Diplo Joins Nas With NFT Drop on Tokenized Royalties Platform Royal

The Grammy-winning DJ will be releasing his new single on the Polygon-powered site.

AccessTimeIconMar 24, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:15 p.m. UTC

Crypto music startup Royal has nabbed Diplo as its latest star, saying Thursday the DJ and electronic musician will be releasing one of his new songs on the tokenized royalties platform.

The single, “Don’t Forget My Love,” will have its royalty rights embedded in what the platform calls “Limited Digital Assets (LDA),” which are essentially Polygon-based non-fungible tokens (NFT).

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  • The platform is one of the many crypto-based projects looking to shake up the music industry, turning to blockchain and NFTs as a way to loosen the grip of major record labels.

    “Diplo is a cultural leader and innovator who always pushes boundaries. We’re incredibly stoked that his fans will have the opportunity to own a piece of his music,” Royal founder and fellow DJ Justin Blau told CoinDesk in a statement. “This drop shows there’s a real, mainstream application for blockchain technology, and the use cases extend beyond independent artists and enthusiast communities.”

    Royal will sell the collection of 2,110 Diplo LDA tokens on March 29. The token’s three tiers correspond to different percentages of ownership, with the cheapest, $99 token giving its owner 0.004% of the song’s streaming royalties and the most expensive, $9,999 tier giving 0.7%.

    Royal’s first major artist collaboration was with the famed rapper Nas back in January, who tokenized two songs on the platform after investing in the firm’s $55 million Series A last year.

    Royal has since collaborated with artists Ollie and Verite, with all three collections selling out, so far totaling 413 ether (around $1.2 million) of trade volume on secondary marketplace OpenSea.

    Of the three collections, Nas’s remains the most popular, with the lowest tier holding onto a 0.182 ETH (roughly $546) floor price at the time of writing. The tokens were initially sold for $99.

    Other platforms in the crypto music streaming genre include MODA DAO, a token governance and royalty payments mashup, and Audius, a more traditional-looking streaming site.

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    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Eli Tan

    Eli was a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.