Music Industry Moves: OneRepublic Becomes First Major U.S. Artist to Take Cryptocurrency Payment for Live Gig

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OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder‘s interest in evolving technology is well-documented (see his recent interview with Variety about moving into the NFT space). Now, he’s put his cryptocurrency where his mouth is, as OneRepublic became the first major-label U.S. act to accept Bitcoin in full payment for a show, according to the group’s reps.

The exchange was for an acoustic at a historic theater outside Vienna, Haydn Hall, on Nov. 16. OneRepublic used the Strike peer-to-peer bitcoin payment app to accept payment for the gig, which is said to have sold out in a matter of minutes after going on sale just two weeks ago.

Said Tedder in a statement: “My band and I are so happy to be a part of something that we believe is, without question, the future of how payments are transacted for unlimited amounts of assets, performances, services, purchases, music, etc. around the world.  Whether it’s artists using NFTs to fund albums with their fans or bands being paid for concerts in crypto, music & tech go hand in hand. With that in mind, it only made sense for us to take the next logical step. I also have an upcoming private concert in December I’m planning on taking Bitcoin for.”

+ DistroKid‘s Artists For Change, an initiative giving platform members the ability to donate portions of song earnings to charity, is expanding after more than 1,000 DistroKid members collectively donated over $50,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. While facilitating the donations through its “Splits” feature, DistroKid does not take any percentage of artist earnings or donations.

Newly participating charities include Miracle Messages, Support + Feed, The North Brooklyn Angels, Vouchers for Veggies and Slice Out Hunger, with more to be announced in the coming months.

Said DistroKid CEO Philip Kaplan: “The artist community has shown incredible generosity by auto-donating a portion of earnings to important causes. We’re excited to expand the program by adding support for these and many more organizations.”

+ Josh Van Valkenburg has been promoted to executive VP, Creative at Sony Music Publishing Nashville. Honored as one of Variety‘s 2020 Hitmakers for his contribution to Gabby Barrett’s “I Hope,” other songwriters and producers with whom Van Valkenburg has been affiliated include Ross Copperman, Jon Nite, Lindsay Rimes, Chris DeStefano and Josh Osborne, as well as Brett Eldredge and Chase Rice. Van Valkenburg reports to Sony Music Publishing Nashville CEO Rusty Gaston. He has been with the company since 2005.