Artists signed to Warner Music Group labels will release music NFTs through the upcoming Polygon-based marketplace LGND Music thanks to a multi-year partnership announced today between the major record label, the Ethereum sidechain network, and the Web3 music startup.
Set to launch in January, LGND Music is an online marketplace that will offer songs as NFTs—which fans can purchase and listen to through the platform—along with other digital collectibles from musicians.
LGND will offer both desktop and mobile apps for interacting with the NFTs, akin to an iTunes-like experience for Web3, and the company says it will support music NFTs from other platforms, as well.
Ready to experience the future of music? Build your collection, engage with your favorite artists, and discover new music. With LGND Music, you can purchase or play any music #NFT, from any platform. Be the first to experience #LGNDMusic. Coming Jan. 2023. https://t.co/TygYOEFoN0 pic.twitter.com/yuMWJMbd37
— LGND Music (@Lgnd_Music) December 5, 2022
However, NFT purchases made via LGND’s iOS app will be subject to Apple’s controversial 30% in-app purchase fee, a LGND spokesperson confirmed to Decrypt.
Warner Music and LGND have yet to name any of the artists that will release NFTs through the platform, but WMG’s popular label Spinnin’ Records is part of the deal. Spinnin’ Records is a major player in the electronic dance music space, and has released tracks from artists like David Guetta, Tiesto, R3HAB, and Robin Shultz.
Electronic dance musicians have leaned into crypto and Web3 arguably more than any other genre, and Warner’s move only continues that trend. Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, 3LAU, and Dillon Francis are among the biggest electronic artists that have bought or sold NFTs and advocated for the technology.
But LGND doesn’t necessarily want to push the concept of self-custody—where users hold their own assets in a decentralized wallet like MetaMask—on its users. For many crypto enthusiasts, self-custody is an essential upside to Web3, allowing holders to custody their own private keys to their assets and avoid centralized risk.
For more mass-market platforms like LGND, self-custody and crypto wallets are sometimes seen as a complicated—or even unnecessary—aspect when it comes to onboarding mainstream users.
“LGND Music will never force you to connect a cryptocurrency wallet to explore the platform, and will keep all your assets safe in your collection,” its website reads. That said, users who prefer self-custody will have the option to connect their own wallets if desired.
Polygon Studios CEO Ryan Wyatt said in a statement that he believes Polygon’s partnership with WMG and LGND is an “exciting milestone for the music industry.”
“The way that we own and experience music is evolving, by fully embracing decentralized technologies and collectibles,” Wyatt added.
WMG has forged a number of Web3 partnerships this year. In January, it announced plans to bring metaverse concerts and events into The Sandbox, and followed that up in February with a pact with crypto game Splinterlands to develop “arcade-style” games around its artists. It also partnered with top Ethereum NFT marketplace OpenSea to help bring artists into Web3.