote unquote club bpm. Where does that money go? Does it go to the Dao? Does it go to the people who own the records? Does it go to the artists? If it goes to the artists? Are they getting 100%? Are they getting 50%? Artists that a creator share on their one-on-one record on catalog? Do they collect that creator share on the ticket sales? So, there’s all these questions I don’t think they’re that are well defined on the one-on-one canonical version yet. But just to have that there and build out that tooling and permission systems on the original, I think can, again, serve as a source of truth for any other value model, or application that they might choose to build on top of it.

Jeremy Stern: Yeah, it’s worth calling out to that. You know, one of the things we recognize as problematic in the industry today is this paper play valuation model of music, it incentivizes music that is going to get the most number of plays, when that’s not necessarily how most people create art. And it creates sort of perverse incentives in that regard. What’s interesting, also about sort of streaming and the digital music era that we’re in today is that it allows content to be freely distributed as why it is the internet itself. And it’s not a bad thing, that means more people can hear this for free, right now, I can effectively hear any music I want for free and download that for free, with or without, you know, as a subscription to a DSP. The beautiful thing about NFT is that everyone loves to talk about it, you know, compare it to like the Mona Lisa, the more culturally relevant that piece of art becomes, the more it is experienced and shared, the more valuable the original. And so, with that logic, the more valuable the one of one or the catalog record. I think for a lot of artists, that is the case that someone would value that original more than that artist would ever get from streams from that single song. But that might not always be the case. It’d be some songs, you know, well correlated in value for the one of one to their streaming, to the streaming numbers might not have that same, that same balance. But ultimately, it’s, there’s no shortage of possibilities for ways artists to monetize it in web three native ways. And those are the things that I think we’re most interested at catalogue. And so having one of one’s that’s sort of the source of that, like Mike was talking about, makes for an interesting proposition.

Mike Mckain: Yeah, and shout out Holly, Herndon and Matt Dryhurst on the powerplay valuation model idea, I think they really helped kind of, like see that idea into the culture and, and popularize the idea that this value model is singular. And it may work for some artists, but it is not the way that we should be universally valuing music. Go follow them.

But on the consumer side, it’s just the easiest way to enjoy it. Like from a listener’s point of view, right?

Mike Mckain: Well, you can point to that number, say, look how many views that YouTube video has right plays the song has, you can say, look, how many sales that vinyl sold, you know, that they sold of that record? How many digital downloads that are get, now we can start to look at other interesting, you know, lenses of this slices of views of this, which is like, well, how much did the NFT sell for? Obviously, there’s a lot of other factors that play into that. But yeah, these are all sort of viewing the perceived value of a song in a very narrow lens. I think that’s something that can be very difficult to actually quantify, you know, how do you quantify how much a song means to you? If you think back to like, the albums that you listened to when you were 13? Like, how much do some of those, when you know, broke up with your first partner or something like that, like, trying to actually under understand how much that means to an individual or to a collective of individuals? It’s actually very hard to measure.

Outro

Yeah. I think that’s a good place to nearly wrap up really quick before I let you guys go. There’s obviously a lot of people that want to be on catalogue that know of you guys and the cool things that you guys are building. What are some tips you have for musicians for creators coming into web three, coming across all these buzzwords and wanting to dive right in? How would you help him navigate it?

Jeremy Stern: I think it’s a lot of just like hanging around the space and learning and diving into these communities. I think there’s so many web three music communities at this stage and they’re all incredibly welcoming. And there’s a lot to learn and all of them. You know, whether that’s hanging out in discord communities, listening in on Twitter spaces, following the right people on Twitter. This space moves super, super rapidly. And I think just to envelop yourself in it is the best way to get your footing. And if you want to, you know you feel comfortable to start releasing music. There are platforms today that are open for anybody to use. And then there are also curated platforms and I would just encourage everyone to explore the bounds of the space and if you want to release on a sound or a catalog, submit your music. We would love to hear it. And you know, in the meantime, there’s tools like manifold, there’s tools like mint songs that are available for everybody. But really, the only answer is just to get involved and dive in.

Amazing, guys, I think that’s a great place to end off. Where can we find you? Where can we find catalog, show the details?

Jeremy Stern: We are at catalog works on both Twitter and Instagram. My Twitter is @Jayzstern.

Mike Mckain: I’m on Twitter @Mckain_

Jeremy Stern: And also, yeah if you go to catalog.community, that’ll take you to our Discord, some basic questions can be found at catalog, can be answered @catalog.wtf, but yeah, jump in and say what’s up. And we’d love to hear what you’re listening to, even you know, web three aside, just throw some music Rex in the music Rex channel, always keep to listen to that stuff.

Amazing guys, thank you so much. Hope to have you on again soon. Thank you.

Jeremy Stern: Thanks, I appreciate it.

Mike Mckain: Of course.

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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.