Mastercard has extended its growing music footprint with the launch of the Web3-based Mastercard Artist Accelerator program.
The Mastercard Artist Accelerator will connect select artists from around the world with both mentors and fanbases as they learn and create in Web3. The programme culminates later in 2023 with a livestreamed artist showcase.
The initiative was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Kicking off in spring 2023, the Mastercard Artist Accelerator will prepare five emerging artists with the tools, skills and access required in the digital economy. The artists will gain exclusive access to special events, music releases and more.
A digital curriculum will teach the artists how to build their brand through Web3 experiences like minting NFTs, representing themselves in virtual worlds and establishing an engaged community.
The Web3 roll-out is the latest music initiative for the brand. Mastercard is a long-time supporter of the music industry, including sponsorship of the Grammy Awards, BRIT Awards and Latin Grammy Awards.
Maggie Crowe, director of events & charities at the BPI, said: “The BRIT Awards celebrates 25 years with Mastercard and in turn that support helps fund the free education offered at the BRIT School in London. This unique partnership with Mastercard has helped to inspire the next generation of musicians, develop and mentor talent, and curate opportunities to showcase their creativity to wider audiences and the professional music industry. Mastercard’s Artist Accelerator is a natural extension of this work and will offer musicians the means to develop their skills and connect with fans on new digital platforms, using Web3 technologies.”
With the Mastercard Artist Accelerator, we are expanding access and driving connections further with cutting-edge Web3 technology
Designed as a space for creators to come together and grow their music communities, the Mastercard Artist Accelerator also invites fans to get involved.
The Mastercard Music Pass, a limited edition NFT, will give holders access to the exclusive Web3 x Music educational materials, unique resources and experiences, both in real life and the metaverse. With this token, fans can join the platform and learn alongside artists to sharpen their own tools and knowledge of the space.
“Music is a universal passion, inspiring us, moving us, and bringing us together; however, it can feel impossible for budding artists to break in,” said Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard chief marketing and communications officer. “With the Mastercard Artist Accelerator, we are expanding access and driving connections further with cutting-edge Web3 technology. Our vision is to bridge passion and purpose, spotlighting amazing emerging artists and creating an interactive community that allows participants to learn, experiment and grow together.”
Mastercard has utilised the Polygon blockchain to power these fan-driven artist experiences.
“Web3 has the potential to empower a new type of artist that can grow a fanbase, make a living, and introduce novel mediums for self-expression and connection on their own terms," said Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon Studios. “The Mastercard Artist Accelerator not only shows the power of brands embracing this new space, it provides tools that can educate consumers on how to participate. This is an important step forward in opening up the benefits of Web3 to more people.”
Last summer, the brand launched its first ever album, Priceless, through a collaboration centred on mentoring rising artists with executive producer Niclas Molinder.