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 thought of NFTs as something of a fad.
The most common reaction to the news that Beeple’s NFT sells for $69.3 million was one of disbelief – with the general consensus that it was a waste of money. Since then, however, the world has grown accustomed to hearing news from artists and other celebrities paying big bucks for their NFTs. Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton just to name a few. But they’re not just buying into the madness — they’re also creating new revenue streams with NFTs.
The NFT market is so hot right now that even a 12 year old programmer was able to make over $400,000 selling NFTs in less than 2 months. But that’s nothing compared to the recent NFT sales of Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative arts, jewelry and collectibles. Now many companies receive the NFTs. The most notable was when Visa bought “CryptoPunk” NFT for $165,000.
Today, Universal Music Group (MSG) jumps on the NFT train by acquiring one of the cartoon monkeys that has taken the digital collectible world by storm to lead an all-virtual music group. Universal announced Friday that it has purchased Bored Ape #5537 — a female character now known as Manager Noët All — for $360,817 to manage the group Kingship, which formed in November.
According to Reuters, Kingship exists exclusively in digital form. The group will have their own website and presence on the Discord messaging platform, and will eventually produce new music and give virtual performances in the Metaverse, a loose term often used to describe a digital world where the real and the virtual world converge into a vision of science fiction.
Like manager Noët All, all band members are NFTs – three Bored Apes and one Mutant Ape, on loan from collector Jim McNelis. “I think that would be an amazing thing if it became part of the culture,” McNelis said.
The idea of creating virtual bands from digital characters is not new. Gorillaz, a virtual band formed in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and comic artist Jamie Hewlett, released seven albums on Warner Music Group’s Parlophone label (WMG.O). One of Japan’s pop stars, Hatsune Miku, is a hologram.
“For Kingship, Universal’s 10:22PM label handpicked one of the most prominent NFT collections on the blockchain, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is made up of 10,000 anthropomorphic apes, each with different clothing, fur and expressions.”
Bored Apes have become a celebrity status symbol in recent months, 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 offers an opportunity to learn how to create characters and stories that create excitement in the metaverse.
“It’s about understanding the ethos of space,” said Celine Joshua, founder of 10:22PM, whose label serves as a laboratory for experimenting with new forms of entertainment.