Update 17 February 2023: Following word from the AnotherBlock team that OpenSea’s automated system had delisted the project without notifying the team, an AnotherBlock representative noted on Discord this week that the collection was halted due to a market policy that NFTs that promise fractional ownership and future profit are not allowed. The Rihanna NFTs are still tradable on AnotherBlock’s own marketplace as well as on Blur, but holders have raised concerns about OpenSea’s restrictions affecting the collection’s floor price, claiming it has dropped in value. 

The recent Super Bowl LVII — the championship game of the National Football League in the U.S. — was notable not so much because of who won (the Kansas City Chiefs, besting the Philadelphia Eagles by three points) or the commercials (which included a not-so-surprising lack of crypto ads), but because of its halftime show, featuring Rihanna.

And while the buzz surrounding the superstar performer’s first public appearance in six years has died down somewhat in recent days, it continues to attract headlines.

Three days before the Super Bowl, music producer Deputy — who has previously collaborated with the likes of Ye (Kanye West), Travis Scott, and Wondagurl — announced an NFT release with AnotherBlock of Rihanna’s 2015 song, “Bitch Better Have My Money.” 

Deputy announced the release on Instagram with the caption, “BBHMM NFT drop tomorrow. Diversify the💰,” elaborating that the partnership with AnotherBlock will allow holders will receive partial streaming royalties of the song, granted from 0.99 percent of future streaming royalties. Each holder will receive “a portion of 0.0033 percent of the streaming royalties” for the song, said AnotherBlock.

The first royalty payout is expected on February 16th, with holders receiving payments every six months. Holders are also expected to gain access to unique artwork, a custom music track, and a legal contract specifying terms of the streaming royalties. 

Why it Matters

Other music NFT services have been gaining popularity in recent months. Among the more high-profile of these include Catalog, a primary marketplace for single-edition music NFTs and Sound.xyz, a music NFT minting platform, along with Royal, a music tokenization platform founded by DJ and entrepreneur Justin “3LAU” Blau.

Royal made headlines in 2021 when it raised $16 million and launched a music rights marketplace in November 2022. Artists like The Chainsmokers and Diplo have tokenized their music and also given fans a cut of the royalties. 

The recent Rihanna NFT drop isn’t the first, but it certainly won’t be the last.

When the track was released, it went triple platinum, hit the top 10 in eight countries, and was dubbed one of the 200 essential songs of the 2010s by Pitchfork. Currently, the track has over a billion streams across various platforms, according to a press release

News of this NFT drop increased streams of the song on Spotify by nearly 2,600 percent, according to Deputy. Artists and producers may be quick to latch on to the potential of incentivizing more streams through NFT drops from existing as well as new fans.

It won’t be a surprise if, in the near future, Spotify decides to collaborate with artists to offer premium users and ‘top 1%’ listeners special NFTs like they already do with concert tickets and discounts. 

AnotherBlock’s mint quickly sold out, generating $63,000 in revenue. Each NFT was listed for $210, which places a total value of $6.36 million on the song’s streaming royalties. According to AnotherBlock’s estimates, the “probable” returns on the NFT could reach about 6.5 percent per year, or just $14 annually. This means it will take a buyer roughly 15 years to recoup their original payment. 

In other words, this is more about the PR and dedication to Rihanna than the money. As Deputy said in a press release: “As a fan, you get a certain attachment to an artist or a song. When you get an opportunity to own a part of a song, it’s a game changer. It creates a whole different realm of being connected, outside of streaming or concerts.”