Bits: Contextual NFTs

Monica Desai
3 min readApr 8, 2021


By directly connecting artists to curators and fans, Audius Collectibles can contextually supercharge NFTs

Our portfolio co, Audius launched Collectibles today, a way to showcase your music NFTs within your Audius profile. Audius has already built up a highly engaged user base of over 4.5m MAUs, who relate to one another based on shared music taste and earn $AUDIO for curating and uploading. They’ve also developed strong partnerships with musicians who drop new content on Audius directly. Thus, Audius has effectively enabled minting (direct access to unique content) and created an interest-based graph of creators, curators and fans.

Today, NFTs live everywhere — in your $ETH wallet, on your instagram feed, in twitter, etc. In the future, there are few features which might dictate where NFTs live (the default place you hold and share them):

​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​​A. Can your NFTs be safely custodied, discovered and showcased side by side?
​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ B. Are you able to natively share them with others, and can people easily follow you or the content thereafter? Every NFT should easily point to the creator, collector and possibly curator as point of discovery.
​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​ ​ ​​​​​​ ​ ​​C. Can your original content (NFTs) be easily minted and authenticated, with direct ties to the creator?
​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ D. Can the creator easily access their fans / NFT holders, such that they can further engage with and reward them? Creators will likely want NFT and community level analytics and tools over time.
​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​E. Can your NFTs interact with challenges or adapt as the creator deems fit?
​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​F. Can you price and trade your NFTs natively?
​ ​ ​​​ ​​​ ​​​ ​ ​​​ ​ ​​G. Can you earn / borrow against the revenue streams of the creator or item your NFT may be linked to? As NFTs begin to represent fractional ownership of songs or art, and NFTs themselves become fractionalized, this will become increasingly important.

Many of these features compound, as you may have noticed. For example, you cannot have G without C & D. Generally, these features will only be possible for contextual NFTs — where the NFT exists in the context of a direct relationship between a creator and their audience.

Audius is very well positioned for contextual NFTs. Users have already expressed fandom by following creators, which creates a distribution mechanism. Curators and consumers have also started to connect on the platform, as that’s the foundation of earning $AUDIO. That social graph enables A & B instantly. By also working directly with creators and giving them access to the platform, Audius has connected creator, curator and consumer such that they can handle C, D, E as well.

Most uniquely, Audius has the necessary inputs to create a fully loaded NFT with a feedback loop between consumption and revenue (G). That is, a song streamed on Audius could trigger revenue streams which accrue value to the artist’s NFTs, all based on data within the platform. For example, an artist might accrue value as their songs get played, which could trickle down into the pricing / revenue of their NFTs as they represent fractional ownership of sorts. Or, more literally, an NFT might be minted in parallel with a song — so you could own 1% of the revenue from a song like “Unlucky” from deadmau5 and earn 1% of the royalties every time it’s played.

In many ways, this furthers the original vision of Audius: “build a fanbase, share your works in progress, and then publish your completed tracks for all the world to hear. Create, grow, and monetize all without the need to graduate off the platform or sign a record deal.” And it turns out, the fans will likely win in that process, too.



Monica Desai

All things fintech, consumer, crypto. Currently @kleinerperkins ex @blockchain, @harvardhbs @jpmorgan @quartethealth @segoviatech @cornell @stuyvesanthigh.