The music industry continues to embrace the limitless potential of non-fungible tokens (NFT). Snoop Dogg, Post Malone, SZA, and more artists have partnered with NFT platforms to release exclusive collectible items. Now, record companies are getting into the space. Universal Music Group has announced a new global partnership with avatar technology company Genies.
Genies will also create virtual identities for UMG’s roster as the record company prepares for a consumer shift to the metaverse. The avatars will allow artists to engage with fans virtually, plus offer exclusive wearables for fans to collect and use as clothing for their own avatars.
“UMG continues to lead and unlock what is possible with Web 3.0 and virtual economies. With our Genies partnership, we created an ideal framework and toolkit to empower our artists in the evolving digital universe,” said Celine Joshua, UMG’s Executive Vice President, Commercial Innovation & Artist Strategy.
Genies has already created digital avatars for UMG artists Rihanna, Offset, J Balvin, and Justin Bieber, among others.
Akash Nigam, Genies CEO said in the press release that the deal isn’t about “bringing culture to NFTs and crypto.” “Genies and UMG together are bringing the power of NFTs and crypto to culture,” he said. “This next era of the internet is about empowering people with more ownership and capabilities. UMG’s roster of talent represents some of the world’s most entrepreneurial pioneers, and by equipping these iconic artists with their own Genie avatars, we’re excited to help them realize even more potential in Web 3.0.”
With record companies embracing NFTs, cryptocurrency, and gearing up for the metaverse, the future of music and fan interaction will likely look significantly different in the coming years. Artist avatars and NFTs should create an enormous amount of profitable opportunities for both the record labels and their artists.