Whether you are already in the music industry and want to explore the possibilities as an NFT artist , or you are a blockchain enthusiast and want to enter the music business. No matter what prior knowledge you have, in this article I will show you an easy step by step process to mint a song. From creating the song to putting the finished NFT up for sale.
Minting an NFT from a song is a five step process:
Creating the song
Choosing a marketplace
Creating a wallet
Minting the song
Putting the song up for sale
Create your song
While this article doesn’t focus on how you compose your personal masterpiece, I still want to give you some tips that can increase your chances of selling the song later. Afterall the NFT space differs a bit from more traditional ways of selling your music, for example through Spotify or Artlist.
In general most of the top selling songs are made in collaboration with famous artists (who would have guessed) like Calvin Harris or The Weeknd. In general the genre of most top performing songs is rather dark. Most of the songs feature either a four-on-the-floor kick or a hip hop/ trap type of beat. Often the songs are inspired by meme culture, which can give the artist a small head start depending on the popularity of the meme.
The length of your song should be around 3 minutes, with a range of 1-5 minutes. I suggest you export the final song as an MP3 with a bitrate of at least 320Kb/s, or use the uncompressed data type WAV to ensure highest quality audio.
In my research on the marketplaces I also noticed that the top selling audios often offer more than just a song. In general it is helpful to collaborate with other artists to grow both of your fanbases. You could for example connect with an animator who can make you a song cover that stands out. If you give concerts, you could include a ticket in the NFT.
Choose a marketplace
On my website I put together a full list of marketplaces and their key figures for buyers and sellers. You can find the full list here. The most important numbers you should consider before deciding on a marketplace are:
You should narrow your selection of marketplaces down, using these factors and then take the marketplace offering the highest liquidity/ most users to make sure your song actually gets an audience. Also keep in mind that some marketplaces are closed for the general public and you need an application to be able to sell there!
The first thing you need to look out for in the table is that the marketplace offers the possibility for uploading music. Some platforms specialize only in selling art or collectibles. The keyword you should look for is “Music”. These platforms offer the possibility to upload audio files.
The next thing you should look for is the commision the website takes. You will find some discrepancies, from some websites taking 1% commision up to 15%. While you obviously want to keep the most money to yourself, keep in mind that marketplaces that take higher commision might also offer you better chances of selling.
The last thing that is important to look for is royalties. If you don’t plan on taking royalties you can skip over this section, however royalties can be a great way of earning passive income from your work. In general you get a percentage each time your song changes ownership. If you want to learn more about how royalties can benefit you, I wrote an article that you can read here.
One marketplace I can suggest for beginners is called OpenSea. They are the biggest marketplace right now with over 120k users and offer the possibility for uploading songs with a low commision of 2.50%.
Create a wallet
Now that you have your song ready and choose a marketplace that fits you, we are almost there. For minting and selling on a marketplace you need a crypto wallet.
In general there are two types of wallets. “Hot wallets” and “Cold wallets”. A hot wallet is connected to the internet, while a cold wallet is not. A hot wallet is more convenient as you can quickly carry out transactions, but it's a little bit less secure due to its constant internet access.
For beginners I can suggest using Metamask which is not only the most popular crypto wallet, but is also recommended by most of the popular marketplaces.
If you want to take the extra step for more security, I can suggest the Nano Ledger as a great cold wallet.
If you want to know more about which wallet to choose you can read my article “How to store an NFT”.
Mint the song
After installing your wallet you are now ready to mint your NFT! However there are still three things you should keep in mind before doing so:
Minting something means that it will be written on the blockchain. Everything that is included in your NFT (the actual asset, royalties, etc.) can not be changed anymore. So check your NFT twice before sending it on the blockchain!
Another important point is gas fees. Gas fees have been a highly discussed matter in the NFT space because of the insane amounts that people were charged for. Gas fees have to be paid every time something changes on the blockchain (minting, buying/ selling, etc.). If you want to avoid getting an unpleasant surprise you can use a gas price calculator like ethgasstation.info or check in your MetaMask wallet before minting.
Most marketplaces use a system called “lazy minting”. This basically means that your song only gets minted after it is sold. If it didn’t sell in time - you also don’t have to pay.
Put it up for sale
The last step you have to do now is putting the song up for sale. Again there are some factors you need to consider to maximize your chances of making money. Some of them depend on the marketplace but in general they all work similarly.
The first question you have to ask yourself is the pricing model.
You can either auction your piece off or choose a fixed price. For a beginner I can suggest to start using the auction model and see how your song performs.
If you are a little more popular as an artist you can also look for artists of similar size and compare for how much they sell their pieces. Don’t charge horrendous prices but also don’t undervalue your work!
In general most songs on OpenSea sell for prices starting from 0.0001 ETH up to 0.05 ETH for more popular pieces.
Next you have to decide on royalty payments. Most marketplaces let you choose between 0-100% but a common starting point is to set royalties to around 10%. This way you can earn passive income from your work without acting as a deterrent for potential buyers.
If you don’t sell your piece at first, don’t worry. All great artists started small! Especially if you enter the NFT space as a beginner it can take time to build a fanbase. Maybe try to experiment with your prices and royalties and market your work on your website or social media. Or get involved with the NFT community (twitter, discord, etc.). You can not only draw attention to your work, but also find other artists to collaborate with.