After visual art NFTs took off, it was only a matter of time before music became the next big thing in crypto-trading. Unfortunately, the first website claiming to sell one-of-a-kind musical NFTs, HitPiece, did so without actually getting the permission of the musicians who created the recordings in the first place. The site got so many angry mentions on social media, they replaced all their content with a message that simply reads “We started the conversation and we’re listening.” Coincidentally, singer John Legend released his own musical NFT platform the very next day, and this one actually bothered to enlist artists to actively participate.

Promotional image from John Legend's

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OurSong is marketed as a “social commerce platform” allowing users to create NFTs they call “Vibes.” The company says they want to change the way musicians and artists release their music and get exposure, using the Vibes like trading cards that grant access to exclusive perks like unreleased music and private chatrooms. The idea is to cultivate a new kind of digital fandom that takes advantage of the popularity of NFTs and encourages fans to actually pay for music and other content.

Instead of buying Vibes with standard cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, users will purchase OurSongDollars (OSD) using their credit card, debit card, wire payment, or USD Coin, a digital stablecoin pegged to the United States Dollar. That means users don’t have to have a cryptocurrency wallet to start buying and trading NFTs, a choice that indicates OurSong is hoping to make its product feel a little more accessible to newbies.

“We made creating and buying NFTs super easy,” says OurSong. “Everyone can now turn stories, music, photography, and any kind of art into NFT trading cards called Vibes. Do it any time, anywhere! NFTs are way more than GIFs you buy and keep in a crypto-wallet. Vibes allow you to unlock exclusive updates and access private chat communities where you can meet like-minded others. Celebrate things that make you unique. Discover and follow different types of creators. Collect and build a Vibe collection worth showing off. Earn credibility as a tastemaker and not a clout chaser.”

Promotional image from John Legend's

That’s literally all the website currently explains about OurSong, Vibes, and any other aspects of the platform. To people who aren’t already hyper-connected to all things blockchain, NFTs can still seem pretty murky, no matter how much we read about them. So it wouldn’t hurt for a new platform that wants to attract the public at large, like OurSong, to spell things out a little more clearly. Perhaps you have to download the app for that.

There are a couple other things the site doesn’t mention. One is how OurSong plans to deal with people uploading content that doesn’t belong to them, which would defeat the whole purpose of the platform. Another is the right-click-save problem that allows anyone to parade images all over the internet that someone else bought for hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the buyer might have exclusive rights to the original, others can copy the digital file all they want, and the artist often still retains copyright and reproduction rights.

Some people see NFTs as the future of serious art collecting, while others find them more akin to Pokémon cards. In a few short years, we’ll likely find out whether this whole thing is a passing trend or the beginning of a whole new digital world we can’t quite wrap our heads around yet.