Catalog is a digital record shop and music community for artists to press and sell one-of-one digital records, and for fans to listen to, discover, and support the music and artists they enjoy. Catalog uses NFT technology to allow artists to share and sell their music as a unique one-of-one record existing on the internet. This music is capable of being traded in open NFT markets. As part of selling these NFT records through Catalog, the company does not represent rights to the artists' masters or ownership over the copyright of their work.
Through being an NFT, records on Catalog are intended to be provenly authentic, and unlike a traditional digital media file, they cannot be copied. The company uses the Zora NFT, which allows artists to bake in a creator share when their work is minted. This means that whenever the token is exchanged, a percentage of the trade value goes back to the original creator automatically. With NFTs, it also means that a record developed on Catalog, all other forms, copies, and remixes of the music becomes a copy on top of the original NFT, and marketing materials can drive value back to the source.
Catalog operates in a similar fashion to Soundcloud or Bandcamp, in that they do not operate on a per release basis. Instead, the platform is curated and onboards a small number of artists each week; once onboarded, the artists control when and what music is released on the platform.
The platform is intended to become a collectively owned platform for artists, listeners, and developers to share value and decision making of the project, and is intended as a paradigm shift in the overall industry, so artists are able to extract more value from their music. Further, the permission-less architecture is intended to make it easy for developers to build below, above, or beside the platform and plug into what the company has built. This includes upgrading the platform to include auto-splits on sales, new auction formats, fractionalized ownership of records, and better revenue and distribution tools.