Billboard, a global music media brand with renowned authority among artists, fans and the industry at large, announced Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, as its launch partner for ChartStars, a non-fungible token (NFT) based project of curated digital collectibles that will leverage the environmentally friendly Flow Blockchain.
The launch of ChartStars marks Billboard’s first scalable NFT product geared toward music fans. ChartStars will be a collection of artist-focused digital artwork that commemorates achievements and milestones on the Billboard Charts. These collectibles will feature officially licensed art and creative including short visual clips from music videos, album photography and more. 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 first ChartStars products are expected to be available for purchase in May.
As Billboard’s launch partner, UMG will work across its roster of world class artists and labels to celebrate Billboard chart achievements for songs that debut in the Top 25 or reach other significant chart-related successes including but not limited to length of time on the chart, a simultaneous number of songs on the chart and historic chart records, among other milestones. UMG is the only company to ever place nine of the Top 10 on Billboard’s album chart — a feat the company has accomplished six times in the chart’s 64-year history. Notably, in 2021, UMG set a new chart record for occupying the No. 1 spot for 38 weeks in a row.
Billboard has tapped Unblocked as its NFT technology partner for ChartStars. Unblocked, which is backed by Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot, recently announced a seed round of financing led by Tiger Global. With Unblocked, ChartStars will accept credit card payments for digital collectables and run on the Flow Blockchain platform, which is more environmentally friendly compared with other mainstream blockchain technology.
"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,"
said Julian Holguin, President, Billboard.
"These digital collectibles will celebrate and commemorate special chart achievements with visually stunning creative. Fans will also compete for real-life prizes, adding an authentic layer of gamification to the entire platform. We could not have asked for a better launch partner than UMG, a company who like Billboard, places artists and fans at the center of everything they do."
Michael Nash, UMG’s Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, said:
"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. 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."