Mastercard, a legacy company rooted in traditional finance, has been actively involved in Web3 initiatives in recent years. On April 12, the company announced its latest venture, a new artist accelerator program. However, this time, it added a Web3 twist. The program is nonfungible token (NFT)-gated and therefore only accessible to holders of its Mastercard Music Pass NFT.
According to the announcement, the NFT is limited-edition and free until the end of the month for both musicians and fans. Mastercard has collaborated with Polygon to offer free access to educational materials, unique artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and other experiences as part of the program. The company has already selected five artists from different genres worldwide to participate in the program.
Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer of Mastercard, said that the program is designed to help users “better understand and trust how blockchain and digital assets are used.” He added that “Web3 can be a powerful tool in connecting people and building communities around shared universal passions.”
Mastercard has been a long-time supporter and early adopter of Web3 technologies to bring fans and creators more opportunities to create “exclusive, inclusive and scalable experiences.” In addition to Web3 technologies, the artists participating in the program will be exposed to a new AI-driven music studio.
This announcement from Mastercard comes less than two months after it and Visa revealed that they would be holding back on all new crypto and blockchain partnerships. The financial service providers said that all new launches would be postponed until improved market conditions are visible, along with a clearer, more established regulatory framework.
It is clear that Mastercard is committed to exploring the possibilities that Web3 technology and blockchain can offer, despite some uncertainties surrounding the regulatory landscape. By launching this NFT-gated artist accelerator program, the company is providing a unique opportunity for musicians and fans to learn about and engage with the latest innovations in the industry. It remains to be seen how successful the program will be, but it is certainly an exciting development for those interested in the intersection of music and technology.