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Inside Water and Music Season 2: Music and the Metaverse

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Water and Music

Water & Music is one of the most in-depth newsletters and research DAOs empowering both aspiring music-industry professionals and current industry experts with knowledge, networks, and skills to collaborate and progress alongside Web3 technology. After a successful Season 1 and 1.5, the team recently launched its Season 2 report.

If you would like to be brought up to speed on what exactly this brand is all about, check out our introduction to Water & Music. 

Water and Music Season 2: Music and the Metaverse

While Season 1 explored fan perceptions of Web3 music projects, Season 2 aims to shed light on music and the metaverse. More specifically, this season touches on different technologies including gaming, licensing, tooling, and virtual worlds, and how they will impact artists and music industry professionals in the short and long term.

Though we are in the midst of a bear market, the music industry continues to thrive, and the metaverse appears to be one concept of Web3 that continues to look very promising within the space. As a result, the term “metaverse” is often thrown around, yet very few people understand what the metaverse is or how it’s going to affect the music industry as we know it today. Water & Music’s Season 2 aims to change that.

The NFTs for Season 2 were designed by the same designer who created the NFTs for Season 1—thatsac—and introduce a new color scheme along with 3D elements that “parallel the expansion of Water & Music’s research into multiple dimensions of music, tech, and culture.”

All proceeds from NFT sales will be split among Water & Music’s design team, their contributors, and the DAO treasury. Additionally, all Season 2 NFT holders will gain access to an exclusive archive of over 200 articles and databases, biweekly analyses of music & tech trends, and their community of 2,000 music & tech professionals.

Season 2 memberships launched on July 8, 2022, along with an extensive 18,000-word article put together by more than 80 contributors. The article covers 9 design principles for a musical metaverse.

These 9 design principles include:

1. Individual sense of presence

2. User-generated content (UGC)

3. Massively scaled (# of users)

4. Scaled synchronicity (concurrent users)

5. Real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds

6. Persistence of worlds over time

7. Continuity of data across worlds

8. Interoperable network

9. Decentralization

The intended audience for this framework is anyone (especially artists and their team members) who is excited about the future of music and metaverse technology. But also for those who need a general place to start, and a sense of where the industry might be heading.

Water & Music looks at both the current state of the metaverse and the principle or feature across virtual world platforms, along with the future state and the many applications of that feature on the horizon.

Notably, the most important feature of their framework is to provide an entry point for artists and their teams to start experimenting in these ecosystems today.

To gain insight on such an important but complicated topic, Water & Music understood they needed to experience the metaverse firsthand.

“Thoughtful social design is a core tenet of music metaverse experiences. To understand this for season 2, we knew we needed to cultivate firsthand experience of these platforms and their social mechanics as a community. In other words, we needed to enter the metaverse ourselves.”

Throughout their research, Water & Music demoed several different metaverse worlds. From established games like Roblox and SecondLife to intriguing virtual worlds like Decentraland and Dreamwave (plus several more).

Water & Music’s finding was that although the current state of these various metaverse worlds is  tons of fun, they agreed that there’s a long way to go before these platforms are ready for mass adoption.

“We compared our community’s expectations about what the metaverse could be, with the reality of what we were actually presented. While we had a surprising amount of fun on our virtual "field trips," we agreed there’s a long way to go before these platforms feel truly sticky."
Of course, simply exploring the metaverse wasn’t enough. That’s why Water & Music also took the time to conduct interviews and market research. Utilizing their findings, they built a free-to-use, self-directed pathfinder for artists and their teams to explore multiple entry points into a musical metaverse experience.

Even though Water & Music thoroughly examined numerous opportunities within the music and metaverse realm, they noted that this pathfinder does not act as a complete list of opportunities. Rather, it is intended to provide artists and their teams with a place to start.

“Given the extensive scope of the metaverse, it must be reiterated that this is NOT meant to be a 100% exhaustive list of opportunities. Rather, it is a living, breathing, and evolving resource intended to guide artists and their teams who are simply looking for a place to start.”

The pathfinder is a diagram divided into three parts, meant to be worked from the outside in:

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Water and Music

  1. GOALS (broader goals in an artist’s wider career)
  2. DESIRED OUTCOMES (specific aims in service of broader goals)
  3. ACTIONS (specific actions to take to achieve your desired outcomes)

Water & Music conveniently highlighted four top-level goals on the exterior of the diagram. This allows artists and their teams to quickly identify specific goals, then work their way inward to identify examples and case studies that serve as inspiration.

To conclude, Water & Music crafted a complete article with their takeaways from putting the diagram together. This article also covers which metaverse opportunities are the most accessible to indie artists versus which are still highly gate-kept (and much more).

Ultimately, Water & Music is leading the forefront of music and Web3. Not only does their free content provide artists and their teams with the most in-depth market research and hands-on experience, but their continued dedication to their craft is what really shines in my eyes.

That being said, I can only imagine the immense value members gain from all the exclusive articles, databases, Discord server, and community events. Considering Water & Music was founded in late 2016, there’s no doubt that this brand will continue to strive to be the best and help artists and their teams excel in music, Web3, and beyond.

Membership And More Information

By simply visiting their website, you gain access to an array of extremely in-depth articles and industry reports about everything Web3 and music-related. While there is a variety of free content available, becoming a paid member gives you access to Water & Music’s exclusive articles, databases, Discord server, and community events.

You can purchase either a monthly membership for $20 or an annual membership for $200 using your debit card. Or if you’re crypto-savvy, Water & Music is offering both an annual membership (0.1 ETH) and a lifetime membership (0.3 ETH) NFT to kick off Season 2.

Also, make sure to check out our Web37 podcast where we speak with Water & Music about the future of music in the metaverse, the current state of music DAOs, and how Web3 is continuing to evolve the music industry.

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