Universal Music Group is becoming more firmly affixed to the metaverse hype train. The record label collaborated with avatar startup Genies to develop digital replicas of its musicians, as well as non-fungible token (NFT) clothing and accessories for use in virtual environments.
The plan is to provide official virtual identities for Universal’s artists in the metaverse. Some of the roster, such as Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes, had already requested that Genies create avatars of them.
Now, Rihanna, Migos, and others will be able to take those facsimiles into various metaverses or use the avatars across social platforms. Fans will be able to buy and trade virtual products for the avatars in the coming months via an NFT marketplace hosted by Genies.
Universal Music Group isn’t making its first foray into the metaverse. It announced last month a virtual band made up of four characters from the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, similar to Gorillaz.
Adidas, which appears to be working on its own NFTs, and Nike, which built a virtual playspace and a store for digital goods inside Roblox, are two other prominent brands looking to make waves in the metaverse. That platform is one of several in the gaming industry (including Fortnite) that helped pave the way for other companies and brands to enter the metaverse.