Moses made chart history by being the first act with the UK’s #1 album sold in NFT (non-fungible token) format. The Devon rock trio achieved the feat with their ninth album Will of the People, which was released last week in the form of a limited edition NFT “digital press”, as well as traditional formats such as vinyl, digital, cassette and CD.
Will of the People sold 51,500 copies in its first week, surpassing the rest of the top ten combined, although a fraction of it were NFTs: the record’s digital compression was limited to 1,000 copies worldwide, meaning that even if every copy of the NFT sold in the UK, accounting for at most 1.96% of UK sales.
However, Will of the People wasn’t the first chart-topping album to be released in the NFT format: Muse was beaten up by Manchester rapper Aitch, who released his debut album Close to Home, released a week before Muse’s record, and reached No. 2 in last week’s chart.
As reported by The Guardian last month, NFT albums have been eligible to hit the charts for a few months, but only now are they being sold by retailers at the charts level. Will of the People was retailed via NFT’s “green” platform Serenade, while Aitch’s Close to Home NFT was sold on LimeWire – an NFT marketplace whose name and branding has been licensed from the now-defunct file-sharing platform.
The digital squeeze of Will of the People, now sold out, consisted of a downloadable copy of the album that included an alternate cover image and was digitally signed by the Muse members. It’s the band’s seventh project to reach #1, giving them the same number of chart covers as Elton John, Paul McCartney, George Michael, The Prodigy, and Killers.