ChartStars will consist of digital works – both art and licensed video clips – based on specific artists that commemorate achievements in their musical career and milestones on the Billboard Charts, such as the number of weeks at number one. In addition to collecting, it will include gamification features in the platform through collector leaderboards, challenges, and the ability to get perks such as access to Billboard live events. The digital products are expected to launch in May.
The NFT offering will use the Flow blockchain and Billboard has partnered with the platform Unblocked, which is backed by Dapper Labs, for the technical and blockchain-based aspects of the project.
Unblocked’s platform will enable consumers to purchase the NFTs with a credit card. Considering Universal’s intellectual property rights and connections in the music industry, it is likely that much of the audience that consumes pop culture and has never been involved with crypto will be exposed at least to the marketing of the project. If the purchase doesn’t involve the complications of crypto, which scares away some consumers, the project will be able to expand the NFT audience.
“By harnessing its iconic charts for these compelling digital collectibles, Billboard is creating a ground-breaking new way for artists and fans to celebrate unique achievements and cultural moments,” said Michael Nash, Univeral’s EVP of digital strategy. “We’re excited to collaborate on this product innovation and open even more avenues for our artists to maximize their creative and commercial potential, all while forging stronger bonds with their fans. These projects, which will be completed with our artists’ creative direction, will be unique assets that every fan will want in their collections.”
This is Billboard’s first entrance into the NFT sector, but Universal already has a couple of its own projects underway. Just yesterday, it partnered with NFT platform Snowcrash and will be involved in the launch of Bob Dylan NFTs.
The entertainment group launched a music group on the metaverse based on some Bored Ape NFT collectibles for a more innovative and potentially risky initiative. Universal acquired a couple of NFTs and got other owners to jump on board with the project to use their intellectual property to build the group. Using Bored Ape as a basis for projects has also been exploited by other companies, including Adidas and Timbaland’s music label.
Universal also has a partnership with Genies, an NFT avatar developer company also backed by Dapper, for digital avatars representing Universal’s artist roster. And in February of this year, it announced a partnership with NFT platform Curio to develop fan collections based on record labels and artists.