Are music NFTs back? An industry ripe for disruption has often been cited as a perfect target for a decentralized player to shake things up. While some platforms have entered the scene, none have yet to prove that they can be an industry powerhouse. In enters VAULT, a new platform on Solana that looks to be a major competitor for some of music’s biggest decentralized players.
The platform is fresh off the heels of a $4M Series A fundraising round that brings their total raise to roughly $13M – all the midst of bear market conditions. Let’s take a look at the firepower behind VAULT – and if it’ll be enough to hang with some of the early big dogs in the decentralized music space.
Music’s Muse: Can VAULT Change The Game?
We’re no stranger to audio and music oriented decentralized platforms here at Bitcoinist. Over the past couple of years, we’ve covered a variety of platforms like OneOf and Audius. Beyond dedicated platforms, we’ve even seen traditional music entities get involved – like Warner Music Group pairing with OpenSea, and just this week, Rihanna releasing her own NFT.
While VAULT might not have a first-mover advantage, the platform does take an especially interesting mobile-friendly approach and is seemingly looking to build a ‘standard’ in the space with VAULT’s ‘Digital Music Collectible’ (or DMC) format. It’s a unique approach that essentially ‘bundles’ music packages to ideally be more appetizing than your traditional album offering, or listening experience on traditional platforms like Spotify.
However, beyond the latest Series A – and of course the product itself – there’s another noteworthy quality here in the project’s founders. VAULT was created by Nigel Eccles and Rob Jones, the co-founders of massively successful sports betting platform FanDuel. Both NFTs and sports betting have been industry that are very nascent, with complicated and difficult-to-navigate regulatory landscapes. Eccles and Jones found massive success in their venture with FanDuel, and now they’ll see if they can replicate that in the audio NFT space with VAULT.
We've seen a few major competitors in the audio-based NFT space, like Audius (AUDIO), however there are only a few major players - and none have established a dominant position, leaving the door ajar for new entrants like VAULT to make a splash. | Source: AUDIO-USD on TradingView.com
Test Run: What It’s Looking Like So Far
We know that Solana has taken a very mobile-heavy approach at large (see: the Solana phone), so it’s no surprise to see that through-line with VAULT. While the big-picture focus is on music and audio NFTs, VAULT’s full scope is much bigger, with photos, text, links, audio and video all expected to be supported in the long run.
For VAULT, it’s started with music likely because of such a clear-cut gap in the industry – the business has largely gone unchanged, even with streaming technology iterating, over the past decade. VAULT has started with a collaboration with indie artist FLETCHER to release 3,000 DMC packs.
In a statement provided to Bitcoinist, Nigel Eccles stated:
“I don’t believe that scrolling and streaming alone create meaningful fan relationships for the majority
of artists… Many musicians see our format as an alternative to the algorithms that
monetize music today—and they can offer fans a richer, more meaningful experience of their music as