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Big Players failing at the NFT game

Music rights are proving to make it a bit difficult for the larger players to profit from NFTs at the moment. TikTok tried to position themselves to mint NFTs off of some monster artists but their labels and publishers threw up a few roadblocks.

Last September, TikTok sent out a press release about its first NFT drop called “TikTok Top Moments” featuring releases from Lil Nas X, Grimes, and others. There was even an in-person element, with an exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, N.Y. scheduled to run through last October. But that exhibit never took place, and while a few TikTok NFTs did go out, the biggest artists pulled out of the release. A week after the initial NFT release was scheduled, Rolling Stone’s Elias Leight reported that the Lil Nas X NFT wasn’t coming out at all and followed up with a December story detailing how TikTok couldn’t get the publishing rights for Lil Nas X’s hit song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” for the NFT, torpedoing the release.

A few months later, the pace of big brands lining up NFT releases has continued. Live Nation launched NFTs for ticket stubs, the NFL partnered with Ticketmaster for its own slate of NFTs and the Recording Academy struck a three-year deal with OneOf to create NFTs around The Grammys as NFT sales continue to grow. But are consumers, and more importantly the corporations setting up these releases ready to handle emerging technology on this scale, or will we see more repeats of TikTok’s NFT fiasco?

“The best digital products are ones that are so simple that older people can understand how to use it easily, and NFTs aren’t there yet.” one senior executive says. “The Lil Nas X situation highlights the fact that rights owners still haven’t wrapped their head around how this will benefit them.”


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