Billboard, Universal Music Group partner to put NFT collectibles at the top of its charts

NFT endeavor ChartStars is a collection of artist-focused digital artwork commemorating achievements and milestones on the Billboard charts. It will be available on the Flow blockchain in May.
Written by Marc Wojno, Senior Editor

The giant of the entertainment publishing world, Billboard, has teamed up with the giant of the music entertainment industry, Universal Music Group, to create a new NFT project called ChartStars, a collection of curated digital collectables available on the Flow blockchain starting in May.

According to an announcement this week, ChartStars will consist of a collection of "artist-focused digital artwork" created to commemorate a variety of accomplishments and defining moments of the Billboard Charts. The collectibles are multimedia in scope -- true to the proposition that all things can be turned into an NFT. ChartStars, for example, will feature "officially licensed art" and creative works, including short visual clips from music videos and album photography.

Billboard said in its announcement that collecting and gamification will be built into the Flow blockchain platform through collector leaderboards, challenges and true utility baked into the smart contracts, including special access at Billboard Live Events.

As for the other side of the partnership, Universal Music Group will sift through its roster of artists and labels to commemorate Billboard chart achievements for songs that debuted on Billboard's Top 25 as well as other influential chart-related successes, including length of time on the chart, a simultaneous number of songs on the chart and historic chart records, according to the announcement.

On the technical end, Billboard is teaming up with the NFT platform Unblocked, backed by Dapper Labs, which will enable ChartStars to accept credit card payments for digital collectables and run on the environmentally friendly Flow blockchain, according to the announcement.

"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 Billboard President Julian Holguin. "These digital collectibles will celebrate and commemorate special chart achievements with visually stunning creative," he said.

In addition to being linked with their favorite artists, Holguin said music fans who join ChartStars will have the opportunity to compete for "real-life" prizes, providing an added, unique layer of gamification to the platform. 

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