Billboard and Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest music company, are joining forces to make a splash in the burgeoning NFT space.
The major music company is Billboard’s launch partner for ChartStars, a project that’ll celebrate UMG artists’ achievements and milestones on the Billboard charts as exclusive NFTs.
Announced today (March 2) ahead of UMG’s earnings call, the digital collectibles will capture officially-licensed art and creative, from snippets of music videos, album photography and more, with the first ChartStars products expected to drop in May.
According to a joint statement, collecting and gamification will be built into the platform through “collector leaderboards, challenges and true utility baked into the smart contracts,” including special access at Billboard Live Events.
The collection will mark Billboard’s most ambitious dive yet into NFTs.
“For the first time, music fans will now have an opportunity to be forever linked to their favorite artists, by sharing ownership of a moment in time,” comments Julian Holguin, president of Billboard.
The NFTs promises to be “visually stunning” and fans will get to compete for real-life prizes, he continues.
Through this partnership, UMG will work across its roster to celebrate Billboard chart achievements for songs that debut in the Top 25 and other significant chart-related successes.
There have been many through the years. UMG is the only music company to land nine of the Top 10 on Billboard’s album chart — a feat the music giant has accomplished six times in the chart’s 64-year history. Also, in 2021, Universal established a new record by snaring the No. 1 spot for 38 consecutive weeks.
“We could not have asked for a better launch partner than UMG,” adds Holguin, “a company who like Billboard, places artists and fans at the center of everything they do.”
The NFT technology partner for ChartStars is Unblocked, which will enable credit card payments and run on the Flow blockchain platform, which is said to be more environmentally-friendly compared with other mainstream blockchain tech.
“By harnessing its iconic charts for these compelling digital collectibles,” says Michael Nash, UMG’s executive vp of digital strategy, “Billboard is creating a ground-breaking new way for artists and fans to celebrate unique achievements and cultural moments.”
These projects, he continues, will be “completed with our artists’ creative direction,” and will be “unique assets that every fan will want in their collections.”