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Snoop Dogg may be the face of Web3 and NFTs, but what does that mean for the industry?



Described by many users and outsiders as the Wild West, Web3 is open-source and decentralized, and it has been prompting many to look for ways to profit from its features, especially with the growing Metaverse.

While some companies and investors are sorting out where to place their best bets, popular rapper and nonfungible token collector Snoop Dogg seems to have found his rhythm and is beating many to the market.

The cannabis and NFT connoisseur announced he had joined the digitally native lifestyle and gaming platform FaZe Clan on March 7, with the intention of strengthening the cultural connection between music and gaming. Through his participation with digital collectibles, Snoop Dogg has elevated his credentials in the Web3 sector and is considered by pundits to be a prominent voice.

From building Snoopverse in The Sandbox to creating the pseudonymous online persona “Cozomo de’ Medici,” Snoop Dogg’s digital footprint is hard to ignore. The impact and influence the rapper has had in the sector are undeniable, with at least one investor spending upward of $450,000 for a plot of digital land adjacent to the rapper’s virtual estate.

Snoop’s participation in Web3 highlights innovation, content creation and development, and ownership. The rapper does not shy away from dropping it like it’s hot at every turn in the sector, leaving some to conclude that he could be the current face of Web3 and is leading the way for other creators

New avenues are opening up for music NFTs

Music NFTs are coming after the popularity seen by visual art NFTs, and there are currently some strategic partnerships underway. For example, Snoop Dogg recently acquired Death Row Records and intends to turn it into the first NFT recording label in the Metaverse. Others are finding impact in partnering with other artists.

Royal, an NFT royalty platform founded by DJ and music producer 3lau, partnered with rapper Nas to bring awareness to the various ways artists can connect with their fans while directly generating revenue streams from their creations. However, it’s not just the big names in the industry who are turning their heads to the technology and sector.

Web3 pundits are excited about the creative freedom in the Metaverse and are coming to realize that NFTs can provide a means for artists to be equitably compensated. Speaking to this trend, Iman Europe, a musician and the head of artist relations at NFT music startup Sound, highlighted to Bloomberg just how much artists are undercut in the traditional music industry, saying: “I had one person buy my song for the amount it would have taken a million streams to get.” On March 14, Snoop Dogg dropped a music NFT via Sound that sold out and raised 100 Ether (ETH) ($271,399).

After navigating Web2 streaming models, creators are building better structures within music NFTs to make a livelihood. Latashá, an artist and the head of community programming at NFT marketplace protocol Zora, has sold over 50 music and multimedia nonfungible tokens, telling NFT-focused blockchain platform Palm that they sell for an average of $20,000 per 1/1 artwork.

In contrast with the Web2 model wherein artists need to hit hundreds of streams before they make even $1, Web3’s infrastructure introduces ownership to the mix.

Platforms such as Sound, Audius, Zora, Royal and Catalog focus on artists retaining ownership rights to their music NFTs, allowing them to receive royalties every time they are resold. Since music NFTs are minted on a blockchain and backed by metadata, issues of relinquishing intellectual property rights are mitigated. Blockchains also facilitate tracking where the content is used and distributed. This change allows artists to be compensated directly.

Snoop Dogg could be carrying the torch for what is possible when independent musicians hit major labels. He and other Web3 denizens have brought awareness to how creators and owners can benefit in the ecosystem with future listen-and-earn rewards through music NFTs.

Although music NFTs have not seen the same rise as proof-of-profile (PFP) NFTs, there have been increased developments in their utility and functionality beyond just serving as audio files. The infrastructure of Web3 and blockchain has unlocked and revolutionized the industry of the creator economy.