Music Updates

So You Want to Mint an NFT: A Guide for Artists & Music Execs

There are many digital wallet options, but some of the most popular are Coinbase, MetaMask and Rainbow. You’ll need to purchase some Ether to cover the cost of the final step: “Minting,” a process which involves uploading the NFT to a marketplace and setting the rules in a smart contract. Minting requires paying for “gas,” the fluctuating price for writing data onto a blockchain. At the moment, it costs roughly between 0.022 and 0.056 Ether ($40 to $100) to mint an NFT, but that changes minute-by-minute.

By this point, you’ll need to have selected a marketplace, where you’ll connect your digital wallet and mint your NFT. There are more than a dozen NFT marketplaces in existence, but so far, OpenSea, NiftyGateway, SuperRare and Zora have proven the most popular amongst musicians.

Launched in 2017, OpenSea is the earliest established NFT marketplace. It frames itself as the “eBay” of NFTs, since the platform is open to all kinds of tokens from domain names to art, and anyone can sell on the platform, so far including superstars like Kings of Leon and Shawn Mendes. As of December, OpenSea has promoted itself as the first marketplace to allow creators to mint and sell NFTs for free (read more about that here).

Then there’s Nifty Gateway, a curated marketplace which was acquired by early crypto investor twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in 2019. So far, new artists have to apply to post their work on Nifty, which has worked with the likes of deadmau5, Grimes and Steve Aoki. It is one of the only NFT marketplaces which accepts payment by credit card (allowing even fans with limited knowledge of cryptocurrency to dip their toes into collecting).

The fast-growing Zora was founded last May with an emphasis on giving creators ownership over their works, and has since made waves in the music space. In February, the platform collaborated with record label and management firm IAMSOUND on an NFT art exhibition featuring original work by artists like Mura Masa, Toro y Moi and Yaeji (including that digital pet fish, which sold for more than $27,000). On March 10, Zora (where minting is now open to the public) worked with a group of 20 emerging artists including VÉRITÉ to launch Catalog, a music-specific NFT marketplace which allows artists to sell songs as NFTs and receive 100% of their initial sale.

The three-year-old SuperRare — home to works by 3LAU, RAC, Lil Miqeula and more — is another heavily curated platform, onboarding a small number of artists each month through an online application form. And there are more marketplaces still to explore: Check out Origin, Foundation, Blockparty, Emanate, Rarible and Dapper Labs, to start.

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