Web3 community-building meets music technology at Wavelengths Summit 2023

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    Web3 has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the music industry, with everyone from indie musicians to major label artists dropping non-fungible token (NFT) collections and hosting concerts in the Metaverse . But for many, the practical use cases and possibilities of these technologies remain shrouded in mystery and confusion.

    On May 6th, Water & Music held the 1st Wavelength Summit. His one-day event brings together musicians, industry executives, artist managers, researchers and technologists to explore the cutting edge of music technology and democratize access to information. Topics included blockchain-based communities, the growing influence of artificial intelligence on the music industry, and the future of artist revenue streams.

    Water & Music is a collaborative music technology research network founded as a free newsletter in 2016 by writer Cherie Hu. Since then, it has evolved to include a paid membership structure, extensive online collaboration network, and in-person events. His research often touches on how Web3 and blockchain will affect the music industry.

    “I think the music industry in particular is plagued with information silos,” Hu told Cointelegraph. “If you’re trying to holistically understand how your fans interact with your music, it’s really a big challenge.” Water & Music provides communities with the knowledge they need to thrive in the digital age. I’m trying


    A central focus of Water & Music as an organization and its Wavelengths Summit was to build a sense of community. The event featured topics selected for discussion, including sessions titled “Building and Decentralizing Music Communities: Lessons from History” and “URLs to IRL: Integrating Music Communities Online.” The importance of community building in music and Web3 was always emphasized. And offline ”- about how the event itself was hosted and organized.

    For example, at the beginning of the summit, President Hu laid out four basic principles for building a positive community: “Be kind and respectful,” “Stay critical,” “No one shilling,” and “Have fun!” She also announced that the panel would not be installed. Instead, experts facilitate conversations and encourage audience participation at any time. During the talk on the main stage, live comments and questions from the audience were projected onto a large screen via an app called Slido.

    “I think what we were really aiming for was to recreate the magic of Water & Music’s Discord,” Diana Gremore, event director for Water & Music, told Cointelegraph. “We have a community that is very thoughtful, articulate, critical, passionate and curious, so we are doing our best to facilitate how that URL community translates into an IRL experience. I wanted to do my best.”

    Web3 community building for musicians

    Throughout the day, much of the conversation touched on how Web3 and blockchain technology are being explored in the world of music. In the Building and Decentralizing Musical Communities session, participants discussed how online communities such as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) could be the next step in the long history of decentralization.

    As Metalabel co-founder Austin Robey pointed out, Metalabel is building a blockchain-based platform for collaborative artist releases, but on-chain voting and governance will always be in the hands of the real-world community. It’s a digital version of what I’ve been up to. Social spaces are always in control, and communities are always making decisions. DAOs can be subject to ‘codes’, but real-world communities are always subject to social ‘codes’.

    This discussion is moderated by Membership Lead for Friends With Benefits, a social DAO for creators, and Head of Curatorial Partnerships for Refraction, a DAO for artists and creators focused specifically on live music events. Kaitlyn Davies moderated. Davis told Cointelegraph that the existing decentralization in the music community helps explain why many in the music world are drawn to her Web3, she said.

    “I see a lot of people who have always been interested in decentralized ways of organizing, or some sort of left-of-center way of organizing, looking to this technology to keep their work going. It’s not to scale or even cast more nets, it’s just to enable what they’ve already done,” she said, adding:

    “Nurture the scene and the community, that’s really important and that’s what drives the culture. […] My hope is that decentralized technology will help us do it better and in a fairer way. ”

    In the “Web3: Balancing Niche and Mainstream on the Road to Adoption” session, participants discussed the importance of first understanding their community before launching a crypto music project. Melanie McLain, Web3 consultant and founder of Blurred Lines, Web3’s community of sensemakers that supports left-of-center black music, said that if fans wanted a free show, artists would have collectors to attend concerts. He said he could experiment with NFTs that provide free access to . And if an artist blows up, that free performance NFT suddenly becomes much more valuable.

    Related: Music NFTs help independent creators monetize and build fanbases

    McClain told Cointelegraph that native and novice crypto artists alike can use blockchain technology to build stronger communities, but that each approach needs to be coordinated. . “They need to be self-aware,” she says. If the musician’s community isn’t her Web3 native, they might say she doesn’t say words like NFTs and social tokens. I can.”

    Many facilitators and other attendees said the Web3 solution offers unique benefits for musicians, with Gremore telling Cointelegraph, “One of the Web3 solution’s greatest strengths is [Web3] It is the ability to build community and sustain community. ”

    Perhaps part of the reason is that blockchains are generally designed for efficiency. According to Hu, this will allow artists and their teams to more effectively utilize “smart money,” when musicians don’t have much money to spend and must spend it as efficiently as possible. It is said that

    “I’ve noticed that in Music and Web3, there’s a lot more focus on ‘What’s the real-world use case?’ ,” Hu told Cointelegraph. “From a technical standpoint, what is blockchain really adding to music in a way that makes things easier without making things harder?”

    URL matches IRL

    What stood out about the Wavelengths Summit was that many of my online friends met IRL for the first time in the real world. Having many internet friends isn’t unique to cryptocurrencies, but it’s especially noticeable in this space given its inherently decentralized nature. For most people, meeting online friends in person is special, and the Summit was designed to facilitate those connections.

    The Internet enables a level of community building never before possible, especially between musicians and their fans. But as Gremore told Cointelegraph, “IRL has magic that cannot be replaced.” She added, “A lot of conversations start from URLs and then IRL. It’s a chance to bond.”

    Summit attendees connect and network during the “Web3 Happy Hour”.Source: Jonathan DeYoung

    For Hu, building face-to-face relationships is critical to the long-term success of the Web3 community. “IRL events are about making or breaking community trust,” she said. When an internet-based community meets in person, that community’s carefully curated online image of her disappears, allowing people to see it for better or worse.

    “Events are very important to the online community because if the name of the game is long-term sustainability, it builds or breaks trust. , could be a big kickstarter to a whole new phase, or a whole new level, but I’ve certainly seen it go the other way too.”

    For those unable to attend the IRL experience, the online experience still offers opportunities, such as allowing fans to connect virtually with their favorite music artists. “I think with virtual stuff, not necessarily the metaverse, but with things like live streaming platforms, you can simulate the same thing,” McClane said. “Anyone, anywhere can participate.”

    “I think the online space is a safe haven for a lot of people, and I don’t think it should be taken lightly,” Davis believes. “But the power of meeting someone in person, oh, you’re like a real human being, we have similar thoughts on this one, and maybe the blocks on the chain are where we find each other.” — but what really? It’s about our time together in person.”

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    Ultimately, the main takeaway from the Wavelengths Summit was that community building is a key ingredient to success in both music and Web3, and Water & Music wanted to see what community building should look like. We intentionally designed the 1st Summit to give an example of how to think.

    Closing the day, Mr. Gremore told the audience that Water & Music hopes to leave the participants empowered. Even though the music industry seems to be crumbling, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. And, as revealed at the summit, some of that hope could come in the form of DAOs, NFTs, or other blockchain-based tools that help artists build communities directly with their fans. there is. Or as Gremore told the audience:

    “We’re screwed–but maybe we can do something.”