Yesterday I had a very exciting call with Sound.xyz. For those unfamiliar, Sound.xyz was launched in 2022 as a music distribution platform which utilises web3 technology. It even received funding from Snoop Dogg amongst other major industry players.
Originally, artists had to be selected by the platform in order to release their music onto it. Now, Sound XYZ is open to the public, much to the likes of DistroKid, CDBaby and other open music distributors. To be clear, Sound is about purchase and investment. If Spotify allows you to stream as much catalogue as you want for a set price per month, Sound allows you to invest and purchase exclusive music content from your favourite artists for a price that they set. Arguably, Sound allows the listener to feel closer to the artist.
Last year, I remember Sound sitting within a very niche niche if that makes sense. They were the hottest name in the web3 music space but beyond those in the crypto know they were otherwise unknown. The decision to open to the public completely changes that reputation.
During my Zoom with Sound yesterday they let me know that my fans don’t need to know – or even care – about web3 or crypto in order to purchase the exclusive music I, the artist, decide to put on the platform. Users sign up with email and purchase with Apple Pay just as you would with any other app, say, the likes of ASOS or Beauty Bay etc. Instead of selling clothes, we are simply selling music. Think of it as a digital HMV Store with exclusive, limited edition music available.
The music being sold on Sound is in the form of an NFT. But what I love about Sound is that they don’t shout the ‘NFT’ anagram from the rooftops. This is smart because in marketing the app as an app “for NFTs” it isolates those who are intimidated or turned off by term – which is many especially post the December 2022 FTX collapse and overall decline in popularity of web3 technology in the past six months. Instead, selling the idea of a ‘digital HMV Store’ (my term not Sound’s) is much more attractive, let alone easier for users to digest.
In addition to opening up its platform to folks far and wide, Sound.xyz has also successfully raised an additional $20 million to help expand its project. Venture capital firm, a16z crypto, led this latest round of funding, with support from Coinbase, Snoop Dogg, Ryan Tedder, Palm Tree Crew, Sound Ventures and more. Effectively, securing the future of Sound.xyz as it marches forth and begins to tread new, unfamiliar, ground.