Serenade raises $6 million from Hugh Jackman, Bernard Fanning

An Australia-based eco-friendly NFT music marketplace has raised $6 million in funding from actors like actor Hugh Jackman and musician Bernard Fanning with the goal of getting artists on board the emerging — but controversial — NFT space.

Founded by Max Shand, a venture capitalist, music writer and the first employee at tech giant Afterpay, Serenade offers artists a way to create limited edition “digital pressings” of their albums as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which fans can then purchase in addition to several other digital collectibles.

Serenade founder Max Shand says he is aware of the negative perception of NFTs within the music industry.

Serenade founder Max Shand says he is aware of the negative perception of NFTs within the music industry.

“The sale of that digital pressing gives you an instant new revenue stream from fans and a relationship with your superfans that you can develop over time. It also allows artists to do things that were either too expensive — like a box set — or just aren’t feasible,” Shand said. The age and The Sydney Morning Herald

Serenade has also been approved in the UK and in Australia as the first NFT platform to be accredited by the card, meaning sales of digital pressings on the platform count toward artist rankings on the charts.

“It fits neatly into your release cycle as an artist, so when you release your album on Spotify, you release your record, you release your Serenade digital pressing as well,” he said.

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To date, the company has attracted notable local acts such as Confidence Man, Client Liaison and The Kooks. However, Shand acknowledges the skepticism within the wider music community about the use of NFTs, with many performers questioning whether the technology is a scam and raising concerns about its environmental impact.

Shand said the company was working hard to counter these perceptions, noting that Serenade runs on the layer two Ethereum network Polygon, which is less carbon-intensive than its crypto peers.

“You’d have to produce 197,000 Serenade NFTs to match the carbon footprint of a single 12-inch vinyl,” he said. He is also aware that he is not too much like “tech bros imposing ourselves on an industry”, but instead tries to work closely with artists interested in joining the platform.