Universal Music enters the NFT space with the acquisition of Bored Ape NFT to lead its virtual music group
Love them or hate them, non-fungible tokens (NFTS) are no longer just a fad. NFTs have become digital assets that are slowly making their way into every industry. Initially, many people were dismissive of NFTs as some kind of craze.
The most common reaction to the news that Beeple’s NFT selling for $69.3 million was one of incredulity – with the general consensus being that it was a waste of money. Since then though, the world has grown used to hearing news of artists and other celebrities paying big bucks for their NFTs. Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Paris Hilton, to name just a few. But they’re not just buying into the craze – they are also creating new revenue streams using NFTs.
The NFT market is so hot right now that even a 12-year-old coder was able to earn over $400,000 in less than 2 months selling NFTs. But that’s nothing compared to recent NFT sales by Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles. Now, many companies are getting the NFTs. The most notable one was when Visa bought ‘CryptoPunk’ NFT for $165,000.
Today, Universal Music Group (MSG) jumps into the NFT bandwagon s by acquiring one of the cartoon apes that have taken the world of digital collectibles by storm to lead an entirely virtual music group. Universal said Friday that it purchased Bored Ape #5537 – a female character now known as Manager Noët All for $360,817, to lead the group it founded in November called Kingship.
According to Reuters, Kingship exists solely in digital form. The group will have its own website and presence on messaging platform Discord, and will eventually produce new music and give virtual performances in the metaverse, a loose term commonly used to describe a digital world where the real and virtual worlds converge into a vision of science fiction.
Like Manager Noët All, all the band members are NFTs – three Bored Apes and a Mutant Ape, on loan from collector Jim McNelis. “For it to become part of culture, I think that would be an amazing thing,” said McNelis.
The idea of creating virtual bands from digital characters is not a new one. Gorillaz, a virtual band formed in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and comic artist Jamie Hewlett, released seven albums on Warner Music Group’s (WMG.O) Parlophone label. One of Japan’s pop stars, Hatsune Miku, is a hologram.
“For Kingship, Universal’s 10:22PM label sought out one of the best-known NFT collections on the blockchain, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, comprised of 10,000 anthropomorphic apes, each with distinct clothing, fur and expressions.”
In recent months, Bored Apes have become a status symbol for celebrities, with investors including “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, pop star Justin Bieber, NBA superstar Steph Curry and billionaire investor Mark Cuban. For Universal Music, Kingship presents an opportunity to learn how to create characters and stories that generate excitement in the metaverse.
“It’s about understanding the ethos of the space,” said 10:22PM founder Celine Joshua, whose label serves as a laboratory for experimenting with new forms of entertainment.