Web3 community-building meets music know-how at Wavelengths Summit 2023

Web3 has grow to be one of many hottest buzzwords within the music business, with everybody from impartial musicians to main label artists dropping nonfungible token (NFT) collections and throwing live shows within the metaverse. However for a lot of, the precise use instances and potential of those applied sciences stay shrouded in thriller and confusion.

On Could 6, Water & Music held its inaugural Wavelengths Summit, a one-day occasion bringing collectively musicians, business executives, artist managers, researchers and technologists to discover the bleeding fringe of music know-how and democratize entry to info. On the agenda had been talks about blockchain-based communities, the rising affect of synthetic intelligence on the music business and the way forward for artist income streams.

Water & Music is a collaborative music know-how analysis community based in 2016 by author Cherie Hu as a free publication. It has since advanced to embody a paid membership construction, an intensive on-line collaboration community and in-person occasions. Its analysis typically touches upon Web3 and the way blockchain impacts the music business.

“I feel the music business, specifically, has suffered from info silos,” Hu instructed Cointelegraph. “In case you’re attempting to determine how followers work together along with your music in a holistic means, it’s truly an enormous problem.” Enter Water & Music, which seeks to empower its group with the information wanted to thrive within the digital period.


A central focus of each Water & Music as a corporation and its Wavelengths Summit was constructing a way of group. The occasion’s emphasis on the significance of community-building in music and Web3 was ever-present, from the subjects chosen for dialogue — together with periods titled “Music Group Constructing and Decentralization: Classes from Historical past” and “URL to IRL: Uniting Music Communities On-line and Offline” — to the way in which the occasion itself was hosted and arranged.

As an example, Hu opened the summit by laying out 4 floor guidelines for optimistic community-building: “Be form and respectful,” “Keep vital, “No shilling,” and “Have enjoyable!” She additionally introduced that there could be no panels; as a substitute, specialists would facilitate conversations, with viewers members inspired to leap in at any level. Talks on the primary stage had been accompanied by a big display displaying stay feedback and questions from viewers members through an app referred to as Slido.

“I feel what we had been actually aiming for is recreating the magic of our Water & Music Discord,” Diana Gremore, Water & Music’s occasions director, instructed Cointelegraph. “We’ve got such a considerate, articulate, vital, passionate, curious group, so we needed to do our greatest to facilitate how that URL group interprets into an IRL expertise.”

Web3 group constructing for musicians

All through the day, most of the conversations touched on how Web3 and blockchain applied sciences are being explored on the earth of music. Throughout the “Music Group Constructing and Decentralization” session, members mentioned how on-line communities comparable to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are the following step in a protracted historical past of decentralization.

As identified by Austin Robey, co-founder of Metalabel — which is constructing a blockchain-based platform for collaborative artist releases — on-chain voting and governance are digital variations of what real-world communities have at all times achieved. Social areas are at all times ruled, and communities are at all times decision-making. And whereas DAOs could also be topic to “code,” real-world communities have at all times been topic to social “codes.”

The dialogue was moderated by Kaitlyn Davies, membership lead at Pals With Advantages — a social DAO for creatives — and head of curatorial partnerships at Refraction — a DAO for artists and creators with a specific concentrate on stay music occasions. Davies instructed Cointelegraph that the preexisting decentralization in music communities helps clarify why so many within the music world gravitate towards Web3.

“You see lots of people who’ve at all times been thinking about decentralized methods of organizing or form of left-of-center technique of organizing look to this know-how to maintain doing their work — not even to get larger or to forged an additional internet however simply to allow what they had been already doing,” she mentioned, including:

“Cultivating a scene or a group, that’s actually essential, and that’s what drives tradition. […] My hope nonetheless is that decentralized tech helps us do this higher and helps us do this in additional equitable methods.”

Throughout the “Web3: Balancing Area of interest and Mainstream on the Street to Adoption” session, members mentioned the significance of first understanding one’s group earlier than launching crypto music tasks. Melanie McClain, a Web3 advisor and founding father of Blurred Strains — a group of Web3 tastemakers supporting left-of-center Black music — mentioned that if followers need free reveals, artists can experiment with NFTs that give collectors free entry to live shows. And if the artist blows up, that free-performance NFT will all of the sudden grow to be rather more useful.

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Talking to Cointelegraph, McClain mentioned that crypto-native and crypto-newbie artists alike might use blockchain tech to construct stronger communities, however every strategy have to be tailor-made. “They must be self-aware,” she mentioned. If a musician’s group shouldn’t be native to Web3, “they won’t say phrases like NFTs or social tokens. They will lead the dialog in different methods whereas nonetheless utilizing the instruments within the again finish.”

Many facilitators and different attendees expressed that Web3 options supply notably distinctive benefits for musicians, with Gremore telling Cointelegraph that “one of many greatest strengths of [Web3] is the flexibility to construct group and maintain group.”

Maybe a part of the explanation for that is that blockchains are typically designed for effectivity. In accordance with Hu, this permits artists and their groups to higher make the most of “good cash” — when a musician doesn’t have a lot cash to spend and subsequently should use their funds as effectively as doable.

“In music and Web3, I’m noticing as a substitute of simply random artists dropping NFT tasks that occur to realize some huge cash, there’s extra concentrate on ‘what’s the precise use case?’” Hu instructed Cointelegraph. “What’s blockchain truly including to music in a means that makes issues simpler and never tougher from a technical standpoint?”

URL meets IRL

One factor that stood out on the Wavelengths Summit was what number of on-line associates had been assembly IRL — in actual life — for the primary time. Having many web associates shouldn’t be distinctive to crypto, however it’s notably pronounced within the house, given its inherently decentralized nature. For most individuals, assembly an internet buddy in particular person is particular, and the summit was designed to facilitate these connections.

The web permits for a stage of group constructing beforehand not possible, particularly between musicians and their followers. However as Gremore instructed Cointelegraph, “There’s a magic in IRL that simply can’t get replaced.” She added, “URL is the place so most of the conversations begin occurring, after which IRL — it’s an opportunity to deepen these bonds.”

Summit attendees join and community throughout the “Web3 Pleased Hour.” Supply: Jonathan DeYoung

For Hu, constructing in-person relationships is vital for the long-term success of Web3 communities. “IRL occasions make or break belief in a group,” she mentioned. When internet-based communities meet in particular person, that group’s rigorously curated on-line picture disappears, and other people see it for what it truly is — whether or not good or unhealthy.

“Occasions are so essential for on-line communities as a result of if the secret is long-term sustainability, that can make or break belief. If it succeeds, it could possibly be an enormous kickstarter to an entire new stage or an entire new stage for the group or for the model. However I’ve undoubtedly seen it go the opposite means round additionally.”

For these unable to take part in IRL experiences, on-line ones nonetheless supply alternatives, comparable to permitting followers to join nearly with their favourite music artists. “I feel utilizing digital issues, not essentially the metaverse however utilizing live-streaming platforms, issues like that — I feel you may simulate the identical factor,” McClain mentioned. “Everyone can take part irrespective of the place they’re.”

“I feel on-line areas are protected havens for lots of people, and I feel that that ought to by no means be discounted,” believes Davies. “However I feel the ability of assembly anyone in particular person and being like, oh, you’re like an actual human being, and we’ve got related ideas about this, and perhaps a block on a series helped us discover one another — however actually what it’s about is us hanging out in particular person.”

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Finally, the primary takeaway of the Wavelengths Summit was that community-building is a vital part for achievement in each music and Web3, and Water & Music deliberately designed its inaugural summit to set an instance of the way it believes community-building ought to look.

To shut out the day, Gremore shared with the viewers that Water & Music needed attendees to go away empowered — that regardless that it could look like the music business is damaged, there may be nonetheless gentle on the finish of the tunnel. And because the summit revealed, a few of that hope might come within the type of DAOs, NFTs or different blockchain-based instruments that assist artists construct group straight with their followers. Or, as Gremore instructed the viewers:

“We’re fucked — however perhaps we will do one thing about it.”