Global payments giant, Mastercard is offering five emerging artists help and support in growing their brands in the web3 space. The Polygon-based project has been named “Mastercard Artist Accelerator”, and is set to launch this spring.

One of the key things new musicians need when building their careers is support. Kindly, Mastercard is offering this through a new blockchain project that aims to combine passion and purpose.

As someone who spent three years studying a music performance degree, I was wearied by the phrase “portfolio musician”. The idea that, in order to be successful in the modern music industry, you have to be able to do it all. Write, record, produce, mix, master, market, perform, run a business, manage finances. I was a typical twenty-something music student. Just getting out of bed before midday was demanding and tiring enough.

The reason I’m saying any of this is because, as the digital world has developed since my university days, new musicians need to do even more. It’s prudent for artists to be active on social media platforms. Connecting with fans and staying relevant is vital in a fast-paced society. These days, the blockchain presents further possibilities for connecting with audiences and fostering a both genuine and lucrative community.

Since this technology can be quite daunting and complex at first, it’s valuable to have a mentor to guide you through it. Spotting this predicament and seeking to help, Mastercard is stepping in.

Mastercard Artist Accelerator

On the 6th of January, Mastercard revealed plans via a press release, which detailed its programme to develop artists in the digital economy. Promising to harness web3 technologies on the Polygon blockchain, the programme also vows to connect artists with fans and mentors, whilst teaching them how they can maintain control over their art.

Five new musicians will be selected to take part in the immersive educational course, which kicks off this spring. The whole thing will culminate with a livestream artist showcase event sometime this year. Details around how emerging artists, coming from all over the globe, will be chosen.

For the five DJs, producers, and musicians embarking on this course, what does it actually entail?

The Mastercard Accelerator programme endeavours to equip emerging artists with the skills and tools to forge their own musical paths in the digital economy. This includes guidance around building and owning their own brand in the web3 space. Also, participants will be taught how to mint their own NFTs, represent themselves in virtual worlds, as well as establishing a dedicated and engaged community.

“Music is a universal passion, inspiring us, moving us, and bringing us together; however, it can feel impossible for budding artists to break in. With the Mastercard Artist Accelerator, we are expanding access and driving connections further with cutting-edge Web3 technology. Our vision is to bridge passion and purpose, spotlighting amazing emerging artists and creating an interactive community that allows participants to learn, experiment and grow together.”

Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.

The programme was first announced by Raja Rajamannar at this year’s CES event.

Fans Can Join Too

Not a new musician, but love music? You can get involved too! Mastercard is creating an opportunity for fans to have a seat at the table. The Mastercard Music Pass is an exclusive NFT that you can get your hands on. Ownership of this token gives you exclusive access to the Web3 x Music educational materials, as well as unique experiences, both in real life and the metaverse.

Cleverly, Mastercard has recognised that music in the web3 space works best when fans are as informed as artists. The Music Pass NFTs allow fans to develop their knowledge and skills in the space alongside their favourite artists.

Mastercard, Music & Crypto

The Mastercard Artist Accelerator programme isn’t the company’s first foray into web3 or music. Last January, Mastercard teamed up with Coinbase to enable the use of Mastercard credit cards to make NFT purchases on the Coinbase marketplace.

In October last year, Mastercard also set up a crypto fraud protection tool. This made it easier for banks to find and prevent fraud on any crypto platform within its network.

As for music, Mastercard is certainly no stranger. The global payments company has sponsored major events in the music calendar, including the GRAMMY Awards and the BRIT Awards.

The Future of Music

Why is the Mastercard Artist Accelerator programme relevant to new musicians? The landscape of the music industry feels like it shifts and changes, but with the tectonic foundations below remaining stubbornly in the same old place. Big record companies and greedy middlemen hold onto the majority of the power and reap the majority of the rewards.

Artists, particularly independent musicians attempting to forge a creative career, are beginning to revolt. The internet and music streaming has helped artists from all backgrounds share their music across the planet. However, revenue models haven’t exactly been developed in favour of independent artists. Meagre earnings make funding projects and making a living extremely tough.

Web3 solutions, like digital performances, music NFTs, and blockchain-based royalty sharing, put the control back into the hands of the artists. Smart contracts and globally accessible technology make it possible for artists to collect 100% of the revenue earned for projects. They get to decide how their art takes shape, all whilst enjoying a loyal community of fans and supporters.

Understanding how best to utilise web3 technology, in an ever-developing technological world, gives emerging and new musicians the best chance at success. If longevity and sustainability are things artists strive for in their careers, blockchain technology can help to achieve that.

Fractis is a music streaming royalty-sharing NFT marketplace, built on Solana – the most eco-friendly network. We’re working hard to become the number one choice for independent artists to connect with fans and fund projects, all whilst maintaining creative control.

Learn more about how Fractis is building for a better music industry, and sign up to get involved when we launch this year!