Mastercard strengthens its footprint in the creator economy with the launch of the Web3-based Artist Accelerator program. It aims to connect select emerging artists from around the world with notable mentors and a dynamic fanbase as they learn and create in Web3. The program culminates later in 2023 with a livestreamed artist showcase.
Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, announced the Mastercard Artist Accelerator from the stage at the CES 2023 earlier today with Polygon Studios. Mastercard has tapped the Polygon blockchain to power these fan-driven artist experiences.
Commenting on the initiative, Raja Rajamannar, said: “Music is a universal passion, inspiring us, moving us, and bringing us together; however, it can feel impossible for budding artists to break in. With the Mastercard Artist Accelerator, we are expanding access and driving connections further with cutting-edge Web3 technology.”
Mastercard Web3 Artist Accelerator program
Beginning in the spring of 2023, the Mastercard Artist Accelerator will give five emerging artists — such as musicians, DJs, and producers — the resources, know-how, and access they need to carve out successful careers in the digital music industry. It will also provide exclusive access to special events, music releases, and more to the artists. An innovative curriculum will show the artists how to develop (and control) their brand using Web3 activities including creating NFTs, putting themselves forward in virtual worlds, and creating an engaged community.
“Web3’s capabilities have the potential to open a new dimension for music content creation, collaboration and ownership; however, this nascent space has yet to fully deliver—particularly for emerging artists,” Mastercard said in a statement.
The program also incorporates fan engagement features
The Mastercard Artist Accelerator, which was created as a space for musicians to expand their communities, also welcomes music lovers to take a seat at the table. Owners of the limited-edition Mastercard Music Pass will have access to the Web3 x Music educational contents, exclusive resources made possible by its existing partnerships, and priceless experiences that can be had in both the physical world and the metaverse. With this token, fans can sign up for the platform and learn alongside artists to improve their own resources and domain expertise.
“Our vision is to bridge passion and purpose, spotlighting amazing emerging artists and creating an interactive community that allows participants to learn, experiment and grow together,” Raja Rajamannar added.
Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon Studios, pointed out that web3 has the potential to empower a new type of artist that can grow a fanbase, make a living, and introduce novel mediums for self-expression and connection on their own terms.
“The Mastercard Artist Accelerator not only shows the power of brands embracing this new space, it provides tools that can educate consumers on how to participate. This is an important step forward in opening up the benefits of Web3 to more people,” Ryan added.
Mastercard building on its long-time association with the music industry
Mastercard is a long-time supporter of the music industry, connecting artists and fans through countless priceless experiences and surprises. Building on its sponsorships of the GRAMMY Awards, Latin GRAMMY Awards and BRIT Awards, Mastercard has been early to leverage Web3 technologies to create exclusive, inclusive and scalable experiences for fans and artists alike.
Last June, Mastercard even launched its first-ever album, “Priceless,” through an innovative collaboration centered on mentoring rising artists. With its notable presence in the music space, coupled with its expertise for building strong networks in the digital economy, the Mastercard Artist Accelerator will give emerging artists the tools and capabilities they need to thrive in this tech-driven era. At the same time, it will further extend Mastercard’s growing footprint in the music space.
Maggie Crowe, Director of Events & Charities at the BPI commented: “The BRIT Awards celebrates 25 years with Mastercard and in turn that support helps fund the free education offered at the BRIT School in London. This unique partnership with Mastercard has helped to inspire the next generation of musicians, develop and mentor talent, and curate opportunities to showcase their creativity to wider audiences and the professional music industry.”
“Mastercard’s Artist Accelerator is a natural extension of this work and will offer musicians the means to develop their skills and connect with fans on new digital platforms, using Web3 technologies,” Maggie added.
The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) represents the UK’s recorded music industry—one of the most exciting and thriving music sectors in the world—and organizes the annual BRIT Awards.
You can get more information about the Mastercard Artist Accelerator, including the Mastercard Music Pass drop, special announcements about the artists and mentors, exclusive priceless music experiences and more, by visiting mastercard.com/Artist-Accelerator.