LabelDAO Grant Application

Hey Metacartel!

I’m David and one of the founders of LabelDAO. @jamesyoung recommended we pitch.

LabelDAO
LabelDAO is the first community funded record label. LabelDAO allows Members to pool capital, invest in unsigned artists, and share in any proceeds from the signings.

Description
The thing that makes LabelDAO different from other record labels is that we’re enabling anyone who has a deep love for music, not just music industry insiders, to be at the forefront of pop culture by finding and developing the next superstar. We see a future where are many types of labelDAO ranging from geographic (i.e. Atlanta DAO for funding Atlanta artists) or event Artist LabelDAO’s (OVO Records / Drake’s Label as a DAO amongst Drake and his fans.

Manifesto/Vision
The future of the music industry is collectives of artists and fans, investing and working alongside one another in the next generation of musicians. Soon, being a True Fan will be a full-time paid job.

2021 is the year that investing became mainstream culture. WallStreetBets taught people about investing, internet communities, and making money together. Culture then became investing. With NFTs, you could now invest in culture via digital art. The next step is combining the two where investing is culture and culture is investing

Problem
Discovery crisis: There’s more music than ever (40K tracks per day uploaded to Spotify) but the methods of talent scouting have largely remained unchanged

  1. Major Labels are centralized organizations largely based in LA with an A&R (talent scouting) staff that relies mainly on gut, the same talent discovery process that existed prior to the internet.
  2. Streaming Services have no incentive to “break” a new artist, they make the same amount of money off any stream no matter the artist.
  3. People often think spotify/soundcloud/apple “break artists”. Each of their most trafficked playlists are centralized (owned, maintained by spotify) and have almost entirely major label artists on those playlists.

Predatory Financing: Record Label contracts are opaque and lopsided in favor of the label, largely due to lack of alternatives

  1. Opaque: The artist often has never negotiated a contract, undervalues their project, and has no idea what a mechanical royalty is. Most artists in label deals do not even know what the terms of their deal are or when they are finished “recouping”
  2. Lopsided: Imagine taking out a mortgage from a bank to purchase the home, paying 5-6x the amount that was loaned out to you, and the bank owning your home even after paying off all your debt!
  3. Lack of Alternatives: Outside of major labels, artists don’t have many other options for $$ for their project, making it challenging to turn down these offers

Building initial fanbase: Outside of making good music, artists’ biggest hurdle to getting their music heard is building their fanbase

  1. The services labels are best at (Radio, Spotify Play-listing) are only accessible for songs / artists that have traction (i.e. a fanbase)
  2. Labels are no longer consumer facing brands as they used to be

Solution
LabelDAO will a transparent label where its staff are financially and emotionally invested in their artists. Artists demand a financial infrastructure that is as open and accessible as the internet itself. By having an open application / voting system, LabelDAO is clear about how we make decisions on who we “sign”. Contracts will be standardized and public (think YC SAFE note), and marketing task to promote our artists will be open to the public.

Product

  1. LabelDAO announces itself as a Media/Curation DAO with the mission to help 1 million artists live off their art and launches token gated discord
  2. LabelDAO will act as a curation DAO
  • At signing we release an NFT at the artist level
  • Every new release we drop an NFT associated w that song / album
  • DAO receives a copy of NFT stored in vault
  1. Application process similar to Mirror’s write race: where the top artist gets signed to labelDAO voted on by the community
  2. Create task based system similar to Bucket-List-As-a-Service incentivized by $LABEL reward.

Validation
We already have an agreement with ADA (Warner Music Group independent distribution arm) to distribute the music and have secured Craig Kallman (CEO of Atlantic Records) as an advisor alongside Brandon Silverstein (Normani, Anitta, Lauv), Tunde Balogun (Summer Walker, 6lack), and Jesse Coren (Jeremy Zucker, Chelsea Cutler)

Progress
Matt is working on the initial DAO smart contract will be ready for launch by the end of July.

Differentiation
Matt and I have the full spectrum of music industry expertise from artist to label and experience in building product across both web3 and music experiences.

Team
David Greenstein
David grew up in and around the music industry having started working at Atlantic Records at 15 and had a full time offer to join before heading to college. He has always been obsessed with where the music industry is headed, especially at the intersection of web3. More recently David served as a product manager at Pandora / SiriusXM on their music discovery product team and is a former YC founder (StreamReport) for a TikTok analytics tool that record labels used to discover emerging artists on the platform

Gigamesh
Matt is known to some as Gigamesh, the music producer/DJ alter ego he performed under for the past decade. He topped billboard charts and toured globally, but in 2017 he tumbled down the crypto rabbit hole and forged a path toward a career in Web3 by working on products for Left Field Labs, Google, and Cisco. Matt is perfectly-suited for LabelDAO, combining years of experience in the music industry with his current role at Optimism, one of the most promising Ethereum scaling ventures."

Grant Request $
$10,000 to support initial setup of LabelDAO.

Funds
No money has been raised so far.

Help
We could need help with introductions to other dapp-developers and helping build our initial community upon discord launch.

Additional Resources
Here is a comprehensive overview as a pitchdeck.

Looking forward to hear from you!