Mastercard’s AI, NFT Music Program a Success: CMO

Mastercard, the world’s second-largest payments provider, launched its AI-music generator in April of this year. It combined several Web3 technologies, including non-fungible tokens and blockchain, and according to the company’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), it has been a resounding success. Here are some of the statistics:

  • There were 100,000 program sign-ups, with 5,000 minting music NFTs
  • The five artists selected to the program grew their audiences by 73,000
  • Participants had access to free educational materials and the AI engine

Called the Artist Accelerator program, Mastercard’s new project used the Polygon blockchain for the minting of non-fungible tokens. It began with a free minting of a ‘Mastercard Music Pass,’ which enabled participants to take part in the program. Mastercard’s CMO, Raja Rajamannar, said that the company’s Web3 initiatives have positioned it well with Gen Z audiences.

Mastercard’s Artist Accelerator Program is part of the company’s “sonic” strategy, which employs sound as a marketing mechanism. In the past, the company has created a specific jingle when in-person transactions are approved as a way to associate sounds with the brand. The sonic strategy has been part of Mastercard’s marketing efforts since 2019.

Rajammanar added in his comments that he is happy that vanity NFTs have cooled off in favor of utility-based non-fungible tokens that offer certain rewards for holders. In his view, this is part of the maturation of the market, one that has seen lows since the big boom in 2021.

While the CMO wouldn’t say what Mastercard would do next in Web3, he noted that much of the space is still experimental. Given that the company’s AI, NFT music program was such a success, we think it’ll try something new, though the exact nature of the new venture is uncertain at this moment.

Mastercard Makes News in Web3 Bear Market

Mastercard may be known as a payments processor, but it has certainly made waves in Web3 over the past couple of years. Whether through partnerships or the launch of its music accelerator, it has shown a capacity to build in Web3, even when many companies are staying away from the space. Here are three such stories.

First, six months ago, Mastercard launched its music accelerator program with a free mint of Music Pass NFTs. At that time, the company announced the five artists participating in the program, which included Young Athena, Manu Manzu, and Emily Vu. As we saw in today’s story, the program has been a resounding success, a testament to Web3 technology.

Next, eight months ago, Mastercard launched a crypto rewards card in Brazil. The exchange Mastercard partnered with for the card was Binance, and the pre-paid card allowed users of that exchange to easily earn crypto rewards with everyday purchases. Cardholders were able to purchase with 14 different cryptocurrencies, including SOL, SHIB, and MATIC.

Lastly, about a year ago, Mastercard announced a plan to feature blue-chip NFT art on debit cards. To do so, it partnered with European crypto exchange ‘hi,’ with the cards being issued to users who had a “Gold” membership on the exchange. Holders of blue-chip NFTs needed to complete a verification process to confirm that they indeed owned the NFT before customizing their card.

As these stories show, Mastercard has been busy in the Web3 space. That a major payments processor is involving itself in Web3 is a good sign. Rarity Sniper will pay attention for any developments in this story and update this article if needed.