Universal Music Label Acquires Ape NFT to Lead Virtual Music Band


The Bored Ape named Manager Noet All is seen in this undated image after Universal Music’s 10:22 PM purchased a Bored Ape, investing in one of NFT’s best-known collections. 10:22M/Handout via REUTERS

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March 18 (Reuters) – Universal Music Group (UMG.AS) is capitalizing on the popularity of non-fungible tokens by acquiring one of the cartoon monkeys who took the world of digital collectibles by storm to lead a group of entirely virtual music.

On Friday, Universal’s 22:22 label said it paid $360,817 to buy Bored Ape #5537 – a female character now known as Manager Noët All, to front the band he founded in November called Kingship.

Kingship, which exists only in digital form, will have its own website and presence on the Discord messaging platform, and possibly produce new music and give virtual performances in the metaverse, a vague term commonly used to describe a place. where the physical and digital worlds meet. Like manager Noët All, all members of the group are NFTs – three Bored Apes and one Mutant Ape, on loan from collector Jim McNelis.

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“For it to be part of the culture, I think that would be an amazing thing,” McNelis said.

The idea of ​​creating virtual groups from digital characters is not new. Gorillaz, a virtual band formed in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and comedic artist Jamie Hewlett, has released seven albums on Warner Music Group’s Parlophone label (WMG.O). One of the Japanese pop stars, Hatsune Miku, is a hologram.

For Kingship, Universal’s 22:22 label sought out one of the best-known NFT collections on the blockchain, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, made up of 10,000 anthropomorphic apes, each with distinct clothing, fur, and expressions.

Bored Apes have become a celebrity status symbol, 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 space,” said 22:22 founder Celine Joshua, whose label serves as a laboratory for experimenting with new forms of entertainment.

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Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Kenneth Li and Karishma Singh

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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