NFT music albums are now eligible for both UK and Australian charts and the new Muse NFT album will be the latest chart-eligible album format since 2015, when album streams were introduced
Will of the People is the British rock band’s ninth studio album and will be released on Aug. 26th. It will be the flagship “Digital Pressing” album from the Web3 marketplace Serenade.
Serenade created digital pressings as a “brand new, limited edition and collectible” music format released via NFT technology. The marketplace is using this new format to cater to community connectivity and product scarcity.
Unlike with many NFTs, buyers will not require a crypto wallet. After the purchase is made on Serenade’s website, a digital wallet is created and the NFT transferred to that wallet. If users have an existing crypto wallet, such as for BitCoin or Ethereum, they can use that.
Max Shand, the CEO and founder of Serenade said,
“Digital pressings allow the music industry to easily slot NFTs into existing workflows and creative processes without having to fund new projects or design new ways of working. If you want to innovate in the music industry, innovate around the album cycle because this is how the industry operates.”
In the past, NFTs have often been bundled into album releases or other types of music-related campaigns. Until now, there has not been a release of an entire album as an NFT.
The UK’s Official Charts Company (OCC) made NFT albums eligible for the charts several months ago but this is the first release where the vendor, in this case Serenade, is approved as a chart-return digital retailer.
“There has been loads of noise about NFTs being the future of music, the future of entertainment, the future of ownership,” says Martin Talbot, chief executive of the OCC.
“It’s great this is becoming a reality.”
He says the Muse release did not force an update of the OCC’s chart-eligibility rules, it will be the first that meets the entry criteria.
The Muse NFT album will retail for £20 and will be limited to 1,000 copies globally. As both an NFT and a limited-edition format, it is relatively sparse in its offering.
Buyers will get a downloadable version of the album – complete with different sleeve – as high-res FLAC files; the members of Muse will digitally sign it and each of the 1,000 buyers will have their names permanently listed on the linked roster of purchasers.
With the number of copies limited – and not all of them to be purchased in the UK – the release will not significantly skew the anticipated chart performance of Will of the People.
As with other NFTs, the original buyer can resell it, and 15% of the resale price will revert back to the band and the rights owners – Warner Music for the sound recording rights and Universal Music Publishing for the composition rights.
The OCC confirmed that resales of the album will not count as a “new” sale.
“There are absolutely no plans to change the fundamental principles [of the charts] where we count the sale of something when it is brand new and you first buy it,” says Talbot.