“Will of the People,” the ninth studio album of the iconic rock band Muse, will be released on August 26 as an NFT and is set to be the first-ever release that will enter the charts in the UK and Australia.
Formed in 2014, Muse won NME Award for Best British Band in 2007, 2010, and 2011, MTV Europe Music Award for Best World Stage Performance in 2019, and Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2011 and 2016, among many other accolades.
Back in 2020, Mused also worked with Dapper Lab’s CryptoKitties project to create digital collectibles.
“Will of the People” will be sold via Serenade, the “eco-friendly” platform that helps artists to capitalize on the NFT boom.
“Muse have always had a great appetite for innovation and pushing the boundaries of how they deliver their music to fans, so using this technology to elevate the experience of their new album made a lot of sense,” Serenade’s CEO Max Shand told Decrypt.
According to Serenade’s website, the platform uses layer-2 solution Polygon to mint NFTs—the company calls Polygon’s proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism “far more efficient” than Ethereum’s current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm.
“All Serenade NFTs are minted on the Polygon [chain], because we value its affordability and eco-friendliness,” Shand told Decrypt. “On Serenade, we bear gas fees on behalf of all users—artists and fans—because we want to replicate the frictionless shopping experience today’s customers are used to, and Polygon allows us to do this at scale.”
Serenade’s one notable feature is that the platform doesn’t require users to create a crypto wallet before purchasing NFTs, and people can use debit and credit cards to purchase NFTs on the site. Users can also use their existing Bitcoin or Ethereum wallets linked to Coinbase.
As further explained by Shand, when a fan signs up on Serenade, the platform automatically creates a digital wallet on their behalf using Web3 infrastructure authentication solution Web3Auth.
“The fan then has the option to store their NFT in their Serenade collection or transfer it to an external wallet of their choice,” Serenade’s CEO told Decrypt.
First NFT album to hit the charts
Official Charts Company (OCC), the home of the official UK Top 40 charts, made NFT albums eligible for the charts in April this year, when UK indie rock band the Amazons released a digital box set NFT, limited to 100 copies.
That, however, was a release “containing NFT content” in the form of animated unreleased photographs taken from a key moment of the band’s past, rather than a standalone release.
Muse’s upcoming NFT release is limited to 1,000 copies globally and will come as both an NFT and a limited-edition format, according to The Guardian.
A £20 ($24.50) purchase will get fans a downloadable version of the album as high-resolution FLAC files containing digital signatures of the members of Muse. Aside from that, each of the 1,000 buyers will have their names permanently listed on the linked roster of purchasers.
According to Martin Talbot, chief executive of the OCC, the Muse release did not force an update of the OCC’s chart-eligibility rules as it becomes the first NFT album that meets the entry criteria with Serenade being 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,” Talbot told The Guardian.
And it seems to be only the beginning of a new exciting journey.
“Following the August 26 Muse release, we will be working with a number of emerging and iconic artists to use the digital pressing format to release albums, EPs and singles to fans, with a focus on the music,” Shand told Decrypt, adding that Serenade will also be looking to “the joys of unlocking bonus materials and having [the fans’ names] etched into the history of a record for all of time.”
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