Disclaimer: This is transcribed using AI. Expect (funny) errors.
Mindy Peterson: [00:00:00] I’m Mindy Peterson, and this is Enhance Life with Music, a holistic look at the power of music in our everyday lives. Joining me today from L.A. is Ari Herstand, a musician, actor and bestselling author of the book How to Make It in the New Music Business. Ari hosts the New Music Business podcast, writes a blog and is founder and CEO of Ari’s Take, an online music business, education and artist advocacy company. He pretty much does it all. And Forbes calls him the poster child of DIY music. Welcome to Enhance Life with Music, Ari.
Ari Herstand: [00:00:37] Thank you so much.
Mindy Peterson: [00:00:38] NFTs have been all over the news lately, and I’m really intrigued about their potential impact on the world of music and musicians and fans. Ari, I’m thrilled to have you with us today to discuss this topic. For listeners who aren’t familiar with NFTs, can you do us the honor of explaining why and hour to start things off?
Ari Herstand: [00:01:00] Sure. So NFTs stands for non fungible token. And so the first question that you probably have is, well, what’s a fungible token if we’re talking about non fungible tokens? So a fungible token means that there is a defined value. So a dollar is is that’s that could be considered a fungible token. You know, I give you one dollar, you can give me a dollar back. It’s the same, you know, when we’re talking in the digital space, since we’re going to be digging into the crypto space, you know, if you give me one Bitcoin, I give you one Bitcoin. They’re the same view that’s fungible there. There’s no really unique characteristics to the dollar bill that you gave me or the dollar bill that I gave you back. It doesn’t really matter. I’ll trade you a dollar any day of the week. No problem. Interchangeable. Interchangeable. Exactly. Now, non fungible token. That’s that’s different. That means each each token is unique. You can’t trade me in NFTs and unfindable token, you have the only one. It’s a it’s a unique item. And the interesting thing about it in the way that this technology works is it can’t be copied or replicated or anything like that. So the you know, it gets a little bit confusing when you really break down what these are, because if you if you spend 20 seconds Googling Ts, you’ll see these really crazy kind of visualizer come up like little gifts. You know, some of the most famous ones was like that, that Nyan Cat, that that cat meme, that that looks like there’s a rainbow coming out of its.
Mindy Peterson: [00:02:41] But you don’t even really understand the craze or all that. But yeah, I’ve seen it.
Ari Herstand: [00:02:48] Right. And then you’re wondering like, well how does this how could that possibly sell for. I think it was six hundred thousand dollars or something like that. It’s like well you could literally just download it from the Internet and now it’s on your desktop and like but somebody paid six hundred thousand dollars for that exact same gift. That doesn’t make any sense. And of course, you know, most famously in the music space, since, you know, that’s my area of expertise. There have been tens of millions of dollars exchanged so far for music based NFTs. And of course, the headline was the deejay and producer. Blue made 11 million dollars on him and his first NFTs drop. And most people are listening to this is like, well, I’ve never heard of Blowin. That’s exactly right, because you don’t have to be a superstar or famous musician to make a lot of money on NFTs. Now, that being said, there are celebrities who have jumped into the space like Sean Mendez and oddly enough, Sean Mendez, with all of his sort of teardrops, only made a few hundred thousand dollars, not only, of course, but at a level when you’re talking about a superstar like Sean Mendez, you would expect him to make more than a producer that most people have probably never heard of, like before. So now, you know, there are hundreds of musicians that have jumped into the NFTs space since the beginning of the year. But just to kind of break down what these are a little bit more, because I know people who still maybe have not explored this, maybe don’t really understand what this is or why people are paying for it.
Mindy Peterson: [00:04:18] So it’s it’s basically like virtual original artists like Bitcoin is virtual money.
Ari Herstand: [00:04:24] Absolutely. Exactly right. And so so it is a you have to think of it as a unique digital collectible. It’s a collectible. It’s just like how people collect, you know, trading cards, baseball cards, those are collectibles. And everybody knows, you know, I had a collection of baseball cards back in the day and there’s different values. Someone could look at a basketball card we like, but that’s just a piece of cardboard. Why would anybody pay money for that? Well, I don’t know. But that’s just how collectibles
Mindy Peterson: [00:04:53] Were asking my husband that we had this box of baseball cards that we’ve, you know, moved from house to. And like, why do we have these and these, like, they’re worth so much money, I’m like, great, let’s up, right, right.
Ari Herstand: [00:05:07] Let’s actually get money that we can use something. Exactly. Yeah, but it’s the same thing. It’s like, you know, I have a large vinyl record collection. It’s like collectibles and there’s value placed on them. So if you if you really think about like in the art space, because this is the closest, most adjacent realm of NFTs is let’s talk about physical art. So David Hockney is one of my favorite artists. He’s he works in many mediums. He’s most famous for his paintings. One of his paintings. He’s still alive today is in his 80s. One of his paintings, his most famous pool painting, sold for 80 million dollars last year. And that painting I have a print of that painting same size up on my wall that I paid twenty dollars for sure. Now, I paid twenty dollars for this print of that painting and somebody paid eighty million dollars for that actual painting. It’s not really about that. The painting looks so much better. I mean, my print looks amazing. It’s not that it’s not about that kind of quality. It’s that it’s a collectible. It’s that it’s unique. There’s only one painting that David Hockney painted and he put his stamp of approval saying, this is the one, this is it. And that’s what this is, is that when you buy an NFTs, you’re not actually buying the thing. Like it’s not like you’re going to get handed the painting if you are the digital whatever, it’s because anyone can download that the computer. You’re basically getting a unique access token that points to where it’s almost your certificate of authenticity. So it’s the NFTs isn’t actually the digital item. The net is the certificate of authenticity.
Mindy Peterson: [00:06:44] And you have to figure, is there actually. Yes, paper certificate like you get a title to a car or a piece of property.
Ari Herstand: [00:06:52] Right. It’s not paper, it’s digital. So this this certificate of authenticity. Right. Is and how this how it’s housed, how it’s locked up safe and so nobody can you can’t copy this digital certificate of authenticity. It’s hosted on the block chain. And we’re not going to dig into the weeds of block chain because that’s it’s way too complicated. But basically, just to understand the block chain, it is a very complex system that cannot be hacked because thousands and thousands of computers are simultaneously automatically keeping it secure. And there’s multiple different block chains out there. You know, there’s obviously the Bitcoin block chain. That’s where Bitcoin is hosted on. And the etherial block chain is where most assets are hosted. However, and this is what’s so interesting and we can touch on this now or in a little bit if you want to. But people are actually moving away from the hosting there and it’s on the etherial block chain. And I would say up until about a month ago, ninety nine percent of all entities were hosted on the Ethereum block chain that just became the block chain that was most popular front. And that’s the problem with the theory and block chain and and bitcoin block chain and most block chains, they’re really taxing on the environment one to make one NFTs and put it. And it’s called minting it to put it on the Ethereum block chain that that is the cost of powering a recording studio for about two years.
Mindy Peterson: [00:08:22] Yeah, let’s definitely come back to that because that is a really significant critique of Right. And AFTRS. But first, I want to talk about the potential impact on revenue for musicians, because you mentioned some of those jaw dropping price tags. Yes. I mean, blow selling NFTs for an 11 million dollars. And like you said, I had never heard of them until this happened. And then you have Grimes, who sold close to six million dollars worth in fees and like 20 minutes. So question is, you know, how how do you see adoptee’s impacting revenue as a potential revenue stream for musicians? And is this just impacting those musicians who are already big and who are already getting 90 percent of the streaming income? Or is this something that’s available for some of those independent musicians whose music maybe isn’t meant for mass audiences and they’re not getting those huge, massive numbers of streams?
Ari Herstand: [00:09:18] Right. Great question. So I am very excited about the future of NFTs for independent musicians specifically. I could care. I couldn’t care less about the superstars making money off of this is that’s, you know, a cash grab for a lot of these, like Snoop Dogg did, you know, a diamond joint, NFTs, and, you know, made made a couple of million dollars for selling. You know, it’s almost like it’s all gimmicked right now. However, for independent musicians, I, I see a lot of potential. So let’s go back to the example that I used before about David Hockney, the painter, the artist who his painting sold for 80 million dollars last year. Do you know how much? Money David Hockney made from that 80 million dollar sale, I don’t. He made zero dollars. Now, why did the original artist who is still alive make zero dollars from an 80 million dollar sale of his painting? Because that’s how the art world works. Once you sell something,
Mindy Peterson: [00:10:18] The guy who was at the original sale of that piece of milk,
Ari Herstand: [00:10:22] Because that. Oh, no, it’s it’s exactly it has changed hands many times since he painted it in the 70s. So but but that’s the same thing for anything. If somebody in this happens all the time, someone buys my record at my show and then they sell it on eBay. I don’t make any money from that resell on eBay. However, the difference is with NFTs, the original artist makes a commission on every resell. So if you buy an NFTs from me for a hundred dollars and then you resell it for two hundred dollars and I say that I get 10 percent commission on every resell, I’ll make 20 dollars when you sell it. So you’ll make one hundred and eighty and I’ll make I’ll make 20 dollars. If my commission is 10 percent. Now the original artist can set whatever commission they want for on most of these and a platform. So that’s really exciting is that no matter how many times and it’s changed hands, the original artist gets paid. Now, that’s something that is unique to the digital realm. Obviously no collectible in the history of the world. They’re really paying the original owner of that collectible. When it gets resold. You sell a baseball card, you sell a painting, you sell a Rolex watch, you sell Yeezy shoes like any of these collectibles. You know, once you buy it, now you’re the owner and then you can sell it for whatever you want.
Ari Herstand: [00:11:43] You keep all the money. So that’s exciting in the empty space. Now, here’s the thing. Where we’re at right now in the music industry is with streaming, the way that streaming pays is that you need millions and millions of streams to make thousands of dollars on streaming revenue. And so the challenge is right now is that, OK, fans actually do want to support their favorite artists. There just aren’t the mechanisms right now as readily and easily available for fans to support their artists. Now, of course, there’s concert tickets, but obviously last year that dried up for everybody. There’s merch, there’s Bandcamp. So there are some avenues for fans to pay artists. Now, why I’m excited about Mufti’s is this is another avenue for. OK, another example. So I just released my album Quick Plug, my album, like, come out now, check it out and like. All right, so I just released this album. And, you know, if you were to look at the Spotify numbers of my album, you’d be like, oh, wow, not many people really care about it. You know, there’s maybe fifty thousand streams on this album right now in the grand scheme of of of streams. It’s like, wow, that’s really not that much which that that album’s not an official editorial playlist. So that is actually human beings, fans of mine listening to it. But I got the impact that the album had on individuals. You can’t measure that from Spotify streams.
Ari Herstand: [00:13:17] I mean, this is a breakup album. And I got messages from people saying that they had just broken up with their partner of ten years and they’re having a really hard time. And they just bawled listening to my song over and over again, walking around and and how it hit them so hard and affected them so much. I would not be able to know that that impact that the level of impact that my song had on that person was from that Spotify stream. When I see a Spotify stream, I’m like, OK, was this from this person who just had a spiritual moment with my with my song and his in his bawling because it’s affecting them that deeply? Or is it from someone who heard the song on a playlist and skipped it after thirty seven seconds? I have no idea. There’s no way to measure impact with NFTs is if I put that song up as an NFTs, somebody, that person that was really affected by be like, you know what, I love this so much. I’m affected by this so much. I believe in this artist so much. And I and I want to showcase that I am the only and original owner of the NFTs of this song. I’ll pay I’ll pay a thousand dollars for it. I’ll pay ten thousand dollars for it, whatever. You know, I can put it up as an auction.
Mindy Peterson: [00:14:27] And when I think this thing that’s important to note too is it’s not just eleven million dollars, six million dollars, anything in the million dollars, but there are no selling for thousands of dollars. And that can really make a difference for independent artists, especially when they’ve just lost their income of doing live concerts and touring. Are you seeing much of that happen?
Ari Herstand: [00:14:49] Yeah, so so here’s the thing where we’re at an interesting place right now in the trajectory of NFTs. So to answer your question, Missy, in the. Happen, yes, Verité, who was on recently on my podcast talking about and if she did, she did a nifty sale and she made twelve thousand dollars on two songs. She’s an independent artist. And, yes, you know, that didn’t make the headlines, but twelve thousand dollars is twelve thousand dollars. And for an independent artist, that’s fantastic. You know,
Mindy Peterson: [00:15:20] And when you say twelve thousand dollars, I know it’s very expensive to create and F.D. how much can you give us a ballpark of like what percentage she’s netting from something like
Ari Herstand: [00:15:31] That. Sure. So there are many different fees and costs surrounding that. And she’s now this is a quick caveat. This is changing every day. So, sir, I you know, Quincy Jones Productions just announced that they have created an NFTs marketplace, which is environmentally friendly, which we can work on. We’ll talk on that a little bit later. But also, they’re not charging the artists any fees to put up an NFTs. So if you were to do it and this is why this this space is evolving so quickly. Right. So as of last week, or if you if you if you want to put up in NFTs right now, Open Sea NFTs marketplace on the etherial block chain, it’s going to cost you a few hundred dollars to just get it up there and just make it make it publicly available. There’s a lot of fees that go around with it. It’s kind of the Wild West right now and how this is all working.
Mindy Peterson: [00:16:25] But when you were talking about the different value of fans, too, in the response that they’re going to that you’re going to get from them and how they’re connecting with you, whether it’s because they’re directly going to your music or they’re just happening to encounter in a Spotify playlist. And that really makes a huge difference to the fans that you have on whether or not NFTs could be a viable revenue stream for musicians, too. I mean, if they have fans who have money and are into the crypto world, this could be huge for them. And I imagine there are also fans who aren’t into that world. I’m raising my hand. I’m not into that was so I could be an extreme fan. And I guess since I’m so interested in this topic, I could investigate it more. But I mean, how do you get a read on how many of your fans are into crypto and if this might be a viable option to pursue if you’re an artist?
Ari Herstand: [00:17:18] Exactly. And you make a great point. And that’s where we’re at right now in the trajectory of NFTs. Most fans, I would say most human beings. Ninety nine percent of the public out there has no idea what entities are. So it’s hard enough to convince people to buy a concert ticket. And everybody knows what a concert ticket is. It’s hard enough to get them to buy a T-shirt or to listen to your song on Spotify, let alone spend a lot of money in something that they can’t even comprehend or, you know, and they’re going to have to listen to this podcast for an hour for them to actually grasp what an entity is, let alone we’re not even giving you the step by step of how to even buy an NFTs like we got into that. It’s it’s like, you know,
Mindy Peterson: [00:18:07] NFTs are often being paired with something that’s a little more traditional, like lifetime front row concert seats or something like that.
Ari Herstand: [00:18:16] Right? Yes. The Kings of Leon, when they released their album as an MFT, they paired some of their NFTs with Lifetime concert tickets. We are seeing that right now. Verité also paired her album with some physical goodies and stuff that you can redeem in the in the physical world. But that’s just a way for fans to kind of grasp this and actually put in the work to try to understand and get the benefit. So we’re not at the point where there is mass consumption of NAFTA right now. Right now, everyone who’s buying NAFTA are for the most part, speculator’s of the necessary markets. And these are crypto heads. And so, like the reason that blowout at 11 million dollars is because, like a lot of a lot of electronic artists, their fans are technologically savvy. They are right. And so they are kind of ahead of the curve. And so that’s why Shawn Méndez, NFTs did not do very well. His fans don’t really know what entities are and they’re not going to spend the hours and hours and lots of money to figure it out. But it is
Mindy Peterson: [00:19:26] Blountville that this is an outlet for extreme fans to express their support and they’re getting this collectible at the same time that potentially could really increase in value, which is it’s cool. It’s it’s kind of part of an identity thing for the fans. It has there’s a story behind it that they can tell. It’s a status symbol in terms of showing off the status symbol. How do you show up like, say you paid, you know, ten thousand dollars or three million dollars for an NFC? How do you show this off and talk about it with other fans of this artist, if I buy a Monet painting or Picasso, I can hang it on my wall and talk about it with people in my home. How do you show off and NFTs
Ari Herstand: [00:20:12] So you can show it off? I mean, we’re seeing people put them in their Instagram profile, bio’s their Twitter avatars showing off. And if people who are in the know they know, it’s like, oh, that’s you know, if you’re a fan and you’ve been following this artist announce of it. And I could put it in my Instagram profile pic and, you know, how do
Mindy Peterson: [00:20:35] I know that’s so original? Just seeing a picture in your profile, though, like with the cat, with a rhino on it, you know, I could yeah, exactly. That gif and say that I bought the NFTs and put it on my Instagram. How would anyone know the difference?
Ari Herstand: [00:20:48] Well, how would anybody know the difference that you have an original Monet or you have a knockoff? It’s the same kind of thing. It’s like you could hang a knockoff Monet on your wall and it’s a conversation piece. It’s like, but are you going to tell people like it’s not as cool if you tell people that this is a knockoff Monet versus this is original Monet. It’s the same thing is like someone would see that I’d be like, oh my gosh, do you have the NFTs? And I could lie and I could be like, yeah, I totally do. I’m so cool. Just like you could lie and say, yeah, this is an original Monet. I paid ten million dollars for this, actually probably a hundred million dollars or whatever.
Mindy Peterson: [00:21:23] But, you know, someone like me could tell the difference between the Hockney print and Chanel now a good fake. No, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. But a print, you know, I mean, that’s
Ari Herstand: [00:21:32] So it’s it’s all about the conversation piece and it’s about the conversation starter. So it’s. So how do you show off NFTs? One of your questions and that’s the thing, it’s it’s like it is hard to grasp to say, well, how do you know that that’s the original? Can’t you just download it? It’s like, yes, anybody could download it, but would someone proudly display that as their profile picture or proudly display it? If they’re not the rightful owner of that MFT, maybe. But then it’s almost just like you’re in the club. So if you’re if you own one of a hundred and there’s only one hundred of these made, those hundred fans could find each other and maybe they will be invited to the after parties or the backstage hangs of the concerts and maybe these hundred people, they’re all in this special club together. And so maybe they all put up that icon on their profile. And then you say, oh, are you in you’re in the club, too. You’re you’re one of the owners. Yeah, I am. Cool. Well, I’ll see you next week backstage. Awesome. And if you’re not the owner, then I won’t see you backstage next week because obviously, you know, you won’t be able to get in. And so then then that’s going to be embarrassing.
Mindy Peterson: [00:22:43] But about something like sports cards, people aren’t displaying those. So I guess, you know, it depends on if you’re into the status symbol of Rolls Royce or some Ferrari where everyone’s seeing it, or if you’re more into the the sports car type of a collectible. Well, one thing that’s really cool, too, is I think is the connection between the artists and fans that can come about with these NFTs. I mean, if somebody spending ten thousand dollars or two million dollars on your NFTs, you’re going to connect with them.
Ari Herstand: [00:23:14] Yes. Yes. And just I mean, yes, the artist will connect with their fans. Absolutely. And this is a deeper engagement tool in terms of the display. Just just to wrap that up, too, I want to touch on a couple other things where more people, we are seeing them display it in video games. So like fortnight, for instance, and there are a lot of these video games they’re creating. You can wear a t shirt that is almost like the NFTs in t shirt form on your digital avatar in the video game. And so when you’re walking around in, other gamers will see, oh, my gosh, oh, you got your you’re the one to one of hundred of the ones who got blouse NFTs. Cool. Me too. You know, people are also eventually going to have digital picture frames in their homes where you would normally hang a painting or a print or whatever. That’s going to be your NFTs display case. And so every NFTs that you have, it’ll kind of go on a loop. And so most of ti’s are visual in some capacity. And so they’ll be little visualises, little videos, whatever. And you’re going to curate your NFTs collection at home. And so when somebody comes over that, you’re talking peace. And it’s almost kind of like how when you have a party now, you might put up like a YouTube playlist on your TV of music videos and just have the music videos going for the for the party. You could display your notes in that digital picture frame or on your TV or something like that. And then it’s a talking piece, just like your Monet would be a talking piece as well, sir.
Mindy Peterson: [00:24:50] Well, one thing that’s really cool, too, I haven’t heard a lot of people talk about this, but this really does incentivize the buyer to help promote the art. That they NFTs from because, yes, the more popular that artist is, the higher in value their NFTs is going to go
Ari Herstand: [00:25:07] One hundred percent and that’s a huge point that you just hit on. And that is that is honestly why this is potentially the most exciting part of this for independent musicians, is that people are actually more or less investing in the artist when they buy an NFTs from the artist, because like you said, as the artist gets more popular, those NFTs rise in value. Now, here’s something else that Verité did. And actually we’re starting to see some other artists do independent artists because they have the the freedom to do this is along with the NFTs. They’re actually not just including concert tickets, not just including a physical sign lyrically that they’ll mail them. They’re actually giving them part ownership of their master.
Mindy Peterson: [00:25:55] So in terms of royalties,
Ari Herstand: [00:25:57] In terms of royalties. Exactly. So, like what Verité did, almost like you would go, I think, of Shark Tank in this in this example. But she was like, OK, the value of this song. I am placing the value at this song at a million dollars. So if somebody wants to pay a million dollars for this NFTs, I will give them one hundred percent of ownership of this masterpieces like, you know, I would sell this song for a million dollars and be very happy that somebody else now has the rights to the master. Somebody ended up buying it for, you know, one hundred thousand dollars or something like that. So that’s going to be they’re going to get 10 percent ownership of the Masters.
Mindy Peterson: [00:26:35] So whatever is prorated then.
Ari Herstand: [00:26:37] Exactly, exactly. Just like, you know, on Shark Tank when they say, OK, I’m going to give up 10 percent of my company for one hundred thousand dollars. And they say, oh, so your company is valued at a million dollars. I understand. OK, well, so, you know, you talk about the valuation, blah, blah. So anyway, so so, yes, artists are actually giving up ownership of their masters and basically essentially selling ownership of their masters. Now, there are other royalty marketplaces where where you can do this without, you know, having to mess around with crypto and theft and all that. But this is just another incentive in a way, for artists to tie investment opportunities and get fans excited to invest in that artist. But even if royalties aren’t included here because most people aren’t tying royalties or master ownership to their entities, it still incentivizes the fan. Because if the artist, you know, they pay a thousand dollars for this NFTs and the artist blows up, they could go to the marketplace and resell it for ten thousand dollars and now they made nine grand. And that’s that’s great for for the fan and the original artist, because remember, the original artist makes a commission on every sale,
Mindy Peterson: [00:27:43] Apart from the monetization component, which is huge. I could see a lot of creatives and artists really just getting into the fact that this is a new artistic medium to explore. And OK, here we’re combining visual arts and music in these and after years. And so, you know, creatives love that kind of stuff. You see how much of an effort popularity do you think is just driven by that? Like, hey, this is a new canvas to work with and we’re excited by exploring that.
Ari Herstand: [00:28:12] Absolutely. I mean, there are some highly curated NFTs marketplaces like Nifty Gateway is probably the most popular at this point. And if you go to Nifty Gateway Dotcom, every NFTs that sold on there is curated by the people who run Nifty Gateway. And so there are fans of crypto in NFTs that just go to Nifty Gateway and they will buy a NFTs just because they like the art. And so this is also a way, even if you don’t necessarily have a bunch of fans where we’re seeing artists maybe team up with someone who has a maybe a bigger fan base or something like that, and they collaborate because, yes, it is kind of a cool new medium to explore. And if you go to Nifty Gateway or any of these nifty platforms, you’ll see that the art that is being created, this medium, this art looks very different. Typically, it’s pretty trippy. It’s far left of center. There’s kind of an aesthetic right now for the NFTs space. Now, this will definitely evolve. This will definitely shift. But what we’re seeing right now, the artists who are designing NFTs is, yeah, they’re having a lot of fun with it.
Mindy Peterson: [00:29:25] Yeah, well, and even now, but for sure, as this continues to evolve, I could see it being fun to just go to Nifty Gateway and look around almost like you’re window shopping or in a museum and just be inspired by the creativity that you’re seeing around you.
Ari Herstand: [00:29:41] Exactly. Exactly. And just like you go and explore an art gallery or even just a small little local gallery, that’s kind of what a lot of these NFTs marketplaces are becoming, too. And some people will buy in AFTRS, maybe not for a million dollars, but, you know, maybe for a few hundred dollars or thousands. Just because they like it and it’s that talking point, it’s it’s that pride, it’s like, you know, do you know the difference between a fifty thousand dollar Rolex and a two thousand dollar Rolex? I sure don’t. But the people who are in the know, right know and I’m sure the owner of the fifty thousand dollar Rolex will be quick to point that out whenever the opportunity arises.
Mindy Peterson: [00:30:22] Yeah, well, unlike any art, this is just another medium for artists to create art, which is a way for them to tell their story as an artist, as a musician. And it’s another way for the fans to connect with them and for that collectible or that art piece to become a part of the fans story and kind of feed into their identity, too. So it’s really cool. What’s your perspective on the staying power of NFTs? Do you think they’re here to stay? Any predictions or thoughts about the future of what they might look like?
Ari Herstand: [00:30:52] Yeah, I think they are here to stay. I don’t think that they’re going to have the critical mass for at least a couple of years. I think we’re marching in that direction. Krypto has as gone through many different iterations and has risen and fallen and bubbles of burst and all of that stuff. But cryptocurrency is also here and here to stay. And I think NPT’s are going to evolve and they’re going to shift. But I think digital collectibles, which essentially are what entities are, are here to stay. And so I don’t think anybody knows what they are going to look like in two years from now. But I think in two years from now, here’s the difference. Right now, most NFTs marketplaces, you the fan has to buy it with a cryptocurrency. Now, most average consumers don’t have any crypto. What NFTs marketplaces are evolving to be is you won’t need to buy it through crypto. You can buy it with a credit card. And so once we get to that point, which which some of the marketplaces are nifty Gateway does that Quincy Jones new platform does that. So a lot of them you’re able to use your credit card, that’s going to happen. And so once we get to that point where essentially fans know they’re buying an NFTs, but it’s as it’s as easy as buying something off of Amazon, then will reach that critical mass and then every artist will buy in, which will get the fans to buy in. And it’ll be as easy as buying a T-shirt from an artist. You’re going to buy an NFTs?
Mindy Peterson: [00:32:33] Mm hmm. Is there any other exploration that’s going on in terms of other applications of the block chain technology that could help independent musicians make a living from their work?
Ari Herstand: [00:32:43] This has been in the music space, the conversation for years, the hope and it’s not here yet, but where people are are hoping to move to is the block chain. Technology can solve the metadata issue. Now, the metadata issue is that it is there’s no central database anywhere that keeps track of all the credits on any song. It’s a completely broken system. We’re out right now. I mean, like metadata, royalty, tracking rights, ownership licenses. The whole system is so complicated it’s extremely difficult to track down. Not to mention like songwriters is one thing. What about the drummer who played on the record? What about the mixing engineer? What about the producer? What about, you know, all these people? The block chain could theoretically solve that. So every song could be tied to the block chain traceable. And the thing is that the block chain is that everything is public, everything is completely transparent, and it can’t be changed or hacked. So you could put this song up and there would be a requirement to have all the fields filled out and it would have to be verified and then it would be on the system and there would be that would be the central database. And so it would be everybody would look to the block chain instead of looking to the Spotify credits or looking to to all music dotcom or looking to districted or looking to ASKAP or looking to the MLC. You know, there’s so many copyright office, like there’s so many different areas that are trying that have like bits and pieces of some of this data. But nobody really has one hundred percent of the data right now. Sure. People are hoping that the block chain could theoretically solve that in the future.
Mindy Peterson: [00:34:35] Yeah, that’d be amazing. Well, there are so many rabbit trails that we could get off into the weeds on this topic. It is incredible. And this has been really fascinating. I know we didn’t really get time to go circle back to that topic of the environmental impact of NFTs. But for listeners who are interested in that, already has a really recent podcast episode with Joe Conures. That’s fantastic. So al Qaeda link in the show notes to that and also lots of links to all of our many other islands that he has in the fire areas, the a blog book, the school, Ari’s take, and, of course, your music, which is what you are first and foremost as a musician. So include lots of links and that definitely check it out. I ask all my guests to close out our conversation with a musical ending Chota by sharing a song or story about a moment that music enhanced your life. Tell us about the song from your music video that we’re going to be able to listen to here.
Ari Herstand: [00:35:33] Yeah, so this song is called Like Home. It is the title track of my new album. And this whole album is I wrote directly following my my breakup of from an 11 year relationship. And this I basically the following year I just wrote and wrote and wrote kind of exploring what I was going through, as you know, the first time in 11 years where I was on my own. And, you know, I released this in early April and this song and the whole album kind of explores the the idea of what home means. And I think in a in a time and in a year when a lot of us were stuck at home and had to really, really explore and reimagine and really come to terms with what the concept of home actually means for us. And is it a place? Is it is it a community? Is it a family? Is it a city? Is it a location? What is home? I mean, I was doing a lot of that exploration myself, just personally, not even directly because of the pandemic, but alongside of that that is the backdrop as well. But this song like Home specifically is is about my exploration of what home means to me being a newly single person.