Web3 marketplace Serenade has partnered with Warner Records UK to launch a chart-eligible new format.
Billed as the world’s first Digital Pressing, the limited edition and collectible music format will produce the first UK and Australian chart eligible music format since album streams in 2015.
Muse will be the first artist to offer this new format to their fans with the release of their forthcoming album, Will Of The People, as a Digital Pressing.
Although The Amazons and Virgin have already announced a chart-eligible NFT for release on September 2, the Muse album has now been lined up for release a week earlier on August 25.
A Digital Pressing is a standalone, chart-eligible digital release (as opposed to being part of a wider release bundle) designed by Serenade. Living on the blockchain and offering Web3 capabilities such as verifiable ownership and the ability to trade on secondary markets, a Digital Pressing will also accrue accurate, perpetual royalties for artists, copyright holders and content owners.
Priced at £20, it will be available for purchase using a credit or debit card.
Unlike vinyl production that demands significant overheads and a current six- to nine-month lead time, there is no cost associated with creating a digital pressing and the turnaround time can be less than two weeks.
Serenade has worked closely with the UK’s Official Charts Company and ARIA in Australia to become the first chart-eligible NFT marketplace. Will Of The People is the first Digital Pressing to be officially recognised under this new arrangement, with one sale being equivalent to one album unit. To date, no album which has been delivered as an NFT has contributed to the UK’s or Australia’s Official Albums Charts.
Max Shand, Serenade founder, said: “As a simple, standardised and chart eligible format, Digital Pressings will be a game-changer on the global stage, and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the support of the visionary teams at Warner Records, the OCC and ARIA, who all want to give artists every opportunity to bring creativity and innovation into their campaigns. I have always been a huge fan of Muse, so I am beyond excited that they will be the first artist to release a Digital Pressing with Serenade.”
Since its launch in Autumn 2021, Serenade has worked with numerous artists, including Young MA, The Kooks, Jungle, Super Furry Animals and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.
Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, said: "Over their seven decades, the Official Charts have always strived to move with the times, reflecting consumption of new formats and all new ways of distributing music, as they have evolved. Just as vinyl, 8-track, cassette tapes, CDs and even MiniDisc, DCC and DAT have been welcomed into the charts, we will also welcome Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) - and we will be delighted when the first album delivered as an NFT contributes to the chart, with Serenade and Muse leading the way this summer. NFTs are a new, exciting format, the potential for which is only just beginning to be explored and I am sure will play a part in the Official Charts for years to come."
Sebastian Simone, vice president, audience & strategy of Warner Records UK, said: “We're thrilled to be partnering with Serenade and the Official Charts Company on the first chart accredited NFT album format. Muse have always been at the forefront of technological innovation and were one of the first music artists to pioneer in Web3 back in 2020. Their fans have an appetite for collectible rarities and this format brings them closer to Muse than ever before, propelling them into a new space and offering an entirely unique experience.”
Annabelle Herd, CEO of ARIA said, “Congratulations to Serenade and Muse on the first release of many, and for delivering what promises to be a new and exciting way for music lovers to engage with their favourite artists. For nearly 40 years, the ARIA Charts have been trusted to paint the most accurate and engaging picture of exactly which tracks and artists have captivated Australia, making the inclusion of NFT sales a logical next step. I can’t wait to see how this release performs.”