Icelandic singer Bjork has teamed up with British blockchain startup Blockpool to accept payments in several cryptocurrencies for her new album Utopia. Besides widespread payment options such as via credit or debit card and PayPal, fans will be able to pre-order the album, due for release on November 24, using digital currencies bitcoin, litecoin, audiocoin or dashcoin.
Furthermore, those who purchase Utopia directly from Bjork or her label One Little Indian will get a reward in the form of 100 audiocoins, equal to about $0.19, which will be directly put in an e-wallet provided by Blockpool. Fans will also be able to earn more audiocoins in several other ways, such as by attending the star’s concerts, by sharing content related to the artist on social media, etc.
“We’ve got a piece of technology that can create geo-locations in time, so if an artist was doing a show at a venue between certain hours, we – or even a third-party brand that has a partnership with the artist – could reward fans who go to that show with more coins, as well as maybe unlocking something else: a hidden track, an exclusive video or whatever it is,” Blockpool CEO Kevin Bacon said.
Those who buy the album and earn audiocoin, the cryptocurrency created two years ago specifically for the music industry in order to “reward fans and artists,” will be able to convert it into traditional currencies, as well as bitcoin. According to Bacon, Blockpool also intends to provide help to those who “don’t know anything about crypto” on how to make payments and manage their e-wallets.
Bacon, who used to work as a record producer and a studio owner, claims Bjork’s decision to allow the new album to be bought with cryptocurrencies had nothing to do with her believing it would be a good marketing move. “This really isn’t a marketing strategy with Björk. This is a decision to be a leader. In fact, it’s just the obvious thing to do for her,” the Blockpool chief insisted.
The Icelandic artist isn’t the first singer to let fans purchase music with cryptocurrencies. Namely, Imogen Heap allowed fans to buy her 2015 single Tiny Human with ethers.