Muse has achieved a first by being the first artist to have an album sold in the form of an NFT to debut at No. 1 on the UK Album Chart (non-fungible token). The Devon rock trio was able to accomplish this with the release of their ninth studio album, titled Will of the People. The album was made available in a variety of formats, including vinyl, digital, cassette, and CD, in addition to a limited edition NFT “digital pressing.” It was just released last week.
The first NFT album
Will of the People outsold the rest of the top 10 albums combined in its first week of release, selling 51,500 copies. However, only a small portion of those copies was NFTs since the digital printing of the record was restricted to 1,000 copies globally. This means that if all the copies were sold in the United Kingdom, they would only account for a maximum of 1.96% of the UK sales.
Will of the People wasn’t the first charting album to be published in NFT format, however; Manchester rapper Aitch beat Muse to the punch with his first album Close to Home, which was released a week before Muse’s record and peaked at No. 2 on the list last week.’
Will of the People
According to a study that was published by the Guardian a month ago, NFT records have been eligible for the charts for a few months already; nevertheless, it is only now that they are being sold by stores that return charts. Will of the People was distributed to customers via the “eco-friendly” NFT platform Serenade, but Aitch’s Close to Home NFT was offered for sale on LimeWire, which was an NFT marketplace whose name and branding were licensed from a file-sharing service that is no longer in operation.
Will of the People was released as a digital pressing, which consisted of a downloaded version of the album that had alternative cover art and was digitally signed by the members of Muse. Unfortunately, this pressing is no longer available. The band now has the same amount of top-charting albums as Elton John, Paul McCartney, George Michael, the Prodigy, and the Killers thanks to the success of their seventh studio album, which debuted at number one.
What makes the event so significant?
The fact that the triumph of Muse’s ‘Will of the People album occurred only a few short months after the United Kingdom granted the go-ahead for NFT record sales to be included in the official music charts is an important factor that contributes to the importance of the monumental event. It has been confirmed by Serenade, the company that distributes the record, that NFTs are considered to be an innovation in the music industry.
The album will be a “Digital Pressing,” which is a completely new music format that is limited in edition and collectible. It will feature the singles “Won’t Stand Down” and “Compliance,” and it will be a world-first release. Since album streams were initially included on the Official Albums Chart in 2015, this Digital Pressing will be the first new format to become eligible for inclusion on the chart.
In addition to being downloadable and streamable, Will of the People will also be made available in the more traditional tangible media, including vinyl, CD, and cassette tape. A Digital Pressing is a stand-alone, chart-eligible digital release (as opposed to being a part of a bigger release “bundle”) developed by Serenade to satisfy the cravings of superfans for scarcity, unique material, and community recognition.
Digital Pressing will not only be able to live on the blockchain and offer web3 capabilities like verifiable ownership and the ability to trade on secondary markets, but it will also accumulate accurate and perpetual royalties for artists, copyright holders, and content owners. These royalties will be paid out to them over time.