3LAU introduces blockchain music platform Royal with $16M raise

Electronic dance music producer and DJ Justin Blau, better known by his stage name 3LAU, has officially announced the launch of a blockchain-based music investment platform Royal.

The announcement comes in conjunction with the platform raising $16 million in a seed funding round led by crypto-focused investment firm Paradigm and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Forbes reported on Aug. 26.

Founded by 3LAU and his college friend JD Ross, Royal is a new platform aiming to enable fractional music ownership through Royal’s own version of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, referred to as limited digital assets.

The venture intends to democratize access to music ownership to music lovers by not only allowing them to invest but also own rights to their favorite songs and albums through limited editions recorded on a blockchain network. According to the project’s creators, this would allow fans to earn money alongside their favorite artists as their music grows in popularity.

According to the report, 3LAU and JD Ross are yet to decide what blockchain platform would become a basis for the Royal platform. “Royal is open to using different blockchain technologies,” the platform’s representatives said.

Blau said Royal will be gradually rolling out the platform in beta over the next six months with limited access, targeting a full launch in the next eight months to a year. The startup is already in talks with several popular artists to bring them onto the platform without disclosing any names so far. Royal will charge artists a small fee in the short term, hoping to eventually make the project entirely “community run.”

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3LAU noted that the new platform specifically intends to support early music projects through allowing fans to invest in them, stating:

“I always tell people that artists’ popularity is completely dependent on the fans and the listeners, not the companies and the distributors. If the fans like the music, they share it, they go to the shows, they’re fully responsible for augmenting an artist’s popularity,”

3LAU has emerged as one of the biggest cryptocurrency advocates in the music industry, calling Bitcoin (BTC) “one of few hedges against a legacy, vapid monetary system.” In March, 3LAU’s tokenized album Ultraviolet became the most expensive single NFT token ever sold. The artist has reportedly earned over $20 million from several NFT auctions over the past year.