The Muse NFT record will be offered on the “eco-friendly” NFT marketplace Serenade, which in February offered official Brit Awards NFTs for sale at a price of £10 each. Will of the People, the ninth studio album from the British rock band Muse, has been released on August 26. It is the first release of its kind to enter the UK and Australian charts thanks to the NFT (non-fungible token) edition. Since album streaming were added to the charts in 2015, this is the first new format to do so.
The new record will be available on Serenade NFT marketplace
The creator of Serenade, Max Shand, refers to the Muse release as “the black T-shirt of NFTs,” a practical digital format that is easy to purchase. What a fan needs, according to him, is something straightforward and understandable that also makes them feel close to the artist and recognized by other fans.
Buyers won’t need a crypto wallet, unlike many NFTs. A digital wallet is needed for one to purchase the Muse NFT and the collectible will be transferred to the user when the purchase has been made on Serenade’s website. Users may use a crypto wallet they already have, such as one for Bitcoin or Ethereum.
NFT albums were made eligible for the charts by the UK’s Official Charts Company (OCC) several months ago, however this is the first release where the vendor, in this case Serenade, is recognized 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. It’s great this is becoming a reality,” explains the Martin Talbot, head of the OCC.
It will be the first release that satisfies the entrance requirements, he claims, and the Muse release did not demand a change of the OCC’s chart-eligibility regulations.
The Muse NFT record will cost £20 and just 1,000 copies will be available
The digital box set NFT by UK indie rock band the Amazons, limited to 100 copies, was published in April in conjunction with pre-orders for their upcoming How Will I Know if Heaven Will Find Me? album. That wasn’t offered as a stand-alone release; it was marketed as a component of a bundle.
For some months, Serenade had been in contact with Warner Records—the label that houses Muse—about putting out an NFT record. The apparent first choice was Muse, who had collaborated with the blockchain company CryptoKitties in 2020 to develop digital collectibles.
“The band have always been at the forefront of technological innovation in their creativity and artistry,” said Sebastian Simone, VP of audience and strategy at Warner Records in the UK.
The Muse NFT record will cost £20 and just 1,000 copies will be made available worldwide. It has a limited selection because it is both a limited-edition format and an NFT. The band members of Muse will digitally sign the record, which buyers will get as high-res FLAC files. Additionally, each of the 1,000 buyers will have their names permanently listed on the linked roster of purchasers.
“We wanted to keep it more about the product than about the ancillary experience,” says Simone.
The release won’t materially affect Will of the People’s predicted chart performance because the amount of copies are limited and not all of them will be bought in the UK.
According to Simone, NFTs have the potential to significantly boost first-week sales.
“If you want to make an impact on the chart, there are definitely ways to do that. With Muse it’s actually not essential as they are [already] on tens of thousands of pre-orders. We anticipate the No 1 spot to be very clear that week.”
Users can sell the Muse NFT later
Similar to other NFTs, the original purchaser may resell the Muse NFT, with 15% of the sale price going to the band and the owners of the relevant rights—Warner Music for sound recording rights and Universal Music Publishing for composition rights—as well as the band itself.
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. We don’t count the sales to the second buyer,” says Talbot.
Future albums might come with further content and fan prizes that are added as the campaign for the album develops. The OCC will watch out that the extras are not overstuffed to the point where they violate the chart guidelines.
“What you’re always looking for is something of such high value or such desirability that it overshadows the music itself and people aren’t buying it for the music, they’re buying it for the [added extras],” Talbot adds.
Simone asserts that Warner is already preparing comparable releases for other bands in response to the concern that this could all turn out to be a publicity stunt.
“It will become more widely adopted. This is going to be the beginning of the door opening,” he says. If this new Muse NFT project excited you you should also check out the latest Bella Hadid NFT project.