NFTs have been a source of excitement and debate over the past few years: are they the future of art or a bubble waiting to burst? If the estate of late singer-songwriter David Bowie is correct, they're a way not just to profit in an industry that has been struggling for years, but also to fulfill an artist's creative wishes.
What should be done with a never-before-heard version of "Let's Dance," Bowie's mega hit from forty years ago? That question was a difficult one for Warner Music Group, which owns the rights to Bowie's music. Knowing that Bowie wanted the "more dreamy, electronic" version of the song shared--but burned by its first NFT offering that upset hard-core fans--Bowie's estate sought to find a way to share the song with the world in a way that would honor his legacy. As this announcement explains, they believe they found it: a collection of 3,003 NFTs, each of which has a piece of Bowie-inspired artwork that will unlock access to the exclusive recording of the artist's famous song.
But, for NFT skeptics or those wondering about the future of opportunities in Web3, the article buries what might be the most important aspect of this NFT story. Warner Music Group recently announced "large-scale layoffs," which is no surprise in an industry that has struggled for decades as music transitioned from being sold in physical form to being streamed. However, no one associated with the company's Web3 or AI initiatives lost their jobs because these initiatives were deemed "central to the company's future." So, while it remains to be seen whether this latest Bowie NFT will be successful, it's clear that there will be huge Web3 opportunities moving forward in the music industry.