Until now, artists have had to choose between scarcity and reach.
Limited editions (scarcity) optimize for exclusivity but limit a song’s ability to grow after selling out. Open editions and free mints (reach) can expand your audience and make collecting music more accessible, but make it difficult to capture value.
Both models are useful to the artist strategy, but what if there was a way to combine them and get artists paid for both?
We’re proud to launch Tiers, allowing artists to incorporate different rarity levels and give fans a way to support you forever.
Inspired by Matthew Chaim’s “Canon, Collectibles, and Copies,” Tiers is a new drop format with:
A Limited Edition at the core, ensuring there’s an exclusive, valuable heart to your song.
A Forever Edition built on top to maximize reach (a free mint + artist mint fee).
The best part is, artists get paid for both.
Here’s how it works.
The Forever Edition is always available so your fans can collect and support you whenever they discover your music, long after the initial drop.
Forever Editions are the most accessible way for fans to support their favorite artists, signal their taste, get access to the artist communities and be part of your journey. This tier is like a POAP — proof that someone discovered you early and a digital memory of finding a new song they love.
It’s also a new way to support artists financially. The Forever Edition is free with a small mint fee that applies to every edition (0.000777 ETH) — a slight change to our previous ‘per transaction’ mint fee. A majority of that fee goes directly to the artist (0.000555 ETH). It creates a pay-what-you-want model, allowing fans to show patronage, as much as they want, forever, and move up the audience section as they buy more.
But there’s a twist.
There’s no audio in the Forever Editions.
We started Sound with a belief that music has value and that artists deserve to set the price for their art. Therefore, music will be reserved for the exclusive Limited Edition where artists choose the price and supply and collectors get priority status in the audience seating chart.
NFTs don't always have to be used for music - it can also be a way for fans to continue supporting their favorite artists every time they mint.
Limited Editions are the only way for collectors to own the music. It’s exclusive and scarce, and the artist has full control of the price and supply.
Limited edition collectors get priority seating in the audience, exclusive artwork and the chance to win the coveted golden egg: a unique 1:1 edition of the song that’s randomly rewarded once the Limited Edition sale ends. This tier is for the super-collectors within the Sound community that value the rarity of scarce editions.
Artists can also get creative and add their own perks for limited edition collectors, such as access to exclusive fan chats, discounted merch, tickets and many other fan benefits. The perfect balance?
With Tiers, music can be both scarce and widespread. It can be both expensive and accessible (so we can value it like art). Most importantly, artists still have control over the price of their music.
Less pressure to choose the ‘right’ drop strategy - Tiers allows you to achieve reach and exclusivity in one drop, so there’s less worry about getting the perfect approach.
Drops can live longer - This model allows fans to collect and support artists forever, so the drop can grow organically as your song grows. There’s also less pressure to sell out or get a certain number of mints within a short time period. Music takes time to find the right set of ears, and Forever Editions allows for that.
Three levels of rarity in one drop - Sound is now the only place you can drop music with different rarity structures built in: Golden Egg, Limited Editions, and Forever Editions.
Get paid, no matter what - Whether fans collect a Forever Edition or a Limited Edition, artists get paid instantly, either via mint fees or from the limited sale itself.
We’re rolling this feature out over the course of this week, starting Tuesday, September 26, with a select few artists in order to pilot the feature. It will be available to all artists on Monday, October 2.
Once it’s live, you can enable a Forever Edition tier during the standard upload flow, as part of the “Drop Configuration” step.
Set your calendar alerts for the week ahead!
Tuesday: Violetta Zironi
Wednesday: LNRZ, Lyrah
Thursday: NOISE (ft. Daniel Allan)
Friday: Bloody, Mija.
It’s always been our vision to give you as many tools as possible and let you choose the strategy. Every artist is different and we firmly believe in building tools that let you escape the one-size-fits all model of Web2 platforms.
We’re excited to see how artists use Tiers to create different levels of experience for their fans, and enabling different ways for fans to support their favorite artists.
We’re just getting started.