Building for artists: What you can do with the Original Works Protocol

Original Works team
April 28, 2023

The world of web3 has opened up a whole new realm of opportunities for artists and creators. This is what we’re most excited about at the Original Works Protocol: giving artists and rights holders new opportunities to take control of their royalty streams, gain transparency, connect to fans and open new financial options for them.

Building for artists

We’re artists and music distributors ourselves. We know the problems artists face in the music industry: slow payment cycles, lack of transparency over royalty flows, inability to gain liquidity, advances, or raise capital for future work, and last but not least a limited way to engage with fans. 

The Original Works protocol is built to address all of these pain points and enable artists to gain leverage and freedom in how the royalties they earn from their music are used. It’s about self sovereignty royalties.  

At the core of the Original Works protocol is a smart contract which governs your royalties: the Original Works Royalty Token, also known as a ‘RT’.

You create this asset in collaboration with your distributor. The creation of the RT is simply you letting your distributor know “hey! I want to be paid my royalties from song X into my RT instead of via Paypal”. Your distributor looks into it for you and signs the RT so that the world can know that “yup! Indeed this RT belongs to you, the artist, and I will now send future royalties to it”.

Artists can leverage a Royalty Token in many ways

It’s this building of trust that unlocks other options and exciting opportunities for artists. Now that royalties are being sent into a smart contract at regular intervals, you can decide what to do with them:

  1. Split the royalties among collaborators or anyone! It’s easy to split funds from an RT smart contract. Simply assign different people you’d like to receive a portion of the royalties and watch the RT take care of the rest. These can be collaborators on the music, friends, family, fans or really anyone you want. 
  2. Use your RT as collateral to receive cash advances! An often heard artist request is to receive cash advances from distributors in lieu of future revenue, which while sounding simple, isn’t that easy. By collateralizing an RT, artists can now access capital beyond their distributor - from financial markets and participants with interest in offering advances specifically for artists in their tiers. RTs and the Original Works protocol are helping to create a new financial asset class - the tokenized music royalty stream.
  3. Pre-sale future royalties to fans and investors! Artists often want to engage with fans and investors by letting them own a future portion of a specific creation's royalties. RTs enable this to be coded into an RT, enabling artists to leverage their future work in the present and engage more deeply with their fans, communities and investors.
  4. Increased transparency into the flow process, speed and fees taken by different players in the music industry regarding a songs royalties. 

Overall, the Original Works Protocol is a game-changer for the music industry. It gives artists and rights holders more control over their royalties and provides them with more opportunities to monetize their work in new and exciting ways. If you're an artist or rights holder, the Original Works Protocol is definitely worth checking out.