NFTs entered the mainstream through the art world, as collectors paid headline-grabbing sums for digital works. And now there’s a growing number of Web3-first startups, including Catalog, Royal, and Sound.xyz, betting on the music industry carrying the next big NFT wave.
Case in point: DoomsdayX, a new Web3 studio focused on developing tools and experiences to connect music fans and artists.
DoomsdayX, a sister company to video production outfit Doomsday Entertainment, announced today a $1.5-million pre-seed round led by The Chernin Group, as well as The Producer NFT Collection, a project that allows fans to have a say in the creative and marketing decisions of an artist’s music video.
Rapper Haleek Maul—no stranger to the crypto space, having sold several of his records on NFT auction house and music library Catalog—is DoomsdayX’s premier artist for The Producer NFT Collection.
Through the project, Maul will crowdfund $640,000 to shoot a music video in his homeland of Barbados later this month, and fans who buy in can help shape the vision to receive a producer credit on the video. As of right now, fans who participate will only receive a production credit and no revenue split.
“What we aim to do here is to build out a template that can work for artists across the board, as far as bringing fans in from day one from scratch,” says Eric Doak, cofounder and CEO of DoomsdayX. “Whether it’s a music video, whether it’s a merch line, whether it’s an entire album, how can we bring the fans into that experience and take them along for the ride while that project is being put together?”
Danielle Hinde founded Doomsday Entertainment in 2010 as a director representation and production company working across film, music videos, and commercials. Hinde met Doak, previously an entrepreneur in the climate space, while they were developing a TV series together in 2020. Doak, a self-proclaimed “weekend warrior crypto investor” since 2016, saw the rise of NFTs as “a lightbulb moment” to turn fans into collaborators, and began bombarding Hinde with articles about the space to get her on the same page.
“I was just like, what are you talking about?‘” recalls Hinde, cofounder of DoomsdayX. “And then I really took the time with it and I was like, ‘Holy fuck, this is the future of what I do.’ I got really fired up.”
Doak and Hinde’s show, Music and Conversation, was in pre-production before they dropped it to focus on building DoomsdayX.
“Music NFTs are definitely having a moment,” Doak adds. “But we feel like it’s just scratching the surface as far as what’s possible with this technology. So we’re looking to build out bespoke projects that have potential to push the space forward and give fans an experience they’ve never had before.”
Jarrod Dicker, partner at The Chernin Group, sees DoomsdayX and The Producer NFT Collection as a nascent shift in what could be NFTs’s impact on the music industry as a whole. “A lot of the attention today is thinking about NFTs as a model, but what’s fascinating to think about is, how is this new technology going to effectively create new genres, new artists?” Dicker says. “What DoomdayX is doing with Haleek is really starting to like unroll that.”