A Brief History of NFTs in the Music Industry

4 min readJun 16, 2021


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are the new hot thing in the music industry. These tokens are fundamentally revolutionizing the revenue streams in the ecosystem. A lot of artists have already started auctioning off new releases or digital collectibles using NFTs. Because of the decentralized nature of blockchain, anyone with a crypto wallet can buy or sell NFTs. This allows artists to reach their audience directly, eliminating the middleman. This has become a new and much-needed revenue stream for artists during this pandemic.

A Brief History of NFTs in the Music Industry

Starting in December 2020, several artists jumped on the NFT bandwagon and sold various physical and virtual assets. Here we look at a few notable ones.

Image: deadmau5

Digital Collectibles

  1. December 11, 2020 — Deadmau5 dropped his first batch of NFTs containing animated stickers, virtual trading cards, and other miscellaneous digital collectibles, named “RAREZ.” The drop raked in close to $100,000. A couple of days later, he auctioned off a sole copy of “In Titan’s Light,” a space-themed audiovisual piece, which drew a total of $80,000.
  2. February 26, 2021 — Shawn Mendes entered the NFT space as the first major pop star. He partnered with “Genies” to auction off an exclusive series of digital wearables for fans to accessorize their digital avatars. The drop brought in $600,000, and all proceeds reportedly went towards the Shawn Mendes foundation.

Image: Halsey

Physical Objects

  1. March 17, 2021 — Halsey, singer and songwriter, auctioned off a few hand-painted characters that she created as part of a collection titled “People Disappear Here.”
  2. March 26, 2021 — Gorillaz announced that they would be selling a series of plastic toys and collectibles in partnership with “Superplastic.” This didn’t go too well, though as fans were concerned about its environmental impact.

Image: Grimes

Audiovisual Releases

  1. January 27, 2021 — Electronic music juggernaut Monstercat auctioned off an audiovisual collection soundtracked by “Varien,” netting $500,000 in NFT sales. Each NFT was priced between $350 and $450, and the entire series was sold out in two minutes. A second batch was made available shortly after, in the form of a constellation-themed pack, which ran out of stock in seconds.
  2. February 8, 2021 — Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park fame made his debut in the NFT space with a 37-second animation titled “One Hundredth Stream.” The auction fetched $30,000. The proceeds raised were donated to the “Michael K Shinoda Endowed Scholarship.”
  3. February 27, 2021 — Reggae star Ozuna made five digital versions of teddy-bear-themed digital collectibles to be sold as NFTs. Every individual item contained 15 exclusive videos, with 19 seconds of music backing each one. The collection, titled “Ositos,” sold for a total of $75,000, with each token selling for $5000.
  4. February 28, 2021 — Grimes auctioned off several items, including unique artworks and digital collectibles. The most expensive item sold is a Biblical-themed video titled “Death of the Old.” The background score is a Grimes’ original, and the footage netted $389,000. Overall, the auction brought in $6 million.
  5. March 3, 2021–3LAU sold 33 NFTs of his three-year-old album “Ultraviolet” along with a few other goodies. The auction raked in $11.6 million.
  6. April 15, 2021 — Mick Jagger collaborated with Dave Grohl for a surprise release of “Eazy Sleazy.” A few days after the track’s release, Jagger announced that Berlin-based 3D artist Extraweg had turned the track into a digital animation sold as an NFT. It raised $50,000 for music-related charities.

About Mozik

Mozik is a decentralized music NFT platform aiming to build a healthier and fairer music ecosystem. Through the decentralized NFT platform, Mozik adopts blockchain technology to register earnings through music copyright, super-star IP, and IP derivatives on-chain. All the participants in the music ecosystem, including creators, publishers, customers, and fans can fairly participate. Through Mozik’s platform, artists will be incentivized to create more and better quality music. With lowered publishing cost and higher engagement from music fans, all participants can share in the rewards, and create a healthier and fairer music ecosystem.

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MOZIK is a decentralized music NFT platform aims to build a healthier and fairer music economy ecosystem.