The newest album by American progressive metal group Mastadon has debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart, marking a success (and personal record) for the artists’ first experiment in accepting Bitcoin for music.
Once More ‘Round the Sun, Mastadon’s sixth studio album, sold 34,000 copies in the U.S. in the first week after its release on June 24 to land it in sixth place position on the chart, which tracks each week’s top-selling albums across all genres.
The band was beat out by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran at No. 1, followed by Sam Smith, G-Eazy, Lana Del Ray, and the soundtrack to hit Disney movie “Frozen.”
The achievement was a record for the progressive metal group from Atlanta, Georgia, as Mastadon’s first consecutive top-10 opening after their previous album The Hunter debuted at No. 10 in 2011.
Some could argue the band’s success was due in part to their decision to accept Bitcoin as payment for the newest album, with metal-music blogging site MetalSucks suggesting Mastadon members were “financial geniuses” for the move.
The blog’s argument was based on the potential appreciation of Bitcoin value, which would earn the band proportionately more money in the long run – but Mastadon has also been stealing headlines and basking in public attention for being one of the first major-label bands to accept Bitcoin.
Once More ‘Round the Sun is on sale for $10.99 or approximately 0.017 bitcoins, according to the Mastadon order site powered by cryptocurrency service BitPay.
“Bitpay is honored to partner with Warner Bros. Records artist Mastadon,” BitPay’s cofounder Tony Gallippi said in a statement when the partnership was announced. “Having a major label artist embrace bitcoin is a definite sign of bitcoin’s growth and expansion into the world of music.”
Mastadon, for their part, noted convenience as an aspect of the decision to accept Bitcoin. The band said in a statement:
“We want to give our fans as many options to buy our new album as possible, and are happy that Bitcoin can be one of those choices.”
The group is the second big-name act to accept Bitcoin, after 50 Cent announced in early June he would take the cryptocurrency for his new album “Animal Ambition,” also using BitPay.
“Stay with the times,” the rapper said of his decision in a Reddit AMA last month. “Technology is what’s changing the business gotta get with it. I take money no matter if its coins or dollars.”
Catch Mastadon on tour this summer across North American, Scandinavia, and Europe – check out the schedule here.