An Australian-founded eco-friendly NFT music marketplace has raised $6 million in funding from actor Hugh Jackman and musician Bernard Fanning in a bid to bring artists on board the emerging NFT space – but controversial.
Founded by venture capitalist, music writer and first employee of tech giant Afterpay, Max Shand, Serenade offers artists a way to create limited-run “digital pressings” of their albums in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which fans can then purchase alongside various other digital collectibles.
“Selling this digital pressing gives you a new direct fan revenue stream and a relationship with your superfans that you can grow over time. It also allows artists to do things that were either too expensive – like a box set – or just unfeasible,” Shand said. age and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Serenade has also been approved in the UK and Australia to be the first chart-accredited NFT platform, meaning that sales of digital pressings on the platform will count towards an artist’s chart ranking.
“It fits perfectly into your release cycle as an artist, so when you release your album on Spotify, you also release your record, you also release your Serenade digital pressing,” he said.
So far, the business has attracted notable local artists such as Confidence Man, Client Liaison and The Kooks. However, Shand acknowledges skepticism within the wider music community about the use of NFTs, with many artists wondering if the technology is a scam and raising concerns about its environmental impact.
Shand said the company is working hard to counter these perceptions, noting that Serenade runs on the Polygon layer-two Ethereum network, which is less carbon-intensive than its crypto counterparts.
“You would have to produce 197,000 Serenade NFTs to match the carbon footprint of a single 12-inch vinyl,” he said. He’s also aware that he doesn’t come across as “tech bros imposing themselves on an industry” too much, opting instead to try to work closely with artists interested in joining the platform.