FILE PHOTO: The Universal Music Group (UMG) logo is seen on a building in Zurich, Switzerland, July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/
March 18, 2022
By Dawn Chmielewski
(Reuters) – Universal Music Group is capitalizing on the popularity of non-fungible tokens by acquiring one of the cartoon monkeys that’s taken the digital collectibles world by storm to lead a fully virtual music group.
On Friday, Universal’s 10:22PM label announced it had paid $360,817 to purchase Bored Ape #5537 – a female character now known as Manager Noët All, who helms the group Kingship, which formed in November target.
Existing entirely in digital form, Kingship will have its own website and presence on messaging platform Discord, and will eventually produce new music and announce virtual performances in the Metaverse, a loose term commonly used to describe a place where the physical and digital worlds meet. 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. 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 monkeys, each with different clothing, fur, and expressions.
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 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.
(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Kenneth Li and Karishma Singh)
https://www.oann.com/universal-music-label-acquires-ape-nft-to-lead-virtual-music-group/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=universal-music-label-acquires-ape-nft-to-lead-virtual-music-group The label Universal Music acquires ape NFT to lead a virtual music group