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Brief Published: 9 Sep 2020

Blockchain Platform Allows Artists to Earn from Their Hype


To launch his new EP, LA-based electronic dance artist DJ PLS&TY has partnered with Ethereum blockchain platform Foundation, which matches the price of goods to their market ‘hype’. As we discuss in Decentralised Society, digital currencies and dynamic pricing models offer creators greater autonomy over their work – an opportunity brands would be wise to explore.

In August, DJ PLS&TY released 30 limited edition signed vinyls of his EP Very Special on Foundation, which launched this summer. The crypto-culture marketplace claims to reinvent the traditional stock-market value system for artists working across fashion, music, art and emerging media. Based on the platform’s dynamic pricing model, the cost of the limited goods is dictated by market supply and hype (i.e. demand).

Each item on the platform (including DJ PLS&TY’s vinyl) is turned into a blockchain token – which represents the commodity digitally – when purchased. With each purchase, the corresponding digital token rises in value. This incentivises consumers to buy artists’ products early, before interest pushes the prices up. As the value fluctuates, buyers can cash in by selling their tokens back into the market, providing a new revenue stream for fans. And each time the tokens are bought or sold, the artist also gets a cut, allowing them to profit from the hype around their art in addition to its base sales. 

When DJ PLS&TY’s album is ready to be shipped, investors will be able to redeem their tokens against the physical vinyl, regardless of the original price they paid. 

The collaboration confirms the trend towards digital currencies – as forecast in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's list of Breakthrough Technologies in 2020 (see The Brief for more). Look out for our report on the future of virtual economies, publishing next month.

Stylus has been tracking the trend of creating, managing and maintaining the scarcity value of digital goods since our report Engaging New Transactional Tribes. For the latest innovations in music trends, see Music in Lockdown: Future Fan Engagement Strategies and The Brief