Universal Music Group is more firmly affixed to the metaverse hype train. The record label collaborated with Genies, an avatar company, to create digital versions of its artists, as well as non-fungible token (NFT) outfits and accessories for virtual worlds.
The goal is to give Universal artists official metaverse virtual identities. Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes, for example, had already requested that Genies create avatars of them. Rihanna, Migos, and others will now be able to take their facsimiles into various metaverses or use their avatars across social media platforms. Fans will buy and sell virtual merchandise for the avatars in the coming months through an NFT marketplace run by Genies.
Universal Music Group isn't making its first foray into the metaverse. It announced a virtual band made up of four characters from the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection last month, similar to Gorillaz.
Adidas, which appears to be working on its own NFTs, and Nike, which built a virtual play space and a store for digital goods inside Roblox, are two other well-known brands looking to make waves in the metaverse. That platform (along with Fortnite) was one of several in the gaming industry that paved the way for other companies and brands to enter the metaverse.