Warner Music Group (WMG) has inked a partnership agreement with non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea to enable “select WMG artists to build and extend their fan communities in Web3.”
The Big Three record label, which touted its perceived role “as a Web 3.0 innovator” upon announcing Robert Kyncl as CEO, unveiled the tie-up with OpenSea via a formal release this morning. Five-year-old OpenSea – not to be confused with Quincy Jones-backed music NFT platform OneOf, which finalized a WMG partnership pact in January – has reportedly suffered a material sales-volume falloff in 2022 amid a broader crypto winter.
Nevertheless, today’s deal seems to demonstrate that WMG remains committed to NFTs and the wider Web3 space, for some of the major label’s acts are poised to receive “early access to OpenSea’s new drops product, along with improved discoverability, personalized storytelling on customized landing pages, and OpenSea’s industry-leading safety and security features,” according to the involved parties.
(As an aside, the release from WMG and OpenSea makes ample use of the word “would” as opposed to “will,” with the latter appearing a grand total of zero times in the document. “WMG artists would have their own dedicated drop page to host limited-edition projects, which would open new opportunities for fans to engage with music and artists,” one section of the message reads.)
Additionally, Warner Music – which in June announced an NFT and Web3 pivot for its Spinnin’ Records label – is set to benefit from “dedicated support and best practices from the OpenSea team,” the entities disclosed, besides the aforementioned “dedicated drop page to host limited-edition projects.”
Warner Records UK is said to be coordinating with “Web3 company” Probably Nothing to create WMG’s initial OpenSea NFT collection, but it’s unclear when the tokens will become available to fans.
Addressing the OpenSea union in a statement, Warner Music chief digital officer and EVP of business development Oana Ruxandra emphasized the purported potential associated with using NFTs as a means of building exclusive online communities for diehard fans.
“Fundamental to music’s DNA, is community – it’s artists and fans coming together to celebrate the music that they love,” said Ruxandra. “Our collaboration with OpenSea helps to facilitate these communities by unlocking Web3 tools and resources to build opportunities for artists to establish deeper engagement, access, and ownership.”
Aside from this OpenSea collaboration, the Dapper Labs backer Warner Music through 2022’s first nine months has invested in metaverse startup Authentic Artists, partnered with digital collectibles platform Blockparty, united with POAP “to mint shared memories as NFTs,” and rolled out a “first of its kind” NFT project with Bose.
Meanwhile, it came to light three weeks ago that Sony Music’s Columbia Records had quietly filed a trademark application covering NFT songs and visual media. And Universal Music, for its part, has closed 2022 agreements with NFT platform Curio and continued to build out an “NFT supergroup” called Kingship.