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01 August 2022

Muse NFT Album First New Chart-Eligible Format In Seven Years

Nick Fancher/press
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Muse will be responsible for the first new chart-eligible format in seven years. When the British rock band release their ninth studio album, Will Of The People, on 26 August, the NFT (non-fungible token) edition will become the first release of its kind to qualify for the charts in the UK and Australia. It is the first new format to be added to the charts since album streams in 2015.

It will be sold via the “eco-friendly” NFT platform Serenade, which sold official Brit awards NFTs for £10 each in February.

Serenade’s founder, Max Shand, describes the Muse release as “the black T-shirt of NFTs”, a digital format that is straightforward to buy. “What a fan wants is something simple and understandable but that gives them a sense of proximity to an artist and a sense of recognition from other fans,” he says.

Unlike with many NFTs, buyers of the Muse album 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.

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.”

“The band have always been at the forefront of technological innovation in their creativity and artistry,” says Sebastian Simone, vice president of audience and strategy at Warner Records in the UK.

The Muse NFT album will retail for £20 and will be limited to 1,000 copies globally. 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.

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