Almost a year after launch, Serenade is on the expansion path.
The performance platform enters the U.K. and, from today, adds NFTs to its inventory of must-have music collectibles, including new and unreleased performances, to music, documentary footage, rare visuals and more.
As part of the new-look Serenade, Mercury Prize-nominated electronic music duo Jungle unveiled a range of NFTs to accompany their third and latest album, Loving in Stereo, which sits at No. 2 on the midweek U.K. chart.
Up for grabs are special micro-videos accompanying the album’s 14 tracks, and Jungle’s J is giving four fans a chance to bid for entry into a production masterclass.
Other acts unleashing limited-edition NFTs include Ash, Super Furry Animals, ArrDee, Kaiser Chiefs, Gary Powell of The Libertines, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, The Game, Strawberries & Creem festival, Ride, Scouting For Girls, Ladyhawke, and more.
From Wednesday, fans can build a profile, showcase and chat about their collectibles. Artists get 85% of the initial sale of their work. Each time an NFT is sold and re-sold, the artist earns a 15% cut.
The new evolution of Serenade sets out to simplify and demystify NFTs, according to founder Max Shand, and create new revenue streams, a cornerstone of the tech company’s mission.
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Serenade was created in May 2020, and soft launched to the industry in September of that year, allowing artists to build their bank accounts (and get in extra practice) during their downtime.
The first incarnation enabled music fans to go direct to artists and purchase a personalised, virtual — and shareable — performance.
Artists set their fees, with 75% of the Serenade cut going to the performer.
The U.K. platform soft-launched Monday with the Jungle NFTs, and will blast off proper today at 5pm AEST.
TIO caught up with Shand for a primer on the new-look Serenade.
Why relaunch now and how will it look different to the user?
The personalised performance service is still working well for specific artists, but we’re broadening the appeal of the platform to make it more vital for artists and fans alike.
Artists will now be able to create less for more, and have much greater creative license in what they produce.
Rather than producing one recording for every one fan, artists on the new Serenade platform will be able to transform new and archival work into digital collectibles that can reach hundreds of their fans, and at a price point that those fans can really afford.
Fans also have a way to profit from the resale of their collectibles in a way that continues to support their favourite artists.
Every time a fan sells their collectibles to another fan, the original artist gets 15% of the sale price of that product in perpetuity.
What was the feedback like from artists to the idea of selling NFTs? I suspect the vast majority of the non-creative sector wouldn’t have a clue as to what they are.
NFTs are super confusing, especially when you bring in scary buzzwords like blockchain, digital wallets and ethereum.
Once we explain to artists that our job is to remove these confusing elements by making the fan-shopping experience of NFTs no different from buying a jacket online, and that NFTs don’t have to be odd pixelated gifs but rather any musical output like album or tour artwork, recordings and footage, artists start understanding the full potential of the technology as a great way to engage superfans.
You’re launching in the U.K. Can you give me an idea of which artists and how many will be on the platform at launch? Do you have a team there or will you run it from here?
We’re currently working with U.K. artists like Ash, Emeli Sande, Kaiser Chiefs and Ride amongst others.
Our team is based in Australia but we have an incredible advisory board of label, publishing and management leaders around the UK who have helped us navigate the landscape and meet all the wonderful people that we have.
This said, I’d love it if international travel was an option!