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Billboard, Universal Music Group Launch ‘ChartStars’ NFT

Billboard and UMG’s venture into the NFT space comes after the publication unveiled three World of Women covers.

Since 1940, Billboard has set the standard across the music industry with its now-broad range of charts.

It’s only right, then, that Billboard”s “first scalable NFT product” is named ChartStars. Universal Music Group was announced as the launch partner Wednesday.

More details were provided in a press release:

“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.”

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Additionally, Unblocked — backed by Dapper Labs — is the “NFT technology partner” behind Chartstars.

The news comes the same week Billboard unveiled three World of Women NFT covers for its annual “Women In Music” Issue:

“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,” Billboard President Julian Holguin said in a statement. “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.”

The release noted UMG’s singular achievements on the Billboard charts, as the only company to occupy nine slots on the top-10 of the Billboard 200 as well as setting a new chart record at No. 1 for 38-straight weeks.

The moves aren’t directly related, but it does feel relevant that Billie Eilish, signed to Interscope under the UMG umbrella, recently filed trademarks intended for use in the metaverse and NFT space.