Kings of Leon will release their new album, titled ‘When You See Yourself’ on Friday. They will be releasing the album in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT), becoming the first band to do so.
The band will be dropping three types of tokens as part of a series called “NFT Yourself.” One type is a special album package. The second type offers live show perks such as front-row seats for life. And the third type is just for exclusive audiovisual art.
All three types of tokens offer art designed by Kings of Leon’s longtime creative partner Night After Night. Also, the smart contracts and intelligence within the tokens were developed by YellowHeart. YellowHeart is a company hoping to use blockchain technology to bring value back to music and better direct-to-fan relationships.
“Over the last 20 years — two lost decades — we’ve seen the devaluation of music,” YellowHeart CEO Josh Katz told Rolling Stone. “Music has become great at selling everything except music. There’s been a race to the bottom where, for as little money as possible, you have access to all of it.”
Katz believes streaming’s subscription-based pro rata model hurts artists. To that point, Katz believes NFTs will make modern fans want to own music again. “It’s early stages, but in the future, I think this will be how people release their tracks.”
As part of the Kings of Leon release, YellowHeart is minting 18 unique-looking “golden tickets.” Of the 18, six will be auctioned by the band themselves while the other 12 will be vaulted. “Each one of those is a unique NFT with the most incredible Kings of Leon art you’ve ever seen.”
Each “Golden Ticket” also unlocks an actual concert ticket. This is the first time a music ticket has been officially sold as an NFT. The owner of the ticket is guaranteed four front-row seats to any Kings of Leon concert during each tour for life.
Additionally, the ticket owner gets a complete VIP experience. This includes a personal driver and a concierge at the show. It also includes a hangout with the band before the show, and exclusive lounge access.
Katz also added that this is an “extreme example to prove a point.” The plan is for YellowHeart to show how much control can be put into the ticket with smart contracts. Katz believes this tech can be used for general tickets, which could be a huge advancement in the secondary market. Every time an NFT is resold, a percentage of money earned could go to the artist.
Beginning on Thursday, fans will be able to preview the six tokens Kings of Leon will auction off, on YellowHeart’s website. Prices will range from $95 to $2,500.
YellowHeart will mint however many are sold before 8 pm ET on Sunday. This is also when the “Golden Ticket” auction will end.
Kings of Leon decided to donate all proceeds from two of the offerings to Live Nation’s Crew Nation Fund. This is a fund for out-of-work touring professionals. The two offerings are the $50 album NFTs and the highest-priced “golden ticket,” named Bandit Wave #2.