UPDATE: This story was updated March 10 at 8:30 a.m. ET to account for additional Golden Ticket sales.
Kings of Leon made a splash last week with the announcement of “NFT Yourself,” a collection of non-fungible tokens the band put up for sale through blockchain technology company YellowHeart alongside the release of the band’s new album When You See Yourself as an NFT. This also marked the first time that fans have been able to purchase an album on blockchain the same day it drops on streaming platforms.
Since the sale kicked off on Friday at 12 p.m. EST, it has generated upwards of $2 million, a representative for Kings of Leon confirms, including more than $500,000 donated to Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund to support live music crews during the pandemic. That’s after the band extended the auction portion of the sale by 24 hours to 8 p.m. Monday, after some listings fell short from initial expectations.
NFTs are unique digital collectibles bought and sold with blockchain technology, presenting a new and potentially lucrative revenue opportunity for artists. As part of the sale, Kings of Leon auctioned off six different “Golden Tickets,” each giving the owner four front-row seats to one show of every Kings of Leon headlining tour for life.
Two of those tickets, “Bandit #3 Grid” and “Heads in the Clouds,” sold for the reserve price (meaning the lowest price the seller is willing to accept) of 50 Ethereum, which equals about $91,000. Of the other Golden Ticket sales, “Golden Cherry Echo” sold to the highest bidder for roughly $95,700; and “Bandit #1 Red” and “Couch Distortion” each sold for close to $97,000. The highest-selling of the bunch, “Bandit #2 Wave,” which also included audio, sold for roughly $162,000. Another 12 “Golden Tickets” put up for display purposes only have been vaulted, as planned from the start.
Kings of Leon previously announced that Crew Nation would receive the proceeds of both “Bandit Wave #2” and the album tokens, which are priced at $50 each and include limited-edition vinyl a digital download of the album. Subtracting the “Bandit Wave #2” sale from the total channeled to Crew Nation thus far, the band looks to have sold roughly 6,760 copies of the album NFT, bringing in around $338,000.
The band brought in further sales through audio-visual tokens like “Cherry Echo” and “Cherry Bolt.” All tokens sold through the collection include art designed by the band’s longtime creative partner, Night After Night.
The Golden Ticket auction was originally scheduled to end on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST, but Kings of Leon ended up extending that deadline to give more fans a chance to partake, acknowledging the steep learning curve around NFTs.
“Breaking new ground is never easy….if it were, it wouldn’t be groundbreaking,” the band wrote in a since-deleted statement on YellowHeart’s website. “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.”
The collection arrived amid an NFT frenzy in the music industry, with artists like deadmau5, Grimes, 3LAU, Ozuna and Shawn Mendes all releasing collections over the past several weeks.
Fans can still purchase When You See Yourself as an NFT on YellowHeart’s website through March 19 at 8 p.m. ET. All limited-edition collectable NFTs that are not sold at the end of the sale will be “burned” — meaning deleted forever — and no more will be made.