How musicians can sell NFTs using Public Pressure: NO CRYPTO REQUIRED
NFTs have ‘revolutionized’ the music industry as quickly as its boosters promised. But they still have an important role to play, and Brian Hazard found a service that helps make NFTs work for him and other indie musicians – NO CRYPTO REQUIRED.
by Brian Hazard of Passive Promotion
I’ve always been skeptical of cryptocurrency. Still am.
Early last year when NFTs were at max hype, I sent out an email blast to my fans declaring:
I never got around to creating NFTs, and I doubt I ever will. It would by necessity drag you into the crypto space, and I’m convinced that’s not somewhere we want to be.Signed, a hypocrite [not actually in the email]
Fast forward one year to my debut NFT release.
Fans were able to buy my track with cold hard cash, no crypto required.
That crucial distinction sets Public Pressure apart from the rest of the NFT marketplace and was the deciding factor in my testing out their service.
Public Pressure is a distribution platform that sells music and digital collectibles packaged as NFTs, which are uniquely owned and can be resold on the secondary market.
They record sales on their own “omnibus wallet,” which means anyone can make a purchase without opening a private wallet.
My Public Pressure backstory
VP of Operations Vinny Piana, a longtime reader of the blog, reached out to me way back in October. Despite my reluctance to touch anything crypto-related with a ten-foot pole, he persuaded me to give Public Pressure a shot and share my honest opinion.
And honestly, if I’d known how much time and effort it would require, I would’ve passed. It must have taken at least 20 hours, not including writing this post. To be clear, this is not “passive promotion.”
That’s not a knock on Public Pressure at all! I’m blown away at how devoted their team is to making the most of each and every drop, even from a relatively unknown artist like myself.
Over the course of three months, I was on at least a half-dozen calls.
First I had to create a wallet using an app called Metamask. That’s not required to get paid by Public Pressure, but if an owner of my song ever resells it, I’ll get a commission paid in crypto.
Next I registered on the site, filled out an artist application, and connected my wallet to my profile.
After that, I had a call with the NFT Director. We set a drop date of January 20th. I provided the track, artwork, bio, and press photos.
I was given multiple opportunities to review the exact text of the drop before granting final approval. Once it’s on the blockchain, changes are no longer possible.
One week before the drop, I had a call with the marketing team: Ray (Artist Community Growth Director), Federica (Facebook & Instagram), Yvonne (PR), Yigithan (Twitter), and Cristiano (Discord & Telegram).
What a team! I was seriously impressed to have so many people working on my behalf in so many corners of the internet.
Some of those corners didn’t end up receiving as much attention as others, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Promoting my Public Pressure drop
Giulia, the A&R Director, kept everyone on task and helped guide my efforts to promote the release.
Ray provided an email template to send to my fans that I found absolutely hilarious. Not because it was necessarily bad — it was professional enough — but because it was completely out of character for me. It closed with “rock on!”
Now I regret not sending it out verbatim to see how people would react. Talk about a missed opportunity!
The morning of the drop, we held my first ever Twitter Spaces, which is basically an audio-only chatroom. Though I don’t use Twitter much anymore, I’ve still got 2M followers from my glory days. The visibility of the live session in the app brought in a steady supply of spontaneous listeners in addition to those who purposefully tuned in.
Ray and I had a great conversation about the platform, the potential of web3, my artist history, and the story behind the track I released. The team did a great job promoting it on their profiles, both before and after the session.
We had 547 listeners in total, and it’s still available to play back here if you want to make it 548.
We followed that up with an Instagram Live, which was a ghost town by comparison. To be fair, I’ve got less than 6K followers on Instagram and Public Pressure recently migrated to a new profile.
Despite several reminders, I never heard anything back about Discord or Telegram. I installed the Telegram app on my phone though, which will come in handy if I ever decide to become a conspiracy theorist.
The first thing I saw on Telegram was a thread consisting entirely of users spamming the phrase “/PRAISE_THE_PODS.” How cryptic!
My Public Pressure drop
Before my drop even… dropped, it was promoted on the homepage of publicpressure.io.
Today my drop page looks like this:
As you can see, 72 NFTs have been minted to date = $216 collected. Compared to most of the offerings in their marketplace, that’s pretty good. Only free downloads tend to get more action.
I bought one myself to see how it works. You never know — it could be worth something someday!
Yay, I got #19.
Public Pressure pays the artist 80% on the 15th of each month. As promised, I received $144.82 by PayPal, which I assume is 80% minus transaction fees.
That means they received about $36 for all their efforts, which is a crime! Collectively they almost certainly devoted more time to my drop than I did. I feel guilty!
Is Public Pressure right for you?
To be fair, I was essentially promoting with one hand tied behind my back.
I hinted at future perks for owners but didn’t commit to any. I didn’t offer a compelling argument for why fans should pay $3 for this particular track while the rest are $1 on Bandcamp. I could have promised remixes, offered stems, provided early access to my next release — the sky’s the limit!
But I wasn’t willing to offer anything exclusive because I’m already fully committed to my patrons on Patreon. In fact, they already had the track months before the drop.
Public Pressure even offered to grandfather in my patrons on the platform, but I don’t think many of them would bother creating an account.
So that’s me. What about you?
If you’ve got a fanbase but haven’t attempted to monetize them, Public Pressure offers an ideal forward-looking platform to do just that, and they’ll hold your hand every step of the way.
They’ll connect you with their crypto community and help promote your drop on all major platforms, with an emphasis on Twitter and Discord where web3 fans congregate.
I’m really surprised they don’t charge an up-front fee or at least take a bigger percentage, considering how much work is involved!
While my results didn’t exactly rock the platform (rock on!), the best is yet to come for Public Pressure.
They’ve got a drop with fashion brand Diesel next month, and they’ve already got a presence in the Metaverse, which is what “/PRAISE_THE_PODS” refers to. The pods are in-game wearable headphones.
Check out this immense Public Pressure city in Minecraft, which takes four hours to cross!
Some artists even have their tracks available as collectibles in a Metaverse game!
Like I said before, the sky’s the limit. We’ve only begun to realize the promise of web3, and I don’t even feel qualified to talk about it so I’ll shut up now.
Brian Hazard is a recording artist with over twenty years of experience promoting a dozen Color Theory albums, and head mastering engineer and owner of Resonance Mastering in Huntington Beach, California. His Passive Promotion blog emphasizes “set it and forget it” methods of music promotion. Catch more of his promotional escapades in his How I’m Promoting My Music This Month email newsletter.