Music streaming service Tidal is interested in exploring non-fungible tokens (NFTs), potentially as a new way to compensate artists. That’s according to Jack Dorsey, CEO of social media platform Twitter and fintech firm Square, which acquired a majority stake in Tidal earlier this year.
The remark came during a live-streamed conversation Monday between Dorsey and Shawn Carter, the rapper also known as Jay-Z, who purchased Tidal in 2015 and now sits on Square’s board of directors.
Early in the conversation, Carter mentioned support for blockchain technology. He referred to a visual artist he knew who had sold a painting for $2,500 in 1983, which was resold for over $100 million recently.
“His family or no one involved [in the art’s creation] had seen any sort of profit from that. I just don’t think that’s right. With these blockchains and these smart contracts, you can write the contract today to say ‘any sale that happens, I want to receive 10% or 30%, or it could 50% on the first one or 40% on the next,’” Carter said. “And it’s recorded there so it’s very transparent.”
He added that the NFT’s ability to forgo lawyers or labels also appeals to him. “I’m pro-artist,” Carter added. “Anything that benefits the people who consume and love art and the people who are making it, that’s what I’m interested in.”
Then Dorsey weighed in.
“You look at Bitcoin and how it enables people anywhere in the world to contribute and to become artists themselves and also to receive tips or grants or donations without having to go through any third-parties, there’s a lot of power in that,” he said. “And I think the spirit of what NFTs represent, the spirit of just looking critically at how artists are compensated and improving that is something that we want to spend a lot of time and a lot of our focus going forward to make sure that we’re just looking deeply at entirely new ways to give artists the right tools to help them and to build.”