Music tech company Serenade, which launched its artist/fan-centric NFT platform last month, has announced its first senior executive hire in the UK.
Mike Walsh, who started his music industry career in the mid-1990s as a radio promotions executive at Parlophone Records and later became head of music at XFM (now Radio X), will assume the position of head of strategic partnerships for Serenade in the UK.
A music & media consultant and artist manager, with decades of experience in broadcast, digital and the wider music industry, Mike Walsh is also a long-serving Mercury Prize judge, a member of the War Child UK music committee, sits on the Liverpool City Region Music board and is on the Founding Committee of Brian Eno’s music-meets-climate-change charity EarthPercent.
Reporting to Serenade founder and CEO Max Shand and head of strategic partnerships, Clare Smith, Walsh will be based in the UK and focus on managing existing UK industry relationships alongside new artist acquisition by further developing key relationships with artists/managers, labels, publishers, merch companies, ticketing companies and other key industry players. He will also establish partnerships with like-minded brands across all relevant industries and will oversee brand activations, collaborations, events and festivals, and will be the company’s spokesperson in the UK.
Serenade is an eco-friendly NFT platform producing a tiny fraction of the carbon emitted by a standard NFT (or a tenth of the energy usage of a tweet,) using a 'Proof of Stake' authentication method. It eliminates expensive fees and the prohibitive costs that can be a major barrier to entry for anyone wanting to create affordable NFTs.
Fans join a community of music lovers where they can build a profile, showcase and chat about their collectibles, as well as be confident they are not harming the environment.
Founded by Australian tech entrepreneur Max Shand, Serenade’s mission is to enable artists to build closer relationships with fans while creating dynamic new revenue streams. This is accomplished via music-related digital collectibles including specially recorded tracks, limited edition artworks, intimate live performances, rare or unreleased songs, and unique documentary footage and material. Digital collectibles are purchased by fans as NFTs and can be collected and resold, with artists receiving an ongoing share of the revenues every time they change hands.
It is increasingly clear that blockchain technology will have an enormous positive impact on artists
Serenade works collaboratively with record companies, music publishers, artist management companies and trade associations to ensure its platform respects rights and benefits all parties involved. It will launch with an eclectic range of artists who are offering exclusive and limited digital collectibles to their fans, including Jungle, ArrDee, Kaiser Chiefs, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, The Game, Strawberries & Creem festival, Young MA, Ride, Scouting For Girls, Ladyhawke, State Champs, Super Furry Animals, Ash, S1mba, Muki and more.
Mike Walsh said: “From doing some work with Max late last year, I knew he was an exceptional entrepreneur who would use his deep passion for music to create something truly meaningful, future focused, and of very high value, for artists and fans. This is exactly what he is doing now with the eco-friendly platform that is Serenade.
“NFT’s will not be an overnight revolution but it is increasingly clear that blockchain technology will have an enormous positive impact on artists, and everyone in the music ecosystem, over the coming years. Making this nascent space as user friendly for artists and fans, as it is exciting, is what Serenade is all about. I am thrilled to be working with Max, and his incredible team in Sydney, to help move forward this whole new and growing sector of opportunity in digital collectables.”
Max Shand, founder and CEO of Serenade, said: “It was absolutely crucial that we made the right appointment for our first senior UK hire and in Mike Walsh, who is universally respected throughout the music industry, we definitely have the right man to lead us forward in this important market. His passion for music and enthusiasm for innovative technology, alongside his deep knowledge of the NFT sector gives us enormous confidence that Serenade is in safe hands in the UK.”