Warner Music Group—the mega-record label conglomerate that counts Cardi B, Madonna, Dua Lipa and Ed Sheeran among its myriad signed artists—announced on Thursday that it would partner with NFT marketplace OpenSea to accelerate its artists’ expansion into Web3.
The collaboration will grant Warner Music artists early access to new OpenSea products, improved discoverability on the NFT marketplace, and dedicated and featured portions of the OpenSea site for upcoming NFT projects. Artists will also receive specialized support from OpenSea team members to aid both in the expansion of their Web3 fan bases, and in the onboarding of existing fan communities into the NFT space.
“Our collaboration with OpenSea helps to facilitate these [fan] communities by unlocking Web3 tools and resources to build opportunities for artists to establish deeper engagement, access, and ownership,” said Warner's Chief Digital Office Oana Ruxandra in a statement.
The first NFT collection to arise from the partnership will come from Warner Records in collaboration with celebrity chef Jeremy Fall’s web3 startup, Probably Nothing.
Fall confirmed to Decrypt that the debut Warner Music/OpenSea collaboration will be a release of NFT Label Passes for Probably A Label, the Web3 record label he launched last month with Warner Records.
the internet’s mixtape pic.twitter.com/vvAyP9omOv
— Probably A Label 💽 (@probablyalabel) August 26, 2022
The NFT Label Pass will allow holders to license songs from a members-only community music library, to create and own stakes in community-generated, IP-backed virtual artists, to attend exclusive live events like artist meet-and-greets and dinners with music executives, and to access Probably A Label’s upcoming music drops.
Core to Probably A Label’s mission is harnessing Web3 technology to allow artists and their fans to reclaim music ownership rights. Fall believes Warner Music—a titan of the traditional music industry—is proving to be a great partner in that endeavor.
“They are the type of major label that is trying to enter the space the right way, and adapt to the current climate, what culture looks like now,” Fall told Decrypt. “They’re in favor of the artists and pushing the IP conversation forward.”
In addition to music-related benefits, the NFT Label Pass will also grant holders access to Studio A and Studio B, IP incubators that allow participants to pitch projects leveraging their ownership of select blue-chip NFTs like Bored Apes and Cryptopunks—which the studio may choose to develop, finance, market, and cosign.
“It's great that in the NFT space, people get IP ownership,” Fall told Decrypt. “But if you don't know what to do with that, it's pretty useless.”
Other major record companies have raced to expand their web3 presences and capitalize on Web3-related IP in recent months. In May, Universal Music Group signed a deal to allow its artists to release NFTs on music-centric NFT marketplace LimeWire. Earlier this month, Universal tapped Beyoncé’s music producers to helm Kingship, a virtual band based on Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT artwork.