This means that NFT sales will influence an album’s chart position (in the UK and Australia) for the first time in history.
‘Will of the People’ will be released on 26th August via the eco-friendly marketplace Serenade, which was in talks with Warner Records for months prior. Although the Official Charts Company made NFT sales eligible for inclusion a few months ago, Serenade (which is powered by Polygon) is the first approved vendor to drop an album.
Serenade is notable because it allows users to purchase NFTs using a debit or credit card; you don't need a crypto wallet. Anybody with an existing wallet is free to use it, otherwise, Serenade will create a new one upon purchase and transfer the NFT automatically. The emphasis is on bringing new people into the NFT space and knocking down any technological barriers that kept them away. Serenade doesn’t charge gas fees and strives to replicate the “frictionless” performance of traditional e-commerce platforms.
Collectors will receive high quality lossless FLAC files along with unique sleeves digitally signed by all the band members. They get something else, too: scarcity. ‘Will of the People’ is limited to just 1000 copies. Collectors will be immortalised forever both on the blockchain and a special roster. They will be able to resell the album as they would any NFT (with a 15% royalty attached) although secondary sales won’t count towards chart performance.
The OCC made NFT albums eligible for chart inclusion back in April. Amazons were the first band to capitalise and release an NFT box set but this was classed as “containing NFT content” (unreleased photographs from the band’s past). It wasn’t a standalone release and therefore wasn’t included in the charts. ‘Will of the People’ represents full commitment from a band who aren't new to the NFT space. Muse released digital collectables via CryptoKitties back in 2020 and has always adopted an anti-authoritarian stance that lends itself well to the world of DeFi. Max Shand, Serenade’s CEO, described their “great appetite for innovation and pushing the boundaries of how they deliver their music to fans,” making them an obvious choice.
Warner is reportedly planning future NFT releases and it won’t be the only big record label preparing to leverage Web3. Many are already touting NFTs as the future of music. If more artists can replicate the smooth, barrier-free entry into the space promised by Muse, then that future might be one step closer.