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Investing in Web3 Music with Coopahtroopa

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Cooper Turley, better known as Coopahtroopa, is betting big on ushering a new generation of music. In September, he announced a first-of-its-kind investment fund focused squarely on web3 music projects and artists themselves. Coop Records raised $10 million and Coopah will be the sole general partner. 

He’s hesitant to call it just an investment fund though. That’s because Coop Records is also a record label and incubator. Coopah will invest directly into web3-native music artists in a “seed round” — turning emerging artists into venture-backed startups.

Structuring an artist’s company is what Coopah sees as web3’s biggest opportunity: resetting ownership dynamics. NFTs are another vertical of the Coop Records fund, in addition to the seed-stage investing in both companies and artists.  

Coopah joined me on the show to give us an in-depth look at how Coop Records is eying its investment opportunities.

investing in web3 music

I wanted to talk to Coop because he’s bullish on web3 in music but doesn’t overlook its challenges. He has a more balanced perspective that can be hard to find in the NFT echo chambers.

Coop Records’ $10 million fund will be distributed in three buckets:

– Pre-seed and seed-stage web3 music tech startups (85%)

– Artist seed rounds (10%)

– Music NFTs (5%)

Let’s break each of those down:

early-stage startups that bring web3 and web2 together

For web3 music companies, Coopah is looking for composability. He wants to invest in companies that can plug into other platforms like digital streaming providers. He believes that collaboration between web2 and web3 music companies is essential.

“If I am an artist who’s new to web3, it’s not about choosing Spotify vs. Apple. It’s about actually developing a presence across many platforms and hopefully those platforms make the life of the artist easier by making everything connect.”

helping artists raise “seed rounds”

Investing in artists isn’t as clear-cut as investing in a startup, but the first step is for artists to create a holding company. That company will have subsidiaries representing various business lines, like masters and publishing, live touring and merchandise, web3 tokens, and NFTs.

From here, investors can gain up to 5% or 10% equity in the artist’s holding company and get exposure to its underlying assets.

It’s structurally similar to 360 deals, but the investor’s ownership stake is much, much lower. Historically, 360 deals could have up to 50% to 80% ownership and seize creative control from the artists. At Coop Records, it’s more in line with dilution at the seed stage. The artist-founder would still have 90% ownership and maintain creative control.

“360 deals have gotten a really negative rap because of the percentage ownership that they typically encompass…I don’t think the structure of a 360 deal is incorrect. I just think the ownership targets those deals are typically set at is really predatory.”

NFTs as venture-backed assets

The last investment area for Coop Records is NFTs. This is Coop’s wheelhouse. He’s one of the largest music NFTs collectors out there. He compares owning early music NFTs to sports rookie cards.

“For the fund, I almost look at music NFTs as the new form of masters and publishing. It’s not quite one-to-one but there’s this new market being formed of tradable assets.”

A fund like this has a unique structure regarding its expected outcomes. The music tech startup bets may pay off if the companies get acquired or go public, but what does an “exit” look like for an artist’s holding company?

Coop Records is still exploring that outcome, but I expect that a successful artist holding company would be an attractive asset for an investment firm like RedBird Capital, which invested in LeBron James’ SpringHill Company.

The hybrid approach of both music and music tech companies is similar to MUSIC, Matt Pincus’ $200 million music holdings company that cuts eight-figure checks in music and music-adjacent companies.

improving incentives for artists

An artist’s holding company needs a CEO. Some artists will embrace that role themselves, but many other artists prefer to focus on the art while their manager or business partner is the CEO.

In either case, the CEO would get equity in the artist’s company through Coop Records’ holding structure. In turn, incentives between managers and their artists could be better aligned for long-term outcomes.

“I think there will be more situations where artists are willing to enter into a full-time agreement with their manager because the manager is now incentive-aligned to actually spend all their time to develop one artist instead of needing commissions from five or ten different artists to make a living.”

The music industry is full of managers who helped build an artist from the ground up to a successful career. But then the artist breaks off to level up with a big-name manager, and the old manager will never see another dime. If the early-stage manager had equity, as Coop Records intends to make possible, then the original manager would still have something to show for their hard work.

Listen to the episode here:

[0:00] How Coop Records started

[2:06] Focusing on emerging artists, not established ones 

[3:35] Coop Records’ investment thesis

[7:24] Investing in artists during “seed round”

[9:50] Structuring artists as a holdings company

[11:40] What does an exit look like for artists investors?

[15:00] Artists as CEOs

[20:11] What makes a music NFT historical 

[22:28] NFTs as a replacement for masters and publishing

[27:18] Accredited investors vs. fan investors

[29:30] Artist success stories with community building on web3

[31:40] Focusing on story when marketing NFTs

[34:25] Optimizing for engagement not reach on social 

[39:24] How tokenization changes the artist-fan relationship 

[47:00] Predicting the year that music NFTs go mainstream 

[48:25] Coop’s big question for web3

 

TRANSCRIPTION:

[00:00:00] Cooper Turley: And I think that gets to this artist development piece more broadly is that you’re trying to start the process much earlier, much earlier than I think a lot of the major record labels are starting now. Because I think they often wanna see artists having some proven. Track record before they’re willing to sign them.

[00:00:24] Dan Runcie: Hey, welcome to the podcast. I’m your host and the founder of Dan Ruey. This podcast is your place to gain insights from the executives in music, media, entertainment, and more who are taking hip hop culture to the next level. 

[00:00:49] Dan Runcie: Today’s guest is Cooper Turley, aka Coopa Troopa. He is the founder of Coop Records, which is a new venture fund, a 10 million fund that is focused on investing in the future of music, specifically in web three. He is someone that has made a name for himself as a thought leader in the space. He was involved with the Dow Friends with benefits and he’s now started this fund to make economics better for artists and ultimately help them take more advantage of the opportunities that are around them. So we talked about a lot of it. We talked about how he views the space right now, why he started this fund, and what the fund’s investing in. There are three main areas that we go into. We talk about investing in music startup. Investing in artist seed rounds and investing in NFTs themselves as an investible assets that him as a general partner and little Bited partners would wanna see returns from. So we talk about what the economics of that look like. I think that. Cooper stands out in a lot of ways because he has a much more nuanced understanding of how Web Three fits in with the broader ecosystem of what’s happening right now in music, what some of the trade offs are with the financials, the relationship with fans, what services it offers versus the traditional record labels and more really insightful conversation, and I hope you enjoy it. Here’s our chat.

[00:02:07] Dan Runcie: All right. Today we’re joined by Coopa Troopa who just launched Coup Records, which is his fund that is investing in the future of music and Web three specifically. And first off, congrats. I saw the announcement, it’s really dope. So walk me through the process from thinking about you wanna start this fund to where you are now, today with it.

[00:02:28] Cooper Turley: Absolutely. Well, first of all, thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here. I’ve been in music for the last 10 years in crypto for the last five, and so I’ve seen everything from ICOs to Defi, to Dows, and not most recently NFTs. You know, throughout that time I’ve been active across public markets as a trader, behind the scenes, as an angel investor, as a community builder, and as an operator. And when I started to think about how to connect all the pieces together, I’ve always been a fan of music. I felt like there was never really a clear vehicle to help elevate and amplify the space. And so I found coop records to be the best way to really just zoom in on this niche that I’m so excited about and figure out how to really help the founders, artists, and builders that are supporting this space everyday.

[00:03:05] Dan Runcie: Makes sense. What were the conversations like getting buy-in from LPs?

[00:03:10] Cooper Turley: Basically helping to explain what music NFTs are, why this is a vertical that you’d wanna invest in at this time and day? You know, historically I think that music has gotten a bit of a bad rep, cuz it’s very antiquated in a lot of ways. You know, there’s a lot of systems that are very complicated and hopefully we can unpack some of those on this episode. But, I think we through presents a new opportunity for artists to monetize in creative ways. You know, as someone who’s been a curator my whole life, it’s very easy for me to understand the value of investing in songs, artists, et cetera. But for someone who’s not music savvy and not passionate about this sector, you know, the majority of those conversations are why would anyone wanna collect a song? Why would someone wanna invest in an artist? And trying to help people understand why there’s an opportunity here that I think is. Influential and paramount for the next chapter of music. But once people get over that line, you know, I’ve kind of been able to build a brand for myself that I think speaks very clearly to why I’m so excited about music. And so for investors that are looking to get exposure to the space, coop records is a great way to get that exposure without them having to get as deep in the trenches as I am.

[00:04:07] Dan Runcie: Right. And I gotta imagine that that probably took a few conversations just given things that I’m hearing too, from folks. People, they understand the promise and the opportunity of what NFTs and what web three offer, but there’s. Hesitation, there’s still perception about what’s going on and some of the headlines that people see. How did you communicate or address some of those concerns while still sharing the value add for what you have? 

[00:04:32] Cooper Turley: Yeah, I really focus on emerging artists. You know, I think that this is where the vast majority of value will accrue over the next couple years with Web three. And so when you think about investing in music, most people’s mind goes to like, how do we get Drake to drop NFTs? I actually don’t really focus on that at all. Instead, I think about how do we develop the next act that becomes Drake using Web three tools? And so for investors that are kind of hesitant about getting involved in the space, I point out early examples like X copier people, you know, crypto artists who really made a brand and a name for themselves on the back of selling their nfts. And obviously in the case of people, he had a major brand before, but it wasn’t until the existence of NFTs and sort of these community based assets that they started to see monetization aspects with their fans and with their collectors. And so trying to highlight that there’s an opportunity here to develop and support emerging artists new to Web three through music, I think it really made a clear case that. This isn’t about trying to get your biggest celebrity to drop NFTs. I think that will happen at some point in time. But this is about investing in the infrastructure and the artists that are going to make this space very valuable over the next couple years.

[00:05:31] Dan Runcie: And one of the things I like too about how your fund is structured or reminds me a bit of Matt Pinkus and how his music fund is structured. It’s not just focused solely on startups that are trying to build the next tech platforms. You’re also looking more broadly. The NFT space itself and what that opportunity looks like and it’d be great to break each of those down. So let’s start first with the music tech companies, cuz I know that’s 85% of your fund looking at preceded seed stage companies. What’s your thesis for the type of company that is a coop records company that you’re looking for? 

[00:06:04] Cooper Turley:  I’m a really big fan of composability. So in Defi there’s this concept of money Legos or protocols and platforms that could plug into one another. I believe the same thesis will play out with music, where we’re gonna have music legos, where there’s different marketplaces, service providers, tooling, infrastructure that can help sort of amplify what an artist can do with Web three. And so when I think about investing in a music tech company, I think about culturally, is this company aware and active within the pocket that I’m spending a lot of my time in? And then beyond being aware of sort of the artists, the songs, the type of platforms that are doing well in this space, do they have the open mindedness to wanna work in collaboration with those other platforms? So in accurate, we can kind of create this toolkit in this stack where if I am an artist who’s new to web three, it’s not about choosing Spotify versus Apple, it’s actually about trying to develop a presence across many platforms. And hopefully those platforms. The life of the artist easier by making everything connect together with one another.

[00:06:56] Dan Runcie: And I feel like this speaks to one of the broader themes that I know you’ve talked about before, is. It can’t be this approach of web three versus web two. These things need to be collaborative. No more zero sum games. How can you think more broadly about the opportunity there? How do you view that more broadly, not just with the fun, but also likely how you’re seeing the space with any artist that you’re working with too?

[00:07:21] Cooper Turley: I’m really laser focused on web three platforms because I think there’s a lot more room for change within those platforms. You know, I have nothing against legacy platforms like Spotify have done fantastic work for artists and I think there will be at a time and day when they’re able to enable music, NFTs to be purchased, collected, listened to within their platform. But the reality is these companies are so sophisticated that trying to move the needle is very complicated. And so for someone like. I’m running this fund as a solo gp. It’s a relatively small fund, and so when I think about where I can have impact and leverage, it’s typically working with very early stage founders. You know, I can get in the trenches and help to develop the product. Think about how we’re onboarding artists, think about new marketing strategies. And so for me, I think right now it’s about cementing the cultural relevance and value of this emerging wave of Web three music. And once that’s been clear and established, we can take those same values, ideas, songs, artists, and help to bring those into the traditional industry in a more clear way. Because right now I think that a lot of the bigger players, let’s call it major labels, et cetera, they recognize that there’s value to be captured in Web three, but I don’t think that they have the same level. Boots on the ground cultural awareness that maybe someone like, um, myself or some of my colleagues have. And so I think the challenge here is a, making it very clear what that culture is so you can start to translate it to larger players. And then once that they agree there is something of value there, you know, being able to act as a connector where you can say, Hey, maybe instead of going and doing a 500,000 or a million dollar drop for the biggest act on your roster, let’s go ahead and find an emerging artist who’s curious about the space and develop them with the course. Five or $10,000 drops and instead really build that community and that collector base in a very organic way.

[00:08:56] Dan Runcie:  And I think that gets to this artist development piece more broadly is that you’re trying to start the process much earlier, much earlier than I think a lot of the major record labels are starting now. Because I think they often wanna see artists having some proven. Track record before they’re willing to sign them. And in some ways your approach isn’t too much different. Maybe it’s just a bit of a different stage because one of the other areas that you’re investing in is artist seed rounds. And can you describe. What stage an artist would have to be in order to be at the seed round, and what types of things you’re looking for there from an artist?

[00:09:33] Cooper Turley: I think it’s very similar to what I look for in companies. You know, has this artist been able to prove a little bit of traction? You know, have they demonstrated that they’re culturally aware of where this industry is headed? You know, different things that I feel like are interesting to kind of describe. Cause it’s not very concrete. Like you can’t point to like a specific amount of sales or a specific amount of volume and say, okay, this artist is ready to be invested in. But it’s really just a development process of like, is this person making web three a focal point in their career? I believe that that’s something really important for me personally, cuz that’s where I had the most leverage. But once they’ve demonstrated that they’ve been able to release on some of the bigger web through platforms, you know, once they’ve been able to collaborate and onboard other artists to the space, you know, you start to see that these people have like a little bit. Leverage was sort of their career. And at that point in time, instead of signing a traditional record deal, co records can really be the one to say like, Hey, let’s go ahead and set up a company for you. Let’s think about how we wanna do a cap table. Let’s bring on some partners to give you the capital that you need to go and hire a team around you. So instead of selling your next three albums to a major label, you can instead fund this through accredited investors. And then over time think about the ways you wanna bring other partners into the fold, but not need to be so reliant on the capital to do that in the first place.

[00:10:38] Dan Runcie: And with the artists specifically, cuz I know that you’ve started the fund. Maybe for the people listening, is there a particular artist that you have made a seed investment in just so people can get a good idea for, okay, this is someone that we invested in, this is where they’re at in their career, and this is what the opportunity is 

[00:10:56] Cooper Turley: Not publicly. I think by the time this comes out, we’ll be right around there. You know, I can say that privately, behind the scenes we’re working. The first round, you know, we’ve had some very serious progress on it. Investors are excited about it. We’re going through the whole corporate structure, but for me, this is a very different lane because it’s not as simple as just investing in the safe note of a precede company. You know, there’s a lot more complexity around IP ownership, around revenue sharing around. Kind of how this artist thinks about their company and what kind of rights they’re giving back to people. And so it’s a slower process, but it’s one that’s currently in motion. I expect that we’ll probably have the first one announced within the next one to two months, but I can definitely say there’s one in motion that I’m really excited about. And I think, you know, by the end of this calendar year, we should have that one announced. 

[00:11:37] Dan Runcie: I think part of this too is also the structure of things. You mentioned this earlier, and I think for a lot of artists it’s probably. Not necessarily a new way to think about it, because I think in general, artists do think of themselves as having multiple revenue streams, but in order for this to work, in order for you to be able to make an investment, there needs to be some type of, whether it’s a holding company or some type of structure in place so that you can make an investment that would touch all of these things. Can you talk a little bit about what that looks like on the artist side?

 [00:12:05] Cooper Turley: Yeah, it’s a fantastic question. I wanna start by saying, This is early days and so this is the first stab at it. I think that this model will evolve and change over time. The way we’re thinking about it is there’s one Hold Co, that represents the artist ownership across their various income streams, uh, that hold co owns subsidiary entities, one of them being a music entity, which owns the masters in publishing for that artist. One being a live entity, which owns touring and merchandising, and then one being a Web three entity, which owns NFTs and. And so all of that wraps up into the larger hold cow. But the reasons those subsidiaries exist is because we wanna limit liability to each of those different vertical. If there’s an issue across web three, we don’t want that to end up touching the masters. If an artist wants to go and sign a record deal, they shouldn’t have to figure out what to do with their touring or what their NFTs to be able to enter into agreement with a different party. And so we’ve kind of split up the different verticals into buckets that make sense relative to the type of partners and the type of work that it is. But all of that rounds back up into this holding company and when it comes time to invest in the artist, quote unquote, that artist is selling anywhere from five to 10% of that hold cow to accredited investors so that they can have exposure and pass through to those underlying revenue streams. But there’s not this sort of majority ownership, creative control, et cetera. It’s really, here’s capital and exchange for you to go do what you do best. In exchange for that, we have exposure to these underlying entities, which represent the artist brand in its entirety.

[00:13:27] Dan Runcie: And for an investor like you, I think most people listening have a good idea of what an exit looks like for a startup, but what does an exit look like for you as an investor, for an artist, if you’re going in at that seed round?

[00:13:39] Cooper Turley: I think there’s a couple ways it can pan out. You know, one I think would be IP acquisition. Let’s say that there’s a buyout of someone’s masters or publishing, et cetera. You know, there’s kind of larger capital inflections that can happen later down an artist’s career. I’m more excited about this idea of taking artists public cuz it’s something that hasn’t really been done before, but I think will happen eventually. Where right now, if you’re a fan, you can’t really invest or bet on an artist. I think we’re starting to see us at a very granular level with music NFTs, and it’s something I would love to cover as the last bucket next, but to me, I think an exit here is helping an artist really take this company that we structure for themselves and explore what it means to go public. And so rather than only accredited investors being able to buy into that five or 10%, how do you invite fans to participate in that convers. I think that there’s a lot of, uh, legal nuance there that needs to be figured out. And so I don’t have that answer today, but I would say that more broadly, the two ways that this could happen is a, investors are seeing a return from the IP becoming more valuable, and they’re being capital injected into the whole co. Or B, more optimistically the artist, quote unquote, going public by either, you know, listing on a traditional market or what I think is more likely is creating some form of a token, which represents exposure to this entity that’s been set up to represent the artist brand in the first.

[00:14:49] Dan Runcie: Got it. And then from a structure perspective, do you ever hear any type of pushback or comments from artists who feel like, oh, you’re getting a slice of all these revenue deals. This feels similar to a 360 deal. Do you hear any of that at all?

[00:15:04] Cooper Turley:  Yeah, I mean, it is a 360 deal, and I think that that’s really important to like zoom in on, because 360 deals have gotten a really negative rep because of the percentage ownership that they typically encompass. So traditionally with 360 deals, it’s anywhere from 50 to 80. When we talk about a 360 deal in this context, it’s five or 10%. And if you start to look at the way that companies take on dilution and precede and seed stage rounds, it’s kind of the same concept. You know, like that company is basically taking all of their revenue into this central entity and they’re selling off dilution to investors. And so I think for artists, this is particularly scary because there’s been such a history of people taking advantage of 360. But I don’t think the structure with 360 deals incorrect. I just think the ownership targets that those deals are typically set at is what’s really predatory. And so if we can zoom out a bit and instead say, Hey, five or 10% can give you a couple hundred grand, maybe a million dollars to go invest in a team around you, there’s ways for that capital to be really value added where the dilution is actually necessary and valuable because it helps you advance your artist career in a way that you simply couldn’t do without it.

[00:16:04] Dan Runcie: I agree with that. I think that that’s, Testament of some of the challenges with the broader major record label system as well, right? It’s not that people shouldn’t be willing to trade some level of ownership in exchange to get a boost from the company. It’s how much ownership, it’s what the terms that the actual economics look like, not the economic agreement itself.

[00:16:28] Cooper Turley: Yeah, it’s correct. And I think that it’s something that is really important to help educate artists on. And this is the area that I’m actually most fascinated by is like artists really thinking about rights ownership, thinking about dilution, thinking about cap table management. And just with that in mind, I wanna highlight, it’s a very specific type of artist that is willing to enter into this quote unquote, artists seed round. Because I think that most artists are not thinking about their brand as a ceo, but I think there are very selective artists who think about their entity as a business and for those specific artists being able to demonst. There’s value in having employees. There’s value in giving them long term options and equity, and having these ownership incentives be a little bit more aligned. I think traditionally music has existed in this weird ballpark where we’ve basically only ever sold masters in publishing. We haven’t really experimented with equity or any of these other ownership vehicles that startups have been taking for the last couple generations, so I’m excited to explore it. You know, I by no means have all the answers, but I think. My time investing in precede and seed stage companies has given me a little bit of context on how things work behind the scenes, and I’m hoping that with a little time and effort, we can sort of mold those same practices and help apply them to artists more broadly.

[00:17:34] Dan Runcie: That makes sense. And I have to imagine too, with artists as well, there’s some artists that love the mentality of being the business person themself that can be the CEO and wear multiple hats. There’s other artists who I. As much as they want the business to work for them, they just wanna focus on the art. So there’s specific things that you’re looking for to determine, okay, is this artist gonna be wanting to be the ceo? Or maybe making sure that they are partnered with someone that may wanna be in that role instead

[00:18:05] Cooper Turley: Yeah, I mean, you just touched on it perfectly. I think that there’s situations where artists have partners that are acting as their ceo, you know, and in many typical startups you have a ceo, a cto, a ceo, et cetera. Um, the artist isn’t the only person that’s responsible for their success. They’re obviously the largest player in that. But it’s less about, is this artist capable of being a ceo? It’s more about is this artist capable of building a team around them that can. In tandem as a unit and as an organization. And if that artist is uncapable of operating as the CEO, because they’re phenomenal at making music, it’s very likely that there may be a manager, an agent, a business partner, et cetera, that could step into that role. And I think the biggest thing that I’m excited about is to realign incentives around the service providers around an artist. So whether that be a manager, an agent, a business manager, a lawyer, et cetera. Typically, all these actors are just operating on commission, you know, and they have five or 10 clients because there’s no guarantee that they’ll be with that artist in 10 years time. You know, these contracts aren’t really a center aligned for those key players. But if we can instead start to create an instrument where a managers may be able to take a salary and then have equity that’s vested over four years, I think there will be more situations where artists would be willing to enter into a full-time quote unquote agreement with their manager, because that a manager is now incentive aligned to actually spend all their time developing one. Instead of needing to commission off of five or 10 different artists just to be able to make a living.

[00:19:24] Dan Runcie: It’s a huge point because there’s so many managers I’ve talked to that just talk about how thankless that job is, and that’s purely just from how they’re treated, not even getting to the economic aspect. You start thinking about the economics about how managers are treated and yeah, maybe you’ll get 10 to 15 to 20%, but if that artist levels up and then they wanna level up their manager too, they can just be like, Hey, sorry, I wanna move on. And you, the person that brought them from zero to 40. Now you have nothing. Right?

[00:19:54] Cooper Turley: Yeah. I mean, it happens time and time again from smaller artists to the biggest acts in the world. I mean, I don’t have to name names here, but I think we all know examples of this happening time and time. And it’s really just a game of incentive alignment. You know? And when I think about the term web three, to me that means ownership. And so for all of these different deals that I’m doing, it’s about how do you create ownership incentives so that everyone who’s contributing value to this entity is able to capture that in some way, shape, or form. And so I think it’s a very difficult conversation to tell a manager, Hey, instead of taking a 15 or a 20% commission, you’re gonna get a base salary and then have a couple equity percentage points that best over multiple years. But when you start to zoom out a bit, you start to see like, hey, maybe 1% of equity can actually be more valuable than 20% commission. Because if you’re operating a multi-million or multi-billion dollar business, you know that’s a life-changing amount of money. And so I don’t expect this is something that’s gonna happen in the short term. I think it’s gonna take a very new class of partners, managers, agents, et cetera, that are willing to enter into these type of. Situations and these type of organizations. But I’m very excited to work with the emerging class of talent that’s willing to try something out a little bit differently because I think that new class of talent is looking for an opportunity here. And I think that we’ve seen time and time again that the systems that exist today work, but I think that there’s a lot of room for improvement and I’m excited to use some of the artists that we’re working with help push the needle on what that could like. 

[00:21:11] Dan Runcie: Yeah, and I think the other point that you mentioned too, was aligned as well, just in terms of artists being able to have that team around them. We’ve seen so many examples where whether it’s Jay-Z, having someone like a Dame Dash next to him, or you have Jay Cole and e Bama, they’ve been working together for years. Kate, uh, Kendrick Lamar, and the whole Top Dog team. These artists are doing it themselves, and oftentimes the ones that try to get stuck, so no different then. Yeah, a startup, if you’re trying to raise money, they’re gonna push back. If you have the technical co-founder being the same one that’s trying to go raise money, right? Like you need to have some expansion there. So I think so much of that makes sense. I do wanna talk about the other piece that you mentioned though, the NFT piece of it, because the way that you’re investing in these, I think could be eyeopening to some of the folks listening because you’re looking. And I heard you referred to historic NFT opportunities and NFTs as collectables. Can you talk a little bit about what you’re looking for if you’re investing in NFTs through this fund and how that may separate from what a lot of people may assume when they think about an nft. 

[00:22:18] Cooper Turley: Yeah, so there’s a really amazing market of songs that are being released as collectibles right now. You know, there’s platforms like Sound xyz, where every day an artist is releasing a song with 25 editions as NFTs. And I’ve been really active across these markets for the course of the last two years. Personally, you know, biggest collector on Sound today, one of the biggest collectors on catalog. And I’m really excited about being able to collect these early songs from artists that are building in Web three. You know, the analog I’d make here. Music, rookie cards. You know, we have rookie cards for basketball players, for baseball players, et cetera. We don’t really have rookie cards for artists, and I think in a lot of ways these early music NFTs are sort of the equivalent of an artist rookie card. And so personally, I’ve been doing this for the last couple years. I recently just put out a post called the Music NFT Collector Thesis. This is how we’re thinking about collecting from the fund. But to really break it down, we’re thinking about how do we sort of acquire early NFTs that represent historical relevance of this. Web three and Music NFTs have been around for maybe a year at this point. I think that there’s a huge opportunity for fans to start getting involved by collecting the songs that they love and for the fund. I almost look at music NFTs as the new form of like masters and publishing. You know, it’s not quite one to one, but there’s almost this new market being formed of Tradeable assets that you can buy for something like 50 bucks when it drops, and then hopefully have the ability to resell at a later. And I think for the fund, you know, us being able to participate in these markets and say, Hey, we are aware of what’s happening on the ground floor with the next generation of developing artists, we’re actively collecting these songs that we can show that were there from them, beyond needing to set up a company and needing to do some crazy type of investment situation. And I’m really excited about the opportunity just to have. Ownership over some of these really early collectibles, cuz I think they’re very historic in the development of these artists’ careers and I believe they’re extremely valuable and will continue to demonstrate. So in the years to come. 

[00:24:03] Dan Runcie: You brought up an interesting point just about how you feel like NFTs could replace what we are naturally thinking about masters in publishing. I guess in terms of how artists are monetizing and what their ownership looks like. Can you talk a little bit more about that and specifically how that could look or what that could look like? Years down the road.

[00:24:23] Cooper Turley: I mean, I’ll start by saying that, um, masters in publishing are extremely valuable. You know, I think that this is a system that has worked for generations. There’s a huge trend around catalog acquisition. I think that will continue to exist for many, many years to come. I think for someone like myself, me trying to get in the catalog acquisition game is not a smart move. You know, there’s a lot of players with a lot more experience. There’s a lot of people with a lot more money. The one unique advantage that I do have though, is developing thesises within this small pocket of web three artists, and the best way to get exposure to them is to simply buy their nf. You know the way that this looks is if there’s the first song an artist ever released their artist rookie card, and there’s 25 additions of that being sold for 50 bucks. If you zoom out and one of these artists becomes the Weekend, Drake Post Malone, Jack Harla, whatever it might be, there’s a very high likelihood that those early additions are gonna be worth a lot more than $50. And so instead of trying to invest in the masters in publishing rights, those songs can also go on Spotify. They can stream extremely well. You can have relationships with major label. But I believe those early collectibles have a market of their own. These markets are not tied to any sort of royalty rights because it’s just collectibles. You know, there’s 25 additions of this digital vinyl. I can buy it for $50 and then sell it for whatever price I want in the future. And I think this is a market that not many people are paying attention to right now. But I think when it comes to new and creative revenue streams for artists, I think that collectibles are gonna be a very, very big market in the years to come. I think it’s the most clear way that fans can start to get involved with sort of, Collectible nature of getting involved with an artist and as a fun, I think we’re really excited to be participating here to say, Hey, we’re really excited about this. I think there’s some really amazing plays out there right now, and we’re gonna continue to support artists on the ground floor to help develop this thesis. 

[00:25:59] Dan Runcie: Why do you think that a lot of people aren’t paying attention? Or what do you think some of the, if there’s friction or if there is just in a bit of a natural adoption curve, like what do you think’s going.

[00:26:12] Cooper Turley: It’s just new. I mean, this entire market has only been around for a little bit more than a year at this point. You know, in total, I think we have less than a thousand artists that have ever minted a music NFT before. There’s probably less than 10,000 people ever collected one before, and so. Relatively speaking, it’s just a very new and small market. And I think for a lot of players that have bigger fish to fry, it’s probably not worth their time to invest buying records for $50 because they have multimillion dollar record deals in place. You know, and so for someone like myself, um, a lot of what I do is help educate artists that there’s a lot of value to be captured in web through right now based on how early it is. You know, I think that there’s a lot of unlearning that can be done with the way artists are releasing music in Web three. And so traditionally, when you’re putting out a song on Spotify, most artists I know here in. They’ll take eight weeks in advance to think about what distributor am I gonna put this out through? Am I gonna sign this to a label? What’s my advance? What’s my marketing rollout? What’s my TikTok campaign? How am I getting pre saves? How am I making the music video? And what I’ve been preaching is like, Hey, if you have a song, you should put that out tomorrow. You know, like there’s people out there that would probably wanna collect that record. And if you can 5 25 people to come and collect music in FT for 0.05 E, they’re basically $75. That’s the equivalent of half a million streams. And so I think trying to teach people that you don’t need to have this giant rollout process to make this headline moment with music. We’ve gotten really conditioned to trying to shoot for the new Music Friday playlist. You know, all of these emerging editorial playlists. One of the beautiful things about the SoundCloud era was people were just uploading music in real time and if you had your finger on the trigger, you could go and just repost something and be part of a wider movement. And I think what’s happening with music and FTS now is artists are gonna start to see that you don’t need to have a six week rollout to put out a collection of 25 songs. If you make that song on Wednesday and put it out on Thursday, you can immediately get funding from your biggest fans and use that funding to go and market the rest of your career and instead be able to obviscate the need for a lot of those major capital advances that typically get artists caught up in a weird position in the first place.

[00:29:05] Dan Runcie: Yeah, that makes sense. I feel like if the funding’s in place and you can replace early on, because I think for a lot of artists, the economics don’t really work out either. Unless A, you own the underlying masters in publishing to begin, so you’re just bringing on a. You know, revenue per stream or just general from what you’re getting from streaming or on the other side, you’re just massive, like Drake or someone like that. And your billions of streams per year brings in plenty of money. But for a lot of other artists, it ends up being either A, a loss leader if you’re focusing solely on streaming or a, or you’re leaving money on the table some type of way. So I feel like that approach is something that makes sense for a bunch of. On the investing side though, I have a few questions on this, but the first one, on the investing side though, how do you feel like the appetite will be for, let’s say an artist does have early investors, the likelihood for those investors to be folks who are accredited, folks that just wanna be able to get a return, versus people who are actual fans of that artist. Any thoughts on what that mix may look like for the average artist that’s going through the web? Growth cycle and the rep do growth curve?

[00:30:19] Cooper Turley: Yeah. I mean, I can speak on this from the artist seed round that we’re doing right now. Every investor in that round has been an active collector of this artist for many, many months. Prior to that, they all have personal relationships with the artist. You know, they may be an accredited investor, but they’re not just bringing capital. They’ve been active and supportive of this artist’s career way before the seed round even started. And so I think if we zoom out, there will definitely be situations. Investors just want to put in a couple hundred grand and not really worry about getting involved on the ground floor. But given how early it is right now, most of the investors who are interested in participating in these capital markets are ones who want exposure to both NFTs and to the artist equity. And so I think that over time, collectors to me are a little bit closer to like early investors. Think about them like almost angels or sort of like seed round investors. Over time, collectors will start to mirror more fan behavior. But I think for right now, a lot of the collectors I know, they’re just excited to get exposure to an artist’s career and to go and support them more so than they are to really go to their show or to buy their merchandise, et cetera. And I think that’s where a lot of the pushback comes for web through music is like, oh, these people aren’t actually fans. They’re just, you know, buying NFTs. But if you zoom into what that means, it’s almost a different form of fandom where they’re providing capital to be able to have exposure to an artist’s career. And their expectations are a lot less on the fan side. I need you to collaborate with this artist. I want you to put out this type of music. It’s more so like, Hey, we just wanna support you and your career however we can. Because the more that you’re able to identify your vision and create a brand around it, the more valuable our NFTs are going to become. And so it’s a very mutual relationship I think hasn’t really existed in music in the past.

[00:31:50] Dan Runcie: You’re really getting at this aspect of community and how artists can foster that, how they can build around them. We’ve seen the power of that in the SoundCloud era, so we’ve seen a lot of these things happening and what streaming in general has enabled to happen. What are some of the success stories that stand out to you when you’re thinking about artists to be like, oh yeah, they’ve nailed community, or they’re nailing community, like that’s how you do it.

[00:32:13] Cooper Turley: Yeah. I would say a couple artists to check out. Daniel Allen, I think has done a fantastic job of this in the web three space. Latasha who started something called Zora Topia has done a fantastic job at this Early nft. Artists like Matt Cha os. Grady bloody white. I mean, the list goes on and on, but basically you see. The small pocket of artists that are really making web through a centerpiece for their career, and they’re leveraging that into creating more community conversation. Where typically all these artists have a collector chat where once you’ve bought a music nft, you can get into a private chat with that artist. It’s typically 20 people, 25 people, and that artist is in there every day saying like, Hey, what do you guys think about this demo? Hey, I’m thinking about dropping a song next week. Which one do you like more? What do you think I should do for the supply? Do you think we should do an airdrop? And that conversation is a lot more interactive. And I think in a lot of ways artists have typically maintained separation from their fans to kind of uphold this like form of mystery and this like storytelling aspect. But what I’m seeing now is that collectors are getting really close to the artists that they know and love, and those artists are realizing that for a very specific demographic of their audience, they can be very value added, asked the right questions. And so instead of just doing a meet and greet or doing like, you know, 50 people standing in line to say hi, back to back for an hour and a half, it’s like, hey, if we wanna have a valuable conversation about the future of my career, These other people that I can turn to, cause I know they have exposure to my brand and they actually typically have experience That’s very valuable and it’s something that I think is gonna happen more and more with the next generation of collectors to come.

[00:33:37] Dan Runcie: Yeah, I think that’s a good way to just think about the framing of it, right? Meet and greets can be great, but it’s so transactional. It is really isn’t an opportunity. And it kind of has a bit of this like hierarchical thing. Like, oh, I paid $500 extra at this concert to like take a picture with you. Versus no, like if you’ve really been with this person, then how can you help shape that in the same way that someone that was really early on can? So I feel like there’s so many principles there and there’s so much that aligns with, especially on the financial side. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the marketing side of it, because I know that’s a piece that a lot of artists have had questions about, but I also think that we’ve seen from. Project specifically with Web three projects like outside of music where whether it is the creator themselves who’s been able to market or get the word out effectively, or they’ve been able to just find ways to build their distribution themselves. What are some of the ways that you’ve seen artists who’ve been successful on the Web three Path have been able to replicate, or at least make up for some of the marketing that they would get from a major record label, but otherwise they’re recreating on their own.

[00:34:47] Cooper Turley: I think it starts from the story, you know, like first of all, what is the music that you’re releasing and what is the story behind that? But more importantly, like what is the narrative with how you’re using the technology? And so almost fusing together like the creative side with the tech side, you know, whether this be something as simple as like creating your own artist website where people are mentioning s from, or it’s something like, hey, we’re using on chain splits to reward and compensate. 15 different contributors, five of which didn’t touch the music, but were helpful in the development or the project management or the visual assets, et cetera. You know, I think there’s new creative channels to help bring more people into the table, but I would say generally Twitter is kind of the main resource for all web three artists. You know, the ones that I see doing really well are typically putting out tweet storms, talking a lot about the drops that they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how they’re doing it. I see a lot of artists doing these sort of collector chats and more private investor relationships. If they have a bigger release coming out, it’s not only about posting the tweetstorm, it’s also about going and finding time to talk to some of your bigger collectors one on one and being like, Hey, what do you think about this? How can I get you involved? What are some feedback you would have on this drop? Are you excited or not excited? And I think typically with music, traditionally, how it’s released, Artist makes a song, they have their internal team, and then they put it out to the world. And when it’s out to the world, everyone forms an opinion on it. With Web three music, a lot of the time, there’s a lot more happening behind the scenes before the release actually comes out, so that when it is time for one of these releases to happen, you start to see these things sell out because there was a lot of work put into the record before it came out, and that’s not untraditional from typical music, but I think the difference there. Active conversations with your collectors is very new. You know, typically it’s like people around a table at a major label that are talking about like, how are we gonna market on TikTok? But this is different because it’s going and having very direct conversations with the people that are supporting you the most. And in aggregate that sort of. Neural net of all these different people talking about your drop in tandem. It creates this sort of network effect where when it does come out, there’s almost a rippling effect that helps to make the drop become more successful. And I think that’s something that I’m seeing being replicated time and time again.

[00:36:44]  Dan Runcie: And I know that, as you mentioned, Twitter has been a great space for artists to be able to share things. There’s so much. There’s so many people in the one three community that are active there, and I think have added to a lot of the discussion and narrative around it. But as someone who’s active on Twitter myself, I know how small sometimes those circles can feel. What other platforms or what other areas are you seeing some of these conversations happen, and how long do you think until we’re starting to see it not just becoming necessarily a Twitter thing, but it is expanding to more platforms and it’s becoming a bit more of. Early majority, at least being able to catch on.

[00:37:22] Cooper Turley: I think it’ll be Twitter for the foreseeable future. You know, I think that’s just where the vast majority of Web three people live. And I think it’s actually the one social platform where you can talk about Web three and not get ridiculed for it. You know, I think across nft, TikTok, et cetera, it’s very taboo to talk about NFTs, and I don’t think that those users are really as tapped into sort of like the valuable aspects of Web three. And so I think for the immediate future, let’s call it the next one to two. Twitter, I think is gonna be the source for all of that. And to your point, some of these communities do feel very small, but I think that’s actually one of the biggest differences with Web three. You know, I think with traditional marketing platforms, we optimize for impressions, we optimize for plays, for eyeballs, et cetera. On Twitter, if you have 50 people that are consistently showing up to each of your drop, you’re doing an amazing job. You know, I think that this is the biggest thing that shows why Web three is valuable is you don’t need to have a million monthly listeners to make a couple thousand bucks. If you have 25 people that are willing to come and support you, you can make the same amount of money and have a deeper relationships with those individuals. And so I always say to artists, Even if you’re only getting three, five reactions on your tweets every single time, that’s very impressive because the benchmark to move the needle and Web three is a lot lower because every individual person is much more active and the quality of those conversations is much higher than what you could expect from a TikTok, Instagram, et cetera.

[00:38:36] Dan Runcie: And I think in general, like with those platforms, you’re more likely to reach people who are just casually following or passively engaging versus whether if you’re already in that audience that’s Twitter, you’re likely reaching a more active fan base to begin with. And it gets to this whole concept of where can you not just reach followers, but reach people who are actual fans of their music? And a lot of the platforms that have grown tremendously large in the past few. Are much more overindexed on followers and less overindexed or or under indexed rather on true fans.

[00:39:08] Cooper Turley: Yeah. And so there’s still a lot to be done there. You know, I do believe there’s a world in which artists that are using Web three and music NFTs become viral acts that have fans in the traditional sense. I try not to like focus on that too much because there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get there. I think that will happen, but I don’t think it’s healthy to think. What that looks like today, because frankly, we’re just far away from it, you know? And I think for me, helping an artist get a thousand collectors is much more important to me than how do they get 10 million streams on Spotify? You know, if the ladder happens, that’s great. But I think the former’s actually a lot harder to do because it’s a much smaller design space. But, you know, I think there’s something really exciting there. And a lot of the work that I do as a collector is really just educating fans on like, why would I wanna collect music? Like, why would I wanna participate on the other side of these? I think from the surface, a lot of bands got really bad experiences with NFTs because artists were just selling random drops that didn’t really have any merit to them. They didn’t actually care about the output. They were just kind of doing something to be cool at the time. But now what I’m starting to see is that these emerging artists, they really care about their NFTs. They care about them just as much, if not more, than their release strategy on Spotify. And for those demographic of artists. If you are a fan that’s looking to sort of develop a brand for yourself around. I believe that this web through music space is a great opportunity to do so. And what we’re now seeing is a very small group of music collectors who are building their entire Twitter brand around collecting drops on sound, or writing newsletters or writing mirror posts, et cetera. And I think those are the type of people that I want to try and amplify in Spotlight because it’s a very much two-sided marketplace here. And in order for these artists to be successful, you also need to have collectors that are willing to be active in these markets and see success from the music they’re collecting as well. 

[00:40:42] Dan Runcie: This is one thing that I keep in mind. More broad trends about like what’s happening in music, but I also keep it in mind with artists and creators who are trying to expand beyond the folks that they’re naturally reaching. Because if you’re only going to try to focus on the people that you naturally reach on a regular basis, it, it can work. And I do think that it’s kind of like shifting a bit of the psychology, because I think so much of us have been conditioned to just focus. Who is the next person you’re gonna reach? What is your customer acquisition cost? It’s not just artists, it’s the whole industry that’s thinking about it this way, but you can build a sustainable business if you are just focused on the pub shot reach. I know it’s a bit of that thousand true fans mentality applied to web three, but I think that there’s plenty of nuances there. And sometimes it could be less than that. Sometimes it could be more than that. But I think there’s some really unique things. One thing. Interested to hear your thoughts on though is just with artists specifically and fans and just the nature of that relationship and whether or not the tokenization of their relationship changes anything. Right. Because I feel like with fans, there’s a lot of this conception that because they don’t feel like there’s nothing that’s like financially tying them to them, maybe that brings up, you know, a different relationship than they would if they do feel actually, you know, financially tied to the. Is there any downsides or is there anything that you think of in terms of how that broader tokenization of the relationship changes any of that dynamic or expectations?

[00:42:21] Cooper Turley: I definitely think there’s downsides, and I think there’s a lot of pressure that comes with it. You know, I think for artists that are selling nfts, you need to think about new mechanisms. Like, what is my floor price? What is my volume? Is this asset trading above what I sold it for in the first place? That’s a lot of pressure, you know, and that takes a lot of time to get right. I think that over time people are gonna recognize. Collector is getting mad about floor prices. The same as a fan being mad about the type of song that you’re releasing, where that’s just kind of the name of the game. You know, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but it’s not like there needs to be a huge reliance on that. I think the one thing the artists need to focus on is actually being consistent with what they’re putting out in releasing. If you’re giving it your best effort and you’re doing things to add value back to early collections, to be able to engage with your community and doing things that show that you’re being intentional, that to me matters a lot more than like, what is the price of the tokens themselves, because I think over. We need to recognize that not all fans are the same, and it’s not like all music is only gonna exist as NFTs. What’s gonna happen is that all these songs are gonna be available on Spotify. If I’m a passive fan, I can go and just listen to that song. There’s no expectation for me to ever have a financial relationship with that artist. But the new unlock here is if I wanna go deeper on that relationship. This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I believe many others do. I can now collect something that represents a limited version of that song. And for other people that are excited about that artist’s career. Not only can we share on our Instagram story, we can now go into a private collector’s chat and say, Hey, I was able to pick up this sold out drop. I was able to pick up one of their early rookie cards, and I think what we start to see is that the fan base gets a little bit more. It’s delineated across different verticals where there’s some vans who are just showing up to a concert, you know, all the time. I go into GA at a show and I’m like, how do I get these people to buy music and FT use? And the reality is most of them probably never will because they just wanna go and have a good time. They wanna party and forget about their nine to five job. And that’s perfectly fine. But I think for the small subset of people who are really passionate about music, those active listeners being able to answer into these more deeper relationships, it’s really gonna empower curation in a very new way. And I think the analog I would make here, Sites like Height Machine really drove the success of SoundCloud in a very massive way. You know, there was a demographic of curators who were saying, Hey, we love this type of music. There was all these different blogs, like This song is sick, you know, all these EDM blogs, pigeons and planes, et cetera. They were adding cultural zeitgeist to these songs. And I think the financialization of these assets is not only gonna incentivize people to wanna curate and write about these different article. It’s actually gonna give them the means to sustain themselves on the back of doing so. Or if I’m a curator who’s really successful at identifying talent, I don’t need to go work for a major label as an a and r because I can simply spin up a newsletter on sub stack, go and look at the drop calendar on sound, xyz, and then the event that I’m able to really identify. Successful drops, I can actually start to make a living on the back of my taste. I think that’s something that hasn’t really existed before and something that I’m personally really excited to see happen more and more in the industry at large.

[00:45:08] Dan Runcie: That last piece is huge because it makes me think back to the blog era, especially at hip hop with just. How popular it was when, whether it was sites like Two Dope Boys or Now, right. And their influence on being able to have a mix tape that they’re putting out. They’re putting their stamp for approval. They’re the media channel that’s sharing the tape, that’s being released from Dap Piff and being like, Hey, here is this new kid Cutty record that you need to listen to a kid named Cutty. You know, this is the mix tape. Check it out. Or the cool kids, or Charles Hamilton or whoever, one of these artists, The difference though, is that even though the artists in the blog era and the people who ran these websites in the blog era were so influential, and I think at a time they even had more influence than the major record labels did. They didn’t capture the upside. They created the culture. They created the influence, but they didn’t capture the upside. This allows that to happen in a way. The next version of Two Dope Boys could essentially be the one to, like you said, they could start up a newsletter, they could be able to release this and be like, Hey, I’m the one that is putting this investment in and then this is gonna stay there from here on out. That’s something that’s really special. And to be honest, I don’t feel like there’s enough discussion around that. So I’m glad you brought that point up.

[00:46:26]  Cooper Turley: Absolutely. And I think the one, the one thing I wanna zoom in on there, That doesn’t require the artists to sell any of their masters. You know, them putting out 25 editions of a collectible song that a curator can go and buy and then help spread the word about within their pockets. There’s no conversation around like, what percentage master publishing does this curator now have? Do I need to bring them into my creative decision, et cetera. It’s a new market that now exists on the back of taste and curation, and I think in a lot of ways, music NFTs get pushed back cause they say, oh, you don’t actually own the rights. Why do these things have value in the first place? I’m a big believer that community has a lot of value to it. You know, I don’t think that art needs utility or needs IP ownership or Masters or publishing to be valuable. I think these curators are able to tell very compelling stories about the impact that music has and being able to add a new market into the equation through music and fts, it really unlocks a new mechanism for artist fandom that I think is very simple to understand. I don’t think the average fan will be able. Rationalize what a master or a publishing right looks like. But I think they can understand what a rookie card or what a limited edition of songs looks like. And so I’m very excited to watch these markets mature. And I think that ties back into why the fund is collecting music, NFTs, cuz we believe that. More people are going to be able to understand what it means to own a collectible than they are going to know what it means to own masters or publishing. And so you sort of have these two different sides of the equation. I think they can both work in T and in unison with one another to make the aggregate music market more valuable as a whole.

[00:47:51] Dan Runcie: And I think your fun will be a, a test to see how well that works. So, It’ll, it’ll be, it’ll be fascinating. I feel like the structures make sense. You have each day, each piece of it there. I’ll be very interested to see what the returns end up being like for each of those categories. Right. Of course, you know, most of the fund is looking at your precede and seed stage music and web three startups, so I assume that it’s naturally gonna be what the expectations would be for any young startup. But I’m very interested to see what those expected multiples or the exits will be for the NFTs and then, The artists seed round investments themselves. 

[00:48:26] Cooper Turley: Absolutely. I will say that the vast majority of the fund is going into web three companies, but time and time again, people get really excited about this idea of investing in artists. Again, do not have the answers whatsoever, but. I’m noticing people are really excited about that ballpark. So I’m excited to at least start that trend with this first fund here and in the future. I’m hoping that we can create playbooks for many artists who don’t even use nft, use their web three to also start to enter in these agreements as well. But you know, I’m really excited about it. You know, like I said, I’ve been in music for 10 years, crypto for the last five. I feel like this fund is a great way for me to really fuse those two passions together. And it’s a very small market right now, but if you made it this far in the episode, I hope that this is something of interest to you and I would love to keep the conversation going if you have more.

[00:49:06] Dan Runcie: Definitely. Before we wrap things up and let you go, one of the quotes you had mentioned, you referenced this earlier, the conversation too, that we’re not at the point in Music Web three, where Drake is gonna come through and drop an album or a Bieber or a Post Malone or one of those artists. If you had to pick a year that you think that will happen though, what year would you pick?

[00:49:26] Cooper Turley: Uh, 2025. Okay. And I think what’s gonna happen is that a lot of the biggest artists in the world will just happen to have NFTs under the hood. You know, I don’t think it’s gonna be like one of those major superstars doing their first drop as NFTs. I think there’s like a developing culture of artists right now that are gonna really gain a lot of momentum over the next couple of years. And when they release that major album, you’re gonna look back and see that their first songs actually happen to be minted as the collection of 25. A lot of major artists are really excited about this. You know, I spend a lot of my time talking to artists who are currently signed to deals that are saying, Hey, I wanna drop, but I can’t because the major label doesn’t let me. And I think what’s gonna happen is that major labels are gonna wake up to how valuable these early collections can be. And instead of blocking their artists from doing these drops in the first place, they’re gonna start to really ramp up and get engaged with them too. So instead of just like, how do we put this album out on Spotify? It’s gonna be, how do we develop a relationship with these platforms and onboard our catalog into the. So the biggest thing that I see as a question mark for web three is do we recreate the same systems of Volt? You know, is there going to be a world in which the major labels are just driving the vast majority of NFT sales? I think you’re already seeing early examples of this like Warner’s partnership with Open Sea, and one thing that I think is really important for us to recognize is that artist independence is very, very valuable. You know, I think that artists owning their own rights and knowing how to run their own companies and run their own business is extremely valuable. And so I’m hopeful that there’s a world in. Artists can coexist with labels in a more free form matter. You know, I’m hoping that there’s a world where artists can upstream their most viral song to a label, but still retain the rest of their catalog. But I think what’s gonna happen over the next year or two is there’s going to be. A shuffling of different power dynamics from artists to label relationships. And I think the most forward thinking labels are gonna recognize that it’s okay to give up a little bit of control so that an artist can run their business more properly. And if you have 20% of the biggest artists in the world, that’s probably more valuable than having 80% of someone who’s not really doing much with their career. And so I’m eager and excited to see what those relationships look like and hopefully try and, you know, form some of those early stage relationships along the way.

[00:51:41] Dan Runcie: But it’s to your point, yeah, they would rather have 20% of that than 80% of the field at this point, so, mm-hmm. , I think we’ll see more of that and actually we’ll see more of that, not just involving multimedia, but involv. More merging technology. So yeah, it’s only a matter of time. 2025 is earlier than I thought you were gonna say, but things move quick, so we’ll keep the, we’ll keep an eye out for it.Cool. Absolutely. Yeah. Thanks for coming on. This is great.

[00:52:07] Cooper Turley: Thank you, man. I just wanna say, I really appreciate this podcast because you’re so well versed when it comes to both the music side, the tech side, and the financial side. I think that it’s, Um, difficult for me to find pockets to really talk about the financialization of music. You know, there’s a lot of pushback that comes from it, but you know, the way you structured this conversation I think really gives a clear picture of why I’m excited about more of the financialization of music. I think it gives a lot of credence to emerging artists and sort of the way I’m thinking about collecting. So really appreciate you making this happen. I think it was a fantastic episode. I’m excited to share with all my friends.

[00:52:37] Dan Runcie: Likewise, no. These are the conversations that need to happen, right? The more that people can talk about it, the more it just gets in the open and the faster things get to where it should be.So thank you for making the time. This is great. 

[00:52:49] Cooper Turley: Yeah. The last thing I’ll say here in closing, I write a weekly newsletter called This Week in Music, NFTs. If you’re interested in any of this conversation,

every Monday I publish a short edition that talks about upcoming drops, top stories, bonus read from the community. So if you’re looking to get more involved in the web three space, that’s where I’d recommend getting started. And then if you are a founder or an artist that’s building something and looking for investment, the best place to reach me is via email coop Coop records xyz. But again, thank you so much for having me, man. This was a fantastic conversation. I really appreciate your time.

[00:53:18] Dan Runcie: Thank you. And if you’re not following him on Twitter and you reactive on Twitter, make sure you do that. What’s your Twitter handle?

[00:53:23] Cooper Turley: Twitter is at kooopatroopa. Good stuff. Thanks man. Thanks for having me.

Dan Runcie

Dan Runcie

Founder of Trapital

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