Skip to main content

3LAU's NFT marketplace Royal is on a mission to revolutionize the nostalgic pastime of collecting music.

After launching in the second half of 2021, the platform quickly amassed a $55 million war chest in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Since then, Royal has facilitated attention-grabbing NFT collections, including offerings from Diplo and Nas. Last month, Darya Pourshasb, former Director of Premium Content Strategy at Spotify, made the leap to join Royal's leadership team with an eagerness to continue growing the brand's partnerships within the artist community.

While the industry at-large appears to be lining up behind Royal, 3LAU remains laser-focused on illuminating the emotional and intrinsic value of music NFTs for consumers. Speaking on TechCrunch's "Chain Reaction" podcast, the DJ and cryptocurrency pundit says his personal barometer for determining what makes a good NFT project is to consider whether it incentivizes a digital behavior that similarly exists in the real world.

“I think the music example is specifically the most interesting, where collecting an actual audio file for thousands and thousands of dollars just doesn’t seem to make sense, because no one would do that in the real world,” 3LAU said.

3LAU performs at the 2022 edition of EDC Las Vegas.

3LAU performs at the 2022 edition of EDC Las Vegas.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

four tet

Watch Four Tet's 3-Hour DJ Set From a Historic 1771 War Fort

The explosive performance went down at the inaugural Making Time Festival in Philadelphia.

Jamie Roy Headshot

Jamie Roy's "Organ Belta" Tops Beatport's House Charts Following DJ's Tragic Death

Roy's friends, label mates and fans launched a vigorous campaign in the wake of his death.


Subtronics Announces 2023 Headlining Tour

Featuring special guests Getter, Virtual Riot, PEEKABOO and more, the 35-date "ANTIFRACTAL" tour will kick off in Las Vegas in January.

What does command such monetary value, however, is the song's copyrights, which is the real medium that platforms like Royal are dealing in when fans purchase NFTs on the platform. The fractionalized ownership of the copyrights entitles the token holder to more than just a mere audio file. The owner enjoys the benefits of fractionalized ownership of the cash flows generated by the songs they own. Depending on how productive these assets are, the collectibles maintain a certain level of intrinsic value, justifying their ability to be traded or sold.

3LAU additionally cites a statistic that may come across as a surprise to the everyday listener: 84% of income generated from music is due to streaming revenue. Despite the fact that each stream generates slim fractions of a cent on major platforms, at the upper echelons of the industry, the take-home is actually quite lucrative. However, the lions share of these rewards typically sit with major labels and select middle-men who own the copyrights.

If the Web3 movement has its way, the proliferation of NFTs will instead allow for artists to retain their rights, maximize their earnings, and allow fans to share in their success while effectively bringing them closer to the music than ever before.

You can listen to the full "Chain Reaction" episode below.


EDC LV 2021-3LAU-Brian Rapaport Photo_01

3LAU and Steve Aoki Invest In Groundbreaking Blockchain Music Production Company

Dance music artists jumped at the opportunity to invest in Arpeggi Labs, a promising startup with the goal to revolutionize digital music production and publishing.

EDC LV 2021-3LAU-Brian Rapaport Photo_01

3LAU Is Giving Away a Singular Copy of a New Song And Its Rights—As an NFT

The idea was developed in the spirit of Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" album release.

EDC LV 2021-3LAU-Brian Rapaport Photo_01

3LAU's NFT Marketplace Nabs $55 Million Investment From The Chainsmokers, Kygo, More

This funding comes after a $16 million investment back in August.


3LAU's Next Song Will Be 50% Fan-Owned

3LAU has cracked the code for democratizing investing in music, and it lies squarely within NFT technology.


This Software Lets You Design Trippy Visuals of Your Music—Then Mint Them As NFTs

The Web3-based VOID platform allows music producers to create a beat-reactive mosaic.


How Aloe Blacc Is Utilizing NFTs to Keep Avicii's Legacy Alive

"I can't see the future moving forward without allowing Tim's legacy to touch each part of what's happening."

EDC LV 2021-3LAU-Brian Rapaport Photo_01

3LAU, A-Trak, Diplo Bet Big On HIFI as the Future of Financial Transparency for Music Creators

HIFI closed an eight-figure funding round that attracted major electronic music artists and industry executives alike.