Kings of Leon Bag $1.4 Million in Ethereum NFT Auction

Kings of Leon became the first band to release an album as an NFT last weekend. The group raised 766 ETH from the sale.

Key Takeaways

  • Kings of Leon has made $1.4 million in ETH from an NFT auction for their “When You See Yourself” album.
  • Exclusive album editions, digital artwork, and lifetime concert passes were released as part of the drop.
  • Kings of Leon is the first band to use NFTs to release an album.

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Nashville rock group Kings of Leon just made a seven-figure sum from their first NFT collection. 

Kings of Leon Minting NFTs

Kings of Leon has raised $1.4 million from a landmark NFT auction. 

The collection, titled “NFT Yourself” and released in partnership with crypto startup Yellowheart, went on sale to celebrate the release of Kings of Leon’s new “When You See Yourself” LP over the weekend. It was the first drop of its kind for a band. Sales amounted to 766.4 ETH, which comes to roughly $1.4 million at today’s prices. 

The drop featured tokenized versions of the album featuring a limited edition vinyl release and exclusive digital artwork. Unsold editions were burned at the end of the sale, adding to the scarcity of each token. Various other digital artworks were sold, as well as a handful of “golden ticket” experiences.

The golden tickets included a lifetime pass for the band’s concerts, guaranteeing four front row tickets and VIP treatment on every tour. 

By far the most expensive NFT in the collection was “Golden Ticket: Bandit #2 Wave,” which included audio excerpts of “When You See Yourself” and the lead single “The Bandit.” It sold for 89 ETH.

Interestingly, the reserve price for at least one of the golden tickets was as high as 50 ETH, about $90,000. Two of the tickets only received bids of 49 ETH and 6.6 ETH

The auction ran on OpenSea from Friday through Monday, and YellowHeart handled the listings. It was originally scheduled to end Sunday, though the deadline was extended by 24 hours. In a statement on YellowHeart’s website, Kings of Leon said: 

“Breaking new ground is never easy….if it were, it wouldn’t be groundbreaking. Many fans are first-time NFT buyers and are experiencing a learning curve. WE HEAR YOU and are going to extend the NFT YOURSELF Collection for an additional 24 hours, in hopes that more time allows more fans to participate in this historic offering.”

It’s possible that the auction was extended due to certain items failing to meet their reserve price.

Still, some speculators have already relisted the items in the hope of making a tidy profit. One user called BigBear has listed the album NFT for a hefty 400 ETH.

NFTs and Music 

Crypto-native music fans have long discussed the Ethereum economy as a potential solution to the music industry’s problems. The traditional model for music releases is loaded with intermediaries, and the artist typically gets paid last in the chain. Royalties from streaming, for example, are typically paid by a revenue collection body at the end of the year, and they usually only amount to fractions of a cent per stream. 

NFTs can empower creators by allowing them to sell their work in exchange for instant cryptocurrency payments.

The technology first caught on in the digital art world, but NFTs can encompass music, identification, and much more. Unlike tokens like BTC and LINK, each one is unique. That means they can provide provable scarcity and ownership of a certain asset. The NFT movement centers on Ethereum, which acts as the reserve asset for the space. Auction houses like OpenSea and Rarible sell NFTs in exchange for ETH. 

Though Kings of Leon is the first band to use Ethereum in this manner, many other musicians have recently looked to NFTs as a way of releasing their work.

Last month, the American DJ 3LAU took a similar strategy to run a limited drop of his “Ultraviolet” album, having front-run the movement over the last few months. He made $11.7 million from the sale, making it the most valuable NFT release to date. Grimes also made a seven-figure sum from her recent Nifty Gateway drop.

Other big DJs like Steve Aoki, Carl Cox, and Richie Hawtin have all jumped on board, too. 

The Kings of Leon drop is the one that’s garnered the most attention from the mainstream world so far. With their auction seemingly going down as a success, the industry may soon see other big artists embrace the technology. 

Formed in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1999, Kings of Leon is one of the world’s most popular rock groups. The band has won four Grammys and played headline performances at festivals like Glastonbury and Lollapalooza. Their hit singles include “Sex on Fire,” “Molly’s Chambers,” “The Bucket,” and “On Call.” 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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