For more than half a decade, the fringes of the music industry have been alive with whisperings about how concepts such as cryptocurrency, blockchain and NFTs are going to revolutionise the business as we know it. Or, perhaps more pertinently, knew it. Until more recently, those whisperings were just that. The industry’s traditionalists were still discussing the digital revolution solely in streaming terms, while those who understood said concepts and the weight they would soon carry were generally dismissed as championing a niche concern – one that might gain traction in a few specialised corners of the business but would ultimately fail to lay a glove on the mainstream. For some, such arguments were made in good faith. For others, a lack of understanding of the mechanics involved in the concepts underpinned their unwillingness to engage with them.
More recently, however, those whispers have escalated to a shout, whose message is currently reverberating through the industry’s every nook and cranny. On a daily basis, more and more artists are embracing the potential of NFTs as a way of increasing engagement with their audience, while venues of all shapes and sizes are beginning to harness the power of cryptocurrency platforms, with some partnering directly with some of the biggest players in the field.
On April 12, London’s refurbished and vastly expanded Koko put pen to paper on a multi-million pound partnership with cryptocurrency platform Luno, which today lays claim to in excess of 10 million users. The multi-faceted partnership includes the launch of a new multi-purpose space located at the top of Koko dubbed The Luno, which will facilitate everything from DJ sets, digital art exhibitions and immersive events. Crucially, it will also host guest speakers and workshops for the public with an emphasis on cryptocurrencies and other themes of potentially game-changing digital technology.
Furthermore, the move is aimed at supporting emerging talent via a series of livestreams, while exclusive access to benefits such as fan experiences, giveaways, presale tickets and merchandise will be offered to Luno customers.