Upgrade Your Pre-Save Game

PLUS: Deep dive on Sound features. What makes music rare.

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Welcome, artists & builders. Only 1 month into Where Music’s Going & we already have 3,500 readers!

Today we get into pre-release campaigns & changes to the leading music NFT marketplace. But 1st, a quick note on what makes music rare.

Inside Issue #6

💡 Context: What makes music rare?
🦁 In The Wild: Upgrade your pre-save strategy
📊 Numbers: Music vs. TV streaming
🤿 Deep Dive: Sound’s new & upcoming features


What Makes Music Rare?

Artists have long used scarcity & rarity with tangible goods and experiences:

→ Signed & numbered posters
→ Surprise performances
→ Limited edition vinyl
→ Concert pre-sales
→ Underplays

But not so much with music directly.

Artists are now attempting to return scarcity to music through NFTs, but there is a misconception on what makes music rare.

Rare Isn't Just Limiting Supply

Rare isn’t one-of-one.

Release an average song in an uninspired package without a real connection to your audience — call it a one-of-one all you want, but that’s one-of-millions.

Average is plentiful. And demand determines scarcity.

Something is rare because it's original, authentic, connects with us, inspires us, and is of high quality.

Limiting Things Can Work

But only after someone wants the thing to begin with. A limited edition poster works when the art is beautiful, the print quality is premium, the artist is beloved & it captures a moment of magnitude for a fan.

It’s knowing 500 of your fans demand something special, understanding what that may be, then delivering on the best possible vision of it.

Bring that mentality to digital collectibles. Deliver what is truly rare.



Goodbye Pre-saves. Enter Forever Saves.

PrettyBoy D-O is a Nigerian artist making waves as a frontrunner of the alté scene.

Leading into his 1st release in almost a year, D-O's team wanted to mobilize his global fanbase in a way that:

  1. Benefitted future releases,

  2. Turned passive fans into engaged fans,

  3. Collected data to understand the engaged fanbase.

D-O began teasing the song's music video, in which he loses an eye, prompting fans to respond with photos with an eye covered.

In conjunction, he set-up a Forever Save using Symphony, where in addition to pre-saving “KoroKoro”, his fans could subscribe to saving future releases on DSPs using their email.

D-O updated fans via group chats on IG, WhatsApp & Twitter on the number of saves - and set milestones for them to keep breaking his records.

The Results:

“Korokoro” Forever Save Campaign Stats

With 52% of pre-savers opting into Forever Saves & 44% subscribing to emails, this is a huge win in helping fans discover D-O’s future releases without running new campaigns to reach them each time.

👉 Capture pre-release energy in a way that is less ephemeral & more sustainable.

Pretty Boy D-O’s team has given Where Music’s Going readers access to their full marketing timeline → Check it out.

2 more notes on forever saves:

  1. Make sure fans know what they’re signing up for & can unsubscribe, or you risk ruining the relationships you are trying to build.

  2. I am skeptical of pre-saves in general. But, pre-saving for all your songs & acquiring email addresses is something I can get behind.


Music vs TV Streaming

Spotify generates only 27% of Hulu’s revenue per hour consumed.

I have mixed feelings.

I stole this week’s stat from my friend Conor Healy & his great piece Spotify: Superior Product Seeking Pricing Power.


Sound Opens Up

Sound is opening its doors to all artists in 3 months.

The platform, which has emerged as the leading music NFT marketplace, has only onboarded select artists up to this point.

How is Sound adapting to opening up & changing dynamics around song collectibles (and the appetite for them)?

Let’s review Sound’s many new features & what’s planned ahead:


  • Sign-in with Email: Part of an effort to become approachable to non-web3 natives. Previously you could only use your wallet. You still need a wallet to transact.

  • Listen Before Drop: Personally, I liked how a listening party upon the drop of a song created a shared moment with artists & fans. We have so few of those anymore. But this gives buyers more opportunity to sample & discover.

  • Curator Rewards: Earn 5% on sales generated through your referral links. Love the spirit of this - rewarding curation & making it more social. I imagine leaderboards on this at some point, showing who has driven new fans to artists & celebrating making an impact.

  • Sound Swap: One-click collect & sell editions using a liquidity pool. This is in an effort to not limit the reach of a song while still rewarding being early. This speaks more heavily to the trading than collecting aspect of the experience.

  • Viral Sounds: Partners with their Top Sounds. You can hop back to previous chart weeks.

  • Left Navigation Panel: A move towards easily diving into music, playlists & listening parties. More broadly, along with other changes, towards Browse & Discovery.

  • Local Activity Feeds: Adding to their existing global Activity Feed, this gives a view into activity for playlists, songs & collectors. The idea here is to foster discovery through social interactivity.

  • Custom Allowlists: This improves artist ability to choose which collectors get access to pre-sales. Core to web3 value is the ability to reward early support & interactions in any area to other areas (buy a tokenized concert ticket, get pre-sale access to drops).

  • Open Editions: Previously drops were limited to a finite number of editions (eg. only 25 available). Following larger NFT trends to unlimited supply at low prices over a limited timeframe, Sound enabled this option. Choose 1, 3, or 5 day timeframes.


  • New Homepage: Fresh coat of paint aimed at making entry points easier for all audience types.

  • Mobile App: The Sound experience has been browser only to this point. Web3 products in general suffer from poor app experiences due to limitations from Apple on blockchain transactions. But, mobile is necessary to reach music fans where they are.

  • Credit Card Payments: It’s a surprise that this has yet to be installed for a leading platform. It speaks to the type of collector-base Sound has had to this point (crypto-native heavy).

  • Layer 2: Sound is likely to add transactions using an Ethereum Layer 2 chain, in order to reduce transactions costs. Current Eth tx fees are often higher than the price of the collectible, particularly now that editions are priced much lower.

  • Rights Policies: Sound is working on policies & protocols to deal with illegal uploads & other problems that come with an open marketplace.

The common themes? Solving for the non-crypto user & discoverability.


Benbrick creates an immersive radio experience for BBC, offering a fresh perspective on the role of AI in our lives. What happens to people & societies when they’re overwhelmed with change?

I’ll leave you with..

See you next week. In the meantime, catch you on twitter: @abelowrob.

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