It turns out, Napster and Limewire were just the beginning. The music industry has undergone seismic shifts in the past 20 years, but it lives on today as a largely digital industry. And, since the music NFT marketplace Serenade partnered with Warner Records U.K., that trend will likely continue, at scale. Together, they’ve announced a new music format: the Digital Pressing. And this will be the first of its kind — a chart-eligible music NFT explicitly aimed toward the most ardent of fans, according to a press release shared with nft now.
Digital Pressing is a new chart-eligible music format that hopes to offer music fans worldwide all of the perks of a physical release, along with the convenience of traditional digital downloads. And it comes on the heels of including digital downloads and digital streams as part of Billboard’s methodology for creating music charts that accurately represent the popular music of the times.
A new format for music
Speaking on the potential impact of this new music format, Serenade founder Max Shand stated in a press release that “Digital Pressings will be a game changer on the global stage,” expressing that this new format allows artists to “offer their international audiences something truly unique and engaging,” Shand said.
Shand spoke further on his vision for the Digital Pressing format in a Twitter thread, highlighting it as a means to further democratize the concept of the album release cycle for musicians across the globe. Digital Pressings are positioned as providing musicians opportunities to package their work similarly to how they would via a traditional vinyl release with none of the downsides.
Aside from touting a two-week lead time, compared to the six to nine months required for a vinyl release, Digital Pressings could also be far more environmentally friendly. According to Serenade’s press release, “one average 12[-inch] vinyl has the equivalent carbon footprint of 197,100 Digital Pressings.”
Spearheading the launch of this format is the English rock band Muse, who are set to launch their ninth studio album Will of the People on August 26 under this new format. For longtime Muse fans, this move is set to create an interesting parallel with the fellow English music group Radiohead, who famously broke convention when they released the long-awaited 2007 effort In Rainbows via a “pay what you want” digital download.
Each Digital Pressing of Will of the People — and all subsequent albums released under this format — will count toward one physical album sale on the charts. For this pilot launch, sales data will register on music charts in the U.K. and Australian music markets.