An electronic music revolution is brewing in the RCRDSHP offices.
Fortune prefers the brave in the weird and wonderful world of EDM, and that platform's ambitions fit the profile. And as electronic music artists shape the NFT landscape as we know it, RCRDSHP is in a unique position to spark a paradigm shift at the intersection of music and cryptocurrency.
The music industry is a technological tinderbox in 2021, and the EDM community is holding out the game. The 2021 IMS Business Report found that 76% of all music NFTs were issued by electronic music artists. That's over $ 50 million.
"I think EDM artists are by nature innovators, explorers, and very tech savvy," Obie Fernandez, founder and CEO of RCRDSHP, told worldmusic.blog. "That's part of who we are. Electronic. It's in our nature."
With a workforce and C-suite made up of veterans of the dance music industry, RCRDSHP (pronounced "record store") is a platform where people can buy and sell digital collectibles that are rooted in electronic music culture. The company curates digital "content packs" in the form of NFTs that are released as exclusive songs, video clips, visuals, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and other multimedia content developed by top artists and brands.
It's like a kid in a blockchain-powered candy store.
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"Our values are fun and authenticity of music," said Fernandez, who estimates that 80% of RCRDSHP employees are DJs or electronic musicians. "One of them is the community. It's really intense," he continued. “That is to say the least. They love to meet our artists, to become new fans and to hype who they discover. "
As a lifelong DJ, Fernandez knows the limits of artists when it comes to engaging with their fans. The breakneck pace of short-form content platforms like TikTok has broken the relationship and created a new kind of glass ceiling for musicians who can't keep up with the marshmello's of the scene. They have huge fan bases that act as virality machines, propelling them to success – and financial stability – that inexperienced musicians simply cannot achieve.
So Fernandez launched RCRDSHP to provide creators with new sources of income and a new way to create fan experiences. Inspired by NBA Top Shot's electrifying NFT video moments heralding the crypto age in sports, he set out to develop an ecosystem with a similar approach in the EDM space.
And it seems to be working. In just a few months, the company has made over $ 2 million in revenue, Fernandez says, and it has given out "a huge amount" to creators who have released NFT packages on the platform.
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RCRDSHP enables artists to directly reward their most ardent fans in endless ways. You can toss out the owners of specific NFT-exclusive music, fan experiences, video messages, guest list access, and more.
"RCRDSHP hit my radar at just the right time," said The Scumfrog, a legendary Dutch DJ and electronic music producer. “I was looking for a way to develop a more personal relationship with my audience than the streaming platforms can offer. I made a 65-minute film with nine new tracks that was shot with eight employees. Given the specificity of the project (it's more of a film than an album) I was looking for a platform that could best put the project in the spotlight, not just on myself, but on my staff as well. "
"RCRDSHP immediately understood what I was doing, and they've shown themselves to be super creative and responsive to making anyone win this project by combining my followers with theirs," continued The Scumfrog. "For my crypto newbies, it's super easy to experiment with NFTs as RCRDSHP manages the crypto conversion and makes the entry threshold much more accessible. All you need is PayPal or a credit card."
The advent of fan-owned digital assets has resulted in a saturated market in the music industry's crypto gold rush. So what is the competitive advantage of RCRDSHP?
"We have built a team that is very well connected in the music industry and artistic circles, and we have started to make big names," said Fernandez. "That's why we have Markus Schulz and Coldharbour Recordings, a whole host of house legends like Juan Atkins, Todd Terry, Crystal Waters, Mark Knight and Toolroom Records."
In addition to almost 100 other partners, the company also counts the trance music superstar Gareth Emery, the Juno Award-winning techno artist Tiga and the historical label Iboga Records among its partners.
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“We're trying to activate a mainstream audience. We believe in the future of fandom, ”added Fernandez. “It's based on this closer relationship between artists and fans. And the existing platforms out there don't currently allow that.
Artists have found solace in RCRDSHP, which Fernandez believes challenges the status quo in a modern music industry that expects too much from its artists to remain relevant.
"It is very difficult to cross borders," he said. "I think there's a pervasive fear that your fans will reject you and move on to something else if you push your limits as an artist."
The core of RCRDSHP's value proposition, however, is that it democratizes emerging technologies for the creator economy. Half of the enterprise model is its software, but the other half is rooted in a robust, hands-on "creative suite" that rigorously educates about NFTs and makes them more accessible to the everyday EDM fan.
The hub allows creators to upload assets and go through the entire workflow for developing and filing collectibles. RCRDSHP also has a production department that works directly with artists to create compelling content and help them develop visuals, delineation of exclusivity parameters, and other barriers related to the challenge of engaging new fans.
RCRDSHP is also launching a "crafting" arm to help developers create unique packs to offer to fans. Fernandez refers to "combination mechanics," a term that refers to a type of chemical bond in which multiple assets consolidate to unlock unique rewards.
A practical example, explains Fernandez, is a record label that stores a song in the form of an NFT and adds its stems. A record producer could own the song and combine it with another RCRDSHP asset, unlocking the ability to remix the song and upload it directly to the label, which may then consider releasing it. Fernandez says instances like this are just one of the hundreds of "mini-games" RCRDSHP has planned.
Ultimately, the goal of RCRDSHP is to become a major player in the metaverse.
"I think we'll be the biggest musical presence in the Metaverse," Fernandez claimed. “My particular metaverse philosophy is that there is one metaverse – not many. So I think we will be one of the leading providers of music related assets in this metaverse. "
More information on RCRDSHP can be found here.