Amke Block about her NFT agency UN1K.ART and her keynote at Future Music Camp 2022

Amke Block, co-founder of the NFT agency UN1K.ART, gives a lecture on NFTs and music at Future Music Camp 2022. At Backstage PRO, she presents the topic for her keynote and talks about her agency, about value creation for artists and about sustainability in Web 3.0 .

Popakademie Baden-Württemberg’s Future Music Camp on 19 and 20 May 2022 is about the artist economy: What are the effects of the creative economy on artists and the music industry?

→ Read our interview with David Stammer, the organizer of Future Music Camp!

added value and criticism

Future Music Camp 2022 will focus on the issue of tools, platforms and new marketing channels that have emerged during the corona pandemic. At the same time, their added value for musicians will be discussed and critical perspectives discussed.

Amke Blocks keynote at Future Music Camp (May 19 at 11: 45-12: 15) focuses on the question of how musicians can use Web 3.0 and in particular NFTs for themselves.

→ Here you can find the schedule for Future Music Camp 2022.

New perspectives in the pandemic

Amke Block is a co-founder of the NFT agency UN1K.ART and together with its partner Markus Schäfer advises artists and their partners – managements, labels, publishers, but also other rights holders, brands and technology providers – about NFTs. According to Amke, the founding of UN1K.ART was closely linked to the corona pandemic:

“Live evaluation was completely lost during the pandemic, productions were put on hold, everything met on the Internet. And once again, it became clear that streaming revenue does not usually provide artists with a livelihood because they are simply too small.”

In fact, the pandemic seemed like a magnifying glass to the overall situation for musicians, which can be called devastating – and especially their precarious position in the platform economy of Web 2.0. – came to the fore.

Burning glass Corona

In 2019 and 2020, for example, there was increased criticism of the major streaming platforms – above all Spotify. Musicians asked the platform to increase payouts significantly to compensate for the complete loss of income from the live segment due to the corona pandemic. Regarding this Amke:

“Streams are now the only source of revenue in recorded music – characterized by the much talked about value gap in the platform economy: the platforms make a profit through their aggregated data and reach, but the artists get relatively little of the sales.”

Spotify and Co. by the way, have still not increased their distributions at present, almost two years after the pandemic – which has made many musicians think of alternative ways to make money.

New added value

With UN1K.ART, Amke together with her partner Markus want to start at this very moment and support musicians in wrapping music as a unique product again. UN1K.ART is mainly limited to the capabilities of Web 3.0 and NFTs:

“NFTs can be a technical tool for publishing music and art productions and accessing events outside the standardized streaming formats and in various creative collaborations, and for coming into direct contact with buyers or users.”

Value Internet

For Amke, the focus is on the fact that musicians, but also artists of all kinds, can give their art value again – any artist can create NFTs, and any fan can buy them from the creator. The term “Internet of Value” was coined for this direct form of contact. Amke explains:

“Content is no longer just a lure for customers and their data; it’s about direct contact, direct appreciation between the actors of the distributed internet, between artists and fans. “

With UN1K.ART, Amke and Markus start exactly at this interface between artist and fan: They give musicians the necessary knowledge on the topics NFT and Web 3.0., Implement NFT campaigns with them and develop long-term strategies:

In addition to the sale of individual works or editions, we primarily handle sustainable direct-to-fan campaigns with digital merchandise as well as fan loyalty and activation mechanisms. To this end, UN1K.ART connects the rightholders with the relevant NFT technology providers (and vice versa). “

Sustainable technologies

UN1K.ART understands the concept of sustainability on several levels: Not only must the campaigns organized with the artists bring lasting user engagement; The selection of the technology or technologies used is, so to speak, from an ecological point of view.

Blockchains (the technology that makes NFTs possible in the first place) and NFTs themselves have been criticized for their ecological footprint. The reason for this is the mechanism by which large blockchains like Ethereum ensure their integrity.

Currently, the so-called proof of work is used in most cases: To expand the blockchain with another “chain link”, so-called “miners” have to solve a complex arithmetic task using a computer. The computers required for this consume huge amounts of electricity, which increases CO2 emissions.

alternative ways

NFTs validated (“minted”) via Ethereum (or comparable, non-climate-neutral blockchains) are therefore excluded for the projects managed by UN1K.ART – Amke and Markus ensure that the artists choose an eco-conscious blockchain.

This is, for example, what happened to the current project of UN1K.ART: The concept art action “documenta is like …”, which was created in the run-up to documenta 15, was implemented via the NFT platform, which in turn is based based on the climate-neutral Algorand Blockchain.

This campaign is about generative, AI-supported, collaborative digital works of art that are sold as NFTs in connection with documenta fifteen: This everyone’s hands-on art campaign was created together with the artist collective from Kunsttempel in Kassel. Proceeds from the NFT sale, which starts in mid-May, will benefit artists from Ukraine.

In addition to her work at UN1K.ART, Amke Block is the owner of the consulting service and has over 25 years of experience in the music industry, including as a co-founder of the regional group VUT Nord in the Association of Independent Music Entrepreneurs.

Her keynote “Web 3.0 & NFTs in Music” takes place on May 19, 2022 in Jungbuschhalle. Here you can sign up for a spot on the spot for Future Music Camp; Click here to sign up for online participation.

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