Web3 can help the music industry save the planet.

The following MBW op/ed comes from Mike Walsh (pictured). Walsh is the head of UK Strategic Partnerships at Serenade, as well as a member of the founding committee of music industry climate charity EarthPercent. Launched in 2021 by Australian tech entrepreneur Max Shand, Serenade bills itself as an “eco-friendly, ground-breaking new artist/fan-focused Web3 music platform”. Last month Serenade launched ‘Digital Pressing’ – a new, collectible music format that is chart-worthy in both the UK and Australia.


It’s been a crazy hot summer across Europe, with record temperatures across the continent.

As fall approaches, the memory of train tracks twirling in the heat, official weather warnings and water shortages will undoubtedly fade somewhat as we get back into the rhythm of everyday life once again. Will go But all the while the now-dry elephant in the room that catastrophic and irreversible climate change smolders alarmingly in our peripheral vision.

The climate emergency is painfully real, but as Brian Eno has put it, it should be reframed as a “climate opportunity.”

What can we do with the tools we have to make things better for generations to come; Is emerging and established? There are many answers in all areas in technology, and the music industry is no different.

Really smart music businesses using web3 technology (as opposed to the other way around), understand that this nascent technology can be used for a greater good, such as:

  • Emerging artists have the ability to be seen and supported by audiences, and super fans to be noticed by some of the biggest acts in the world.
  • Strong bonded community around artists.
  • Transparent and accurate recurring royalties (unlike any other format) for all rights holders and the ability to power charitable income streams in a sustainable manner.
  • Verifiable sense of ownership and the emergence of digital music.
  • and most importantly……. The carbon footprint for the music industry is likely to be significantly lower.

Because these are a real opportunity for artists to produce less material goods on the scale of material-rich and carbon-lite products. Free the bands who tell us they feel more like T-shirt makers than artists. And what is a cassette if not just a landfill chart trigger?

Companies in this sector that ‘mint’ NFTs on demand (and in our case, digital pressing) have no dead stock or warehouse full of a product requiring final disposal.

By mining on Polygon, a blockchain renowned for its pioneering eco-friendly approach, NFTs or digital pressings can be distributed across the planet at a fraction of the cost.

To put this into perspective, the carbon footprint of distributing 1,000 digital pressings mined at Polygon is less than the consumption of a pint of beer at your local pub, or how about this: a tenth of a tweet.

All forms of music consumption come with a carbon footprint. It is an inevitability, and one that we accept as part and parcel of the product and the surrounding experience.

Decades of shaky, reckless mass production have led us here; Up to a point where we almost see CDs and DVDs as disposable items sitting idle on bookshelfs, or closing charity shops, before facing their landfill fate.

Vinyl, for all its passionate beauty and ability to draw the listener into the musical experience, has a staggering carbon footprint – 197,100 times that of a digital pressing, in fact.

And these blockchain-based energy efficiencies will only improve if Ethereum (by far the largest piece of Web3 architecture) moves to a more sustainable mining system – due out in September of this year.

It’s also worth remembering that NFTs are not crypto, and again the smart companies in this space offer music fans a frictionless and crypto-less fiat currency experience, with the value of their purchases being a highly volatile roller coaster of cryptocurrencies altogether. Divorced from


Are we saying that we should all physically pack up and head over to the Sun of the Metaverse? No, not at all, but providing environmentally conscious fans with an alternative ownership format could lead to some level of progressive change.

The music consumer experience could be improved – there’s still a gap to be filled where downloads and streaming are involved, but it’s still early. And we are aware of this.

It is often reiterated that even when Web3 was the post-millennial social media boom, we would still be in the MySpace era. The solutions and products that defined this period are still sparks of imagination in the mind of a keen entrepreneur, and by keeping environmental awareness at the center, we can strive to ensure that these ideas have time to flourish.

Web3 isn’t going away, and it’s human nature to be suspicious of new things, but let’s not target everyone using these new technologies with the same brush.worldwide music business

Web3 can help the music industry save the planet.

Leave a Comment