Kings of Leon to offer new album as an NFT in music industry first

Tokens will unlock access to front-row seats and limited-edition vinyl

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 04 March 2021 08:21 GMT
Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon will become the first-ever band to release an album as an NFT (“non-fungible token”), when their latest record When You See Yourself drops this Friday (5 March).

Fans of the US band will be able to buy the album on blockchain the same day it’s released on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

The tokens will unlock perks including limited-edition vinyl and front-row seats to future concerts.

NFTs are a form of cryptocurrency that can hold assets such as art, concert tickets and music instead of money. They are expected to increase in value over time but can prove instantly lucrative too. This week, artist Grimes sold $6m (£4.3m) worth of art as NFTs.

There are three tokens in the “NFT Yourself” series, which were designed by Kings of Leon’s longtime creative partner Night After Night; the tokens were developed by the company Yellowheart in an attempt to bring value back to music and improve artist-fan relationships.

Yellowheart will also release six individual art pieces “representing the band and their legacy”, via an auction at 12pm ET on 5 March.

YellowHeart founder and CEO Josh Katz told Rolling Stone that he believes the subscription-based model for streaming is harmful to artists, while NFTs will encourage modern fans to want to own music again.

“It’s early stages, but in the future, I think this will be how people release their tracks: When they sell 100,000 at a dollar each, then they just made $100,000.”

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