About nine months after it began allowing select artists to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on-platform, Spotify is testing a feature that enables certain NFT holders to access exclusive playlists.
The Stockholm-headquartered streaming platform’s latest NFT expansion just recently came to light in social media posts penned by entities including Kingship. “Signed” to Universal Music Group’s 10:22PM, the latter is a virtual “supergroup” comprised of characters from the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project.
And according to Kingship, for which 10:22PM last summer minted thousands of “virtual key card” non-fungible tokens, those who possess its NFTs can listen to a “token-enabled playlist” on Spotify. The team behind Kingship – now including actual musicians – in a tweet described the seemingly straightforward process associated with accessing the playlist.
“All you need is a KINGSHIP Key Card NFT to unlock this playlist on Spotify. For now, this pilot is only available to Android users in the US, UK, DE, AU and NZ,” reads one of the many messages written about the “special moment.”
Individuals who don’t own Kingship key cards – which remain available on OpenSea and, if the displayed sale prices are accurate, are fetching relatively substantial sums – cannot see the playlist’s included songs. Non-owners can however view the landing page for the mobile-only playlist (aptly entitled “KINGSHIP’S Exclusive Playlist”), which is labeled “TOKEN ENABLED” and had 46 likes at the time of this writing.
Upon tapping the play button, one is prompted to connect a crypto wallet (Metamask, Trust Wallet, and Rainbow among them) to his or her Spotify account, and for owners of the appropriate token, doing so would presumably unlock Kingship’s Spotify playlist at once.
Besides Kingship, a portion of the Fluf, Moonbirds, and Overlord NFT communities’ respective members can likewise access exclusive Spotify playlists at present, according to CoinDesk.
It’s unclear when (or whether) the streaming service will make the exclusive-playlist feature available to different NFT holders and in additional countries. But with NFTs having reportedly experienced a substantial sales slowdown in 2022, while also spurring several high-profile lawsuits, time will reveal the precise popularity of “token-enabled” playlists.
More broadly, though, the presence of exclusive Spotify playlists is significant, especially given the platform’s ongoing effort to optimize the user experience and stand out in the crowded audio-entertainment sphere – while simultaneously making cuts on the podcasting side.
As 10:22PM belongs to Universal Music Group, it bears mentioning in conclusion that Lucian Grainge in January called for streaming’s compensation model to evolve, before UMG kicked off February by announcing a related collaboration with Tidal.