Warner Music Group partners with Web3 protocol POAP Inc., Atlantic star Kevin Gates signs up for NFTs

Warner Music Group partners with Web3 protocol POAP Inc., Atlantic star Kevin Gates signs up for NFTs

Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced they have entered into what they claim to be "the first-ever partnership" with Web3 protocol POAP Inc. 

POAPs – short for “Proof Of Attendance Protocol” – are digital mementos minted as NFTs

An official press release stated that, “by minting memories to the blockchain, collectors receive authenticated digital proof they attended an event or were part of a specific experience, while connecting them to an entire online community of like-minded people.”

POAPs can also grant collectors access to “future rewards from the issuer, such as airdrops, raffles, private chat rooms, exclusive content, and more.” 

Atlantic Records’ rising star Oliver Tree was the first WMG artist to tap into the technology, offering a POAP to fans who joined a pop-up event celebrating the launch of his album Cowboy Tears. Fellow Atlantic star Kevin Gates has now signed up to incorporate POAPs into his Khaza Tour, making one available to fans who attend his upcoming sold-out show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on April 16.

Speaking about the move, Gates said: “Anytime we can give our extended family something new, special, organic, and sentimental, I’m wit’ it. This will be our first time performing at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Nervous, excited, but ready. It’s been a long time coming. Can’t wait for everyone to grab their POAPs so we can commemorate and remember this experience forever. It’s going to be a special night and we can’t wait to see everyone there!”

POAPs provide artists and fans new ways to hold on to moments shared forever 

 Oana Ruxandra, Warner Music Group

To date, over 4.5M POAPs have been issued to over half a million collectors, with the company partnering with the likes of Adidas, Budweiser, Coach, Time Magazine, Lollapalooza, FOX, the US Open, and more on one-time drops.

In the latest issue of Music Week, Oana Ruxandra, chief digital officer & EVP, business development, at Warner Music Group laid out why the company is embracing Web3 musical opportunities. 

“There’s this real shift in the way in which people experience content and consume music,” she told Music Week. “It’s enabling moments of fandom and more engagement.”

Speaking about the new partnership, Ruxandra added: “The bridges that POAPs forge between our digital identities and our physical lives provide a tangible layer to our experiences and memories. Music has always been highly contextual: who we are and what we are doing all affect how we perceive a record. POAPs provide artists and fans new ways to hold on to moments shared forever. We’re really looking forward to collaborating with the POAP team as we continue to explore and innovate.”

Launched in 2018 and incorporated in 2021, POAP Inc. raised a $10 million Seed round led by Archetype and Sapphire Sport in January, with participation from Sound Ventures, The Cherning Group, and Advancit Capital, as well crypto native funds including Collab Currency, 1KX, Libertus Capital, Red Beard Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Delphi Digital, and A Capital.

“POAPs are a game-changer for artists who want to connect directly with their fans,” said Isabel Gonzalez, POAP COO. “Dropping a POAP offers artists a fun way to celebrate a show that's much more permanent than a ticket stub. It's much harder to lose mementos when they're minted to a blockchain – and once artists are ready to dive deep into the potential of Web3 technologies, POAPs let their fans share that journey. We're incredibly excited to support WMG and their partners in thinking about the relationship between creators and their fans in a new way."

Joe Khoury, VP of A&R and marketing, Atlantic Records concluded: “From Oliver Tree’s Cowboy Tears album launch event to Kevin Gates’ headline show at Red Rocks, POAPs allow us to commemorate these special moments and give loyal fans a way to relive their experiences while being rewarded for being supporters of their favorite artists. The team is incredibly excited to work with POAP to continue building unique ways for our artists to be more closely connected with their communities.”

You can read Music Week columnist Sammy Andrews’ recent column on the dawn of Web3 here.

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