Find out why John Kohl, co-founder and CEO of TuneGO, sees NFT technology as a way to help creators reach their full potential, get the money they are due, and create stronger bonds with fans.
“I’m family first, tech second,” says John Kohl. This vision of himself as a dedicated family man and tech pioneer mirrors his professional mission. To him, talented creators are like family and he wants the best for them: “I love disrupting legacy systems,” he says, “so talented creators can reach their full potential and get paid the money they are truly due.”
He wants to disrupt a legacy based system in the music industry which the TuneGO co-founder describes as, “extremely antiquated compared to other industries.”
John believes in a “creator first economy”. He loves building technology that he says, “connects great people who create amazing things”, and this, he explains, “is why we started TuneGO, and NFTs represent the next frontier of this journey”.
TuneGONFT is a branch of TuneGO, a unified platform which is aiming to reshape the music industry.
So, what are some of the industry’s problems, the possible solutions, and how is NFT technology at the forefront of John’s vision for the music industry?
An Antiquated Industry
So, why are the foundation of music rights so antiquated?
Some major problems with music royalties, John highlights, are that “this part of the industry has yet to embrace technology – there is no unified system that goes from the origin of the creation of the art all the way through to commercialization.”
He continues, “It’s so fragmented that the information is all over the place…and every single year, billions of dollars of royalties are collected but not distributed.”
It sounds like a mess – so what could be the solution?
John’s vision is a “unified system that goes from the origin of the creation of art all the way through to commercialization.”
NFT technology, says John, can “serve as a lightning rod to help create exposure”, as well as, he says, “a way for artists to form a deeper bond and stronger connection with their fanbase.”
So, how are John and TuneGO going to do this?
Reshaping the Music Industry
So, how can TuneGO and NFTs reshape the music industry?
First off, John and the TuneGO team have developed a first-of-its-kind technology that he says, “gives artists the ability to maintain full control over the entire creative process providing the ability to establish a chain of custody for a song.”
The artist’s prized creation is then stored in what’s called the TuneGO Vault – a cloud based platform for securely storing and sharing music in digital form, including all files associated with a music track.
John explains: “When a songs files are added to the Vault, they are time-stamped and song ownership is assigned to the originating artist, who can then provide digital access keys to collaborators, contributors, and listeners.”
Crucially, John continues, “All activity related to contributions, collaborations, splits, and metadata tagging, are detailed and tracked, creating an indisputable ‘digital record’ of song ownership in the cloud.”
The latest cutting edge addition to the TuneGO platform is its expansion into NFTs with TuneGONFT.
TuneGONFT are utilizing FLOW, an eco-friendly and scalable blockchain which, John says, suits TuneGO because “It’s built specifically for real-world NFT trading experiences.”
“What’s great about NFTs”, according to John, “is that they add that extra layer of protection as they create an immutable record on the blockchain and lay the foundation for distributing revenue instantly through smart contracts.”
He continues, “They’re also great for generating revenue and royalties for the creative community.”
“If you generate revenue related to that song via the smart contracts and blockchain, you can instantly and transparently distribute that revenue to each creators’ wallet.”
A perfect solution for managing song and creator splits?
“Prior to the minting of any NFT, all content is secured via the TuneGO Vault and creator splits are agreed upon by all parties”, John explains. “This is the future of royalties.”
How do you ensure that musician assets, files, and metadata are secured and protected?
As all content is secured on the cloud and TuneGO’s patented technology creates a time-stamped fingerprint of interactions, John sees security as part of the Vault’s inherent functionality.
He explains: “The Vault fingerprinting technology provides collaborators with full transparency of all activities related to creative projects.” This, according to John, “prevents unwanted actions from bad actors…and places control into the hands of creators who can easily and instantly grant digital access keys to collaborators.”
NFTs and Music Fans
What about the fan engagement created by NFTs and the TuneGONFT platform?
Now, we know about the cash-grabs which have been an unwelcome but inevitable part of the NFT space, but for the mainstream adoption of NFTs to take place – fans need to be part of the movement – not just the artists.
John is keen to emphasize this mutually beneficial relationship between music artists, fans, and new audiences. He’s clear when he says that NFTs are a way to establish a “deep and meaningful connection and bond between creatives, their existing fans, and new audiences.”
“The power of the connection”, he says, “comes from the fan’s ownership of the NFT collectable.”
TuneGONFT is providing artists with a platform to engage directly with fans through NFTs in new ways such as new music and digital artwork.
Not only that, NFTs can provide fans with opportunities for fans to gain exclusive real-world experiences with the artists they love – such as virtual meet-n-greets, behind the scenes studio session views, or concert tickets.
John concedes, however, “there is still a bit of a learning curve with NFTs and a consumer education process” but seeks to reassure fans that “consumers who purchase NFTs from our platform have the reassurance that all of the metadata has been confirmed and verified,”
Method Man Drop
TuneGONFT’s inaugural NFT drop was from true Hip Hop royalty; platinum-selling artist and member of the world-famous Wu-Tang Clan – Method Man.
Method Man is a big comic book fan, and his ‘Tical Universe’ Genesis NFT collection coincided with the release of his new single ‘New Old School’ last November. It is an example of what that “power of connection”, John mentioned earlier, means for creators and fans.
The Tical Universe is an interactive comic community which gives fans unique opportunities to engage with the project.
Offerings for fans include; creative direction with storylines, NFT rights to ownership, one-of-a-kind artwork, unreleased audio by Method Man, and more.
The ‘Tical Universe’ Genesis NFT collection features artwork from acclaimed artists Alex Smetsky and Aleks Sinyuts who animated 5 Tical Universe characters for the drop. These animations match with ‘The New Old School’ single’s instrumental version.
John says, “The first NFT drop was an opportunity for Method’s fans to own the original drawings of the characters, as a collector’s item – similar to if someone were to own the original drawings of Batman.”
You might be starting to see how dedicated fans can start to connect with the artists they love in more meaningful ways.
And of course, the creative rights to ‘New Old School’ are stored and protected in the TuneGO Vault.
A New Dawn for the Music Industry?
So, are NFTs going to change the foundation of music rights and the industry itself?
It’s a big “yes” from John.
“By tokenizing all of the Legos that are used to build a song…all creative rights can be legitimately tracked and authenticated – ultimately, royalties can be properly distributed.”
He continues, “For the first time in history, Web 3 technologies will allow creators and their fans, followers, and collectors to establish meaningful connections, without gatekeepers and overlords controlling everything.”
Under John Kohl’s guiding hand, TuneGO is bringing the music ecosystem from antiquity to the light of the 21st century; creating a safer and fairer environment for creative talent as well as a more meaningful connection between artists and fans.
“That’s the power of Web 3 and TuneGONFT.”