Spotify is drawing up plans to add blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens to its streaming service, fueling excitement in the music and cryptocurrency industries about the potential of NFTs to boost artist profits.
Two recent job postings show that Spotify is recruiting people to work on early-stage projects related to “Web3,” a tech buzzword for a blockchain-powered network that some cryptocurrency enthusiasts hope will wrest control from the platforms. Big Tech that dominate the Internet today.
Spotify is the latest tech giant to venture into NFTs and avoid potential competition from crypto startups. This week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg confirmed a Financial Times report earlier this year that Instagram would soon start supporting NFTs. Other social media companies, including Twitter and Reddit, are also working to create new features for displaying or trading NFTs.
NFTs use blockchain technology to certify ownership of digital assets. The vast majority of the $17.7 billion in NFTs traded last year was for visual artwork, games and collectibles, according to market tracker Nonfungible.com.
But even as the frothy NFT market has shown signs of slowing down in recent weeks, many in the crypto industry have pointed to music as a new application for NFTs this year. That could include selling digital albums or using NFTs to unlock benefits at concerts, from merchandise to backstage passes.
Musicians like rapper Snoop Dogg and DJ Steve Aoki have already become prominent NFT collectors, while Kings of Leon and Grimes have sold NFTs of their music. Major labels Warner and Universal have partnered with NFT projects, including a virtual band featuring characters from the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Startups including Royal and Catalog have begun selling NFTs created by musicians, often presenting crypto tokens as a more lucrative alternative business model compared to streaming services like Spotify, which pay fractions of a cent each time you play. a song is played.
Spotify’s recruitment in the sector appears to be in an exploratory stage. It singled out Web3 in a hiring notice for an engineer on its “experimental growth” team. “This small, well-rounded team is responsible for driving growth through new technologies, such as Web3,” the announcement read.
A separate job listing from Spotify, for a manager in its forward-looking “Innovation and Market Intelligence” group, shows the music streaming service is looking for a candidate with experience in “content industries, creator, media, web3 and emerging technology” to “help define Spotify Moonshots”, a term for ambitious new projects.
A Spotify spokesperson declined to comment on its NFT plans.
These Web3 hires wouldn’t be Spotify’s first foray into crypto: the company was an early contributor to Facebook’s ill-fated cryptocurrency project Diem.
When what was originally dubbed Libra was unveiled in 2019, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said on a company podcast that cryptocurrency and blockchain could allow users of “a service like Spotify to be able to pay artists directly”, especially across international borders or within regions. where few people have traditional bank accounts.
“That can open up massive opportunities where suddenly a user in Japan could pay a creator in Argentina. And that opens up great opportunities for how we can further our mission,” Ek said at the time.