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Celebrity DJ Steve Aoki says he makes more from NFTs than music royalties

February 15, 2022, 3:29 PM UTC

Steve Aoki, arguably one of the best-known club DJs in the world, says when it comes to income, music royalties can’t compare to NFTs.

Speaking at a private Gala Music event last week, Aoki said he had made more from his NFT sales in the past year alone than he has from six albums over the past decade.

“But if I was to really break down, okay, in the 10 years I’ve been making music…six albums, and you [combine] all those advances, what I did in one drop last year in NFTs, I made more money,” Aoki said, per a Decrypt report.

Aoki made $888,888.88 on the sale of his “hairy” NFT last year. (That said, he did note that live DJ jobs make up 95% of his music income.)

Beyond “hairy,” Aoki still holds several NFTs, including several from Bored Ape Yacht Club. He’s also launching a new membership club based on NFTs called Aokiverse. Long term, he said, he believes NFTs will spark a revolution in the music business, transferring power back to artists and away from labels.

“As music NFTs become more of a part of how we integrate and support artists, the labels will have to do more than just add the song on a playlist,” Aoki said.

Aoki has long been a fan of NFTs and alternative investments. Last year, he told Fortune, he’s been “very high risk in certain cases, because I follow my heart…I jumped into GameStop one week before that thing blew up, I couldn’t believe it. I also put [money] into Dogecoin before that went up, and I pulled out. I made a little money. It wasn’t a lot, but I’ve been very lucky with a lot of investments, being very early.”

In general, Aoki is an early adopter when it comes to Web3: For instance, he displays a Yat (a custom string of emojis that can be used as a URL) on his social media accounts. Other celebrity investors in that technology include Paris Hilton and Lil Wayne.

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