1000 true fans becomes 100 true partners

6 min readDec 20, 2022


Thought piece by TokenTraxx founder TommyD…

In 2008 the founder of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly, wrote a piece that highlighted that in a world obsessed with millions of social media likes and views, those numbers, in regard to real engagement and more importantly actual cold hard cash, meant nothing in the long run for creators.

He pointed out that actually if you could focus on 1000 ‘true fans’, capable of each paying you $100 over the course of a year, then you end up with $100k a year and this is a living wage. This puts food on the table and clothes on your kids’ backs and all from your creative output.

These ‘true fans’ are the ones at the front of the queue, the ones that buy the coloured vinyl album, the meet and greet just so they can get a selfie with you and all while sporting your merch, which of course they own every piece of!

But the main incentive for these true fans is they believe in you, an artist defined by your creativity and everything you stand for. You’re living their dream life and fighting their fight for them. They want to be closer than everyone else, they love the status this brings and importantly they’ll pay for it.

Kelly was actually ahead of the curve here and arguably could have been gazing into a crystal ball to where we are today. The creator economy.

But now with blockchain and NFT’s I believe you don’t need 1000 true fans…

You only need 100 and unlike ‘fans’ which to some degree is a rather one- sided affair based on the fan paying for privileges, yet not being rewarded in the long term for that engagement, you need partners, someone that has skin in the game in creating and nurturing your success.

An idea starts with its creator and as the creator the IP is theirs to trade. With the new world of Music3 the concept of music ownership is front and centre, with the right to trade that ownership in a far more equitable and fairer way than is currently available.

This ownership could be wrapped up in a rare version of a track, an exclusive piece of merch, or an ongoing VIP pass that allows access to all your gigs.

You can do this in two ways: the first is the traditional way using emails for connection and credit cards for payment. We’ve seen a huge increase in platforms like Patreon and Only Fans who use this model.

But this model relies on a trusted, yet aged system that has too many broad strokes, vague connections and limitations and once again this is a one sided trade with the fan beholden to the artist.

With NFTs on the blockchain this concept is lifted to new heights. At the heart is the blockchain structure of providence, transparency and security. Everybody can digitally prove transactions between wallet addresses, as well as any contracts that are written and all of this information is transparently available and securely stored on the Blockchain.

NFT’s aren’t a product as such, they are a bag of rules — if X happens then Y happens. This can be interpreted as a digital certificate of authentication, proof not only that the thing the NFT is attached to, is attached to the original creator but the subsequent journey that NFT goes on with different owners, through trades and transfers. This is valuable to both sides

So for example a music creator could create an edition of 100 collectable NFTs around their forthcoming single. Each one of these NFTs is unique, easily traced back to the creator and authenticated by the token. Because of this rarity each individual NFT has a starting price of $100.

Within the NFT itself, attached to the music, is exclusive never before seen artwork and access to an exclusive gated area where the artist can connect directly with the NFT owners. If the creator can ramp up the interest and value in the project within their own fan base and the wider NFT community, then there’s a good chance they may well sell out. Instantly this has generated $10,000 for the artist.

How Ed Sheeran could have supported his first single with an NFT

But here’s why we only need 100 and where NFT’s triumph over the more traditional subscription route.

Let’s say those NFTs become valuable, the creator adds some extra utility, perhaps the opportunity to claim a free T-shirt, or a backstage pass when they next come to a gig, or perhaps the artist is a young Ed Sheeran and his currency just naturally rises due to his popularity, the value of these individual NFT’s now goes up and let’s say that 50 people that bought the original at $100, sell on the secondary market for $300 each. 10% of those sales go back to the creator, that’s another $1500. Those go up again and are now changing hands at £500, that’s another $2,500 and so on and so on.

But importantly the fans have earned over $300k. Suddenly true fans become true shareholders.

And this is just one single release. What about the album? Gigs? Merchandise? Meet and greets? Their baseball camp? Even a portion of their overall income? All could have a NFT structure included.

Perhaps the Creator could do a tiered VIP membership scheme as well, like Amex, or airmiles, for the real hardcore, whereby ongoing exclusive access to them is structured either by a one off purchase, or a combination of NFT sales that when grouped together open doors. The more your fans engage, the more support you can give them. And this is digital and enshrined on the blockchain, so very easy to manage and target on every level.

What is fascinating about this model is that it runs in tandem with the current system and of course adds to whatever income you’ve been generating up to now, through streams, sales, syncs, touring and merch.

There are a number of artists where this scenario is actually happening. Violetta Zironi, Sammy Arriaga, Nifty Sax, Fifi Rong, Dyl, Domino, Danial Allen, Verite, Latasha, are just some of the many artists that are turning their back on the traditional music business system, weighted towards a handful of artists. These artists are certainly not household names…yet, but imagine what their NFTs could be worth if they do breakthrough?

But more importantly these artists have built strong devoted relationships with their NFT owners creating vibrant fun partners in their music.

Your stream is your calling card, NFTs are the products you sell

And ironically the current system of easy discovery though streaming, actually benefits the music3 concept. People find you through streaming, fall in love with your music, see its potential and then head over to TokenTraxx to buy whatever NFT drop is available. If they can’t find something directly from you, then they can look at the secondary market.

Your stream is your calling card, NFTs are the products you sell.

Of course this isn’t a get out of jail card for the likes of Spotify or Apple Music, or the worst of them all YouTube but what it does do is provide a credible alternative system, which in time will put pressure on the rest of the music discovery and engagement companies to up their game, finding ways to keep themselves relevant.

As you can see there is a very strong chance that you could generate a living wage of around $100K a year. Of course your music still has to be good, your product engaging and your ability to offer consistently great products to your core community essential. And straight up hard work promoting and hustling. Hours in the back of a van travelling to play a gig to 10 people and a dog has been replaced with hours on Twitter Spaces promoting your drops.

But you’re a music creator and that’s what you do anyway right? You want your music to be heard and loved by as many people as possible and with streaming covering the discovery of listening to music, you have that potential.

But perhaps financially you just need it to be loved by 100 true fans, fans that become your partners in making your music a success and partners who become your true fans.

100 True Partners.

They enjoy everything you do, appreciate all your talent and now for the first time, along with you, are financially rewarded for that love and support.

Visit our website to join our mailing and join the conversation on our community channels:




An NFT marketplace built by musicians for the music community. Create, curate and collect the hottest tracks.