Tell us a bit about Signed.
Signed is a marketplace where anyone in the world can invest in musicians. Specifically, their music royalty catalog. This works by musicians distributing tracks through the Signed Music Group, and having a portion of these royalties back a token we create for them. These tokens are then listed on the signed.trade market.
On a monthly basis, royalties are converted from USD into $MATIC, and used to add liquidity to that musician's token and pay out its stakers simultaneously. This raises the share price, and pays out dividends to long-term investors.
So, you can get paid to stream this music, and can also speculate on the future value it may accrue over time.
When / why did you start Signed?
I’ve always been a big fan of underground music, and love to watch musicians blow up.
I have always been a big fan of investing/trading stocks, specifically on Robinhood. This is how the idea came to me, why can I not invest into underground artists the same way I can invest into small businesses on a market? This was in late 2020, the project was my senior thesis idea for my undergrad business degree. The answer was because it had not been invented yet, so I got to work.
Here I am with this project three years later, and I am happy to provide investments for over 84 musicians!
Talk to us a bit about the features you’ve implemented into your coin that separate you from other platforms in the space.
(001) Our custom built ‘Royalty Pump’ smart contract. This instantly splits royalties, adding $MATIC to the liquidity pool of the token and the staking smart contract instantly. This keeps all tokens liquid for instant trading, and allows for both staked and non-staked holders to instantly make a profit on royalty payout. Essentially, when royalties are paid out, the share price of a token rises and all staked holders are paid out additional tokens.
(002) The ability for musicians to back their token with both exclusively distributed tracks, and non-exclusively distributed tracks. Musicians have the option to back a token with music distributed through Signed under contract, ensuring protection for the investors, or send splits from their own distro without any contract needed. This makes it easy for musicians to back tokens with different methods of royalty distribution. You can see what type of distribution is backing a token on an artist's page.
(003) Liquidity pools and the use of fungible tokens. Many competitors in this space that implement blockchain technologies use NFT’s in order to distribute royalty payouts. This makes trading much slower, limiting the fees that are collected from trades. Due to our market being built using Elite ERC-Tokens, any musician's coin can be traded instantly for any $ amount. Allowing anyone to invest, and buy + sell a share in a musicians catalog instantly.
Talk to us a bit about $1MAN.
The $1MAN Token was the second coin that Signed launched. This coin is backed by a portion of the artist Joeyy’s music catalog. This includes the albums MIRY, and Just Tired with many singles as well. You can see for yourself, by visiting his page on the signed.trade market. The $1MAN token is the most successful one to be launched, starting at an initial price of $0.011.
Today the token is valued at a price of $0.144, boasting a 13x return for initial investors.
What kind of musicians do you target for this platform?
The goal is for all musicians to use this platform, however, we have found a niche in the experimental underground rap scene. Many would describe the artists on our platform as drain, cloud rap, glitchcore, hyperpop, etc. I don’t really like to put genres on artists, but this is what the Spotify API says the genre is for a lot of artists we work with.
How does your platform benefit artists?
By providing artists with an opportunity to make more money from streaming royalties, and securing a nest egg for their future. It is no secret that streaming royalties do not pay that much, and our platform uses this to the artists benefit.
By allowing anyone to speculate on the future value of those royalties, you make more from the trading than the royalties even accrue. And as royalties stack up over time, they are adding to the liquidity of your token, providing a nest egg for the artist, similar to a 401k.
Turning something that is worth nothing in the short-term, into something that is worth a lot in the long-term.
How important is ownership for artists in 2023?
Extremely important, and the majority of independent artists are aware of this.
The role that labels used to play pre-internet adoption had much more to do with building up an artist, and getting them to where they need to be to become superstars. Today, the artist builds themselves up on their own, and acquires their own fan base through the internet. Once the artist has already done the hard work, a label will swoop in and try to sway them with a bag of cash.
Long-term their royalties and ownership are worth more than the bag of cash offered. Independent artists take this predatory deal because they are missing something the internet hasn’t provided yet, and that is the ability to get investment without giving up their masters.
That’s what we are providing.
What would you say to those who are skeptical about investing in Crypto?
It’s smart to be skeptical of everything. Think rationally and not emotionally.
It’s weird how crypto has turned into a political piece in some Twitter circles, but maybe that’s just because Twitter turns anything into politics. Crypto is a tool. And like any tool, it can be used to create or harm.
It is not the fault of the hammer for how it is used, the hammer is just a tool. Crypto can be used to create something great, like Signed. We are able to build this market at very low cost, due to data being stored on-chain. We are able to create a safe investable asset that can be instantly traded at a very low cost due to tokenization.
We are able to payout dividends to hundreds of investors instantly, because of the very cheap and fast Polygon network.
Just like I have been able to create this cool thing with crypto, someone can just as easily make a scam coin and take all of your money. Never FOMO into a stupid project for a quick buck, no emotions, only rational thinking.
What’s next for Signed?
Continue building the platform. Our biggest update will come before the end of the year. Cash trading. This will allow users to buy or sell tokens with cash, and will be provided a web2 wallet. So the website will not only be for people who know how to use web3. We are trying to make it as accessible as possible.
Long-term, I want this platform to become the new stock market. The place to go for any individual creators on the internet, who want investment. Being able to invest in OnlyFans, Twitch Streamers, Youtubers.
All of these creators have passive income that can be paid out to investors on a market, powering their tokens.
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