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Spotify’s Token-Gated Playlists a ‘Powerful’ Benefit for NFT Projects

Spotify Logo with NFT and music logo beside it

Streaming music giant Spotify has rolled out a new token-gated playlist pilot as its latest NFT and Web3 experiment.

Joining the pilot are a handful of NFT projects, including Overlord and Kingship, letting holders from each project test out a unique crypto integration with the streaming platform. Essentially, the feature lets members of those particular communities connect a crypto wallet holding one of the Ethereum NFTs and access an exclusive Spotify playlist.

Overlord powers more than just NFT collectibles, labeling itself a “gaming and entertainment brand” with an animation deal already inked with Seth Green to use its Creepz NFTs. Kingship, meanwhile, is a virtual band from Universal Music Group’s 10:22PM label. It’s akin to Gorillaz and is made up of fictional band members inspired by Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

For now, the new token-gated service is only available on Android and in the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand.

“The user simply clicks on the playlist. It takes you out to your preferred wallets, whether it’s MetaMask or Ledger; it depends on how you store your assets,” Overlord co-founder Joe Carnell told Decrypt. “It will ask you to sign, and then it will grant you access the to the playlist.”

For Overlord, holders of its genesis Creepz NFTs will enjoy exclusive access to the playlist. The playlist includes songs like “Vitamin C” by CAN, “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Rocket Man” by Elton John, and more than 100 other tracks.

“The playlist is built around our internal narrative of invasion,” said Carnell, citing the project’s titular “mega-mutant lizard” Overlord, “who’s known to be invading different planets.”

It’s not only about the music either, said Carnell.

“Spotify has notoriously been known for championing great UX principles in the way they develop the methodology and product principles,” he told Decrypt. “We really were excited about aligning ourselves to a brand who thinks about UX first.”

The music streaming platform may already be benefitting from the play, too. The Overlord co-founder said that he has already seen members of his community download Spotify for the first time. Or upgrade to a premium subscription to enjoy an uninterrupted version of the invasion playlist without ads.

“The ability for us to change user behavior and drive the kind of KPIs that Spotify wants, because we can set it in a context that [users] love, is really powerful,” said Carnell.

This user behavior could be further adjusted with this token gate as it allows for additional perks, said co-founder Dominic Smith. Pointing to potential benefits like album releases or “behind-the-scenes exclusive interviews with certain musicians.”

Spotify began testing Web3 integrations last year, with a company representative confirming to publication Music Ally in May. That some musicians were testing a feature to promote NFTs on their artist profiles. The company had previously posted job listings referencing Web3 earlier in 2022.