Universal to develop ‘virtual identities’ and NFTs for its artists in partnership with avatar tech firm Genies

Universal to develop ‘virtual identities’ and NFTs for its artists in partnership with avatar tech firm Genies


Universal is stepping into NFTs in a giant approach.

Just final month, the world’s largest rightsholder launched a ‘metaverse group’ consisting of 4 digital characters through its 10.22pm subsidiary, with plans to develop and launch new music, NFTs, community-based merchandise, activations and experiences in the metaverse.

Now, UMG has inked an expansive world partnership with “avatar technology company” Genies to develop avatars and digital wearables for UMG’s  artist roster, constructing on what it says are the “companies’ early collaborations to bring recording artists into the metaverse”.

The deal marks Genies’ second main label partnership this 12 months, following its deal with Warner Music Group in April.

According to a media assertion, UMG and Genies will equip artists “with official virtual identities for use in Web 3.0 and the shifting age of the Internet”.

Furthermore, says UMG, its artists will probably be “providing a persistent virtual representation of themselves across the metaverse to engage with fans in expressive and authentic ways”.

In addition to digital activations, UMG’s artists may have the power to launch unique avatar wearables for their followers to gather and use to outfit their very own avatars in the metaverse.

UMG provides that the settlement builds on earlier collaborations to create digital identities for a few of the world’s most influential and profitable recording artists together with Justin Bieber (Def Jam), J Balvin (Republic), Rihanna (RocNation), Shawn Mendes (Island) and Migos (Quality Control/Motown), amongst many others.

“UMG continues to lead and unlock what is possible with Web 3.0 and virtual economies.”

Celine Joshua, UMG

Celine Joshua, UMG’s Executive Vice President, Commercial Innovation & Artist Strategy, stated: “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.”

“We’re not bringing culture to NFTs and crypto. Genies and UMG together are bringing the power of NFTs and crypto to culture.”

Akash Nigam, Genies

Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies added: “We’re not bringing culture to NFTs and crypto. Genies and UMG together are bringing the power of NFTs and crypto to culture.

“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.”

“We’ll be working hands-on with UMG and their incredible roster to define what it really means for an artist to build and establish a virtual identity.”

Jake Becker, Genies

Jake Becker, Head of Talent Relations at Genies, stated: “Our successful track record of working with artists has boiled up into this moment where the leading music company in one of the most culture-defining industries is embracing the future of virtual identities.

“We’ll be working hands-on with UMG and their incredible roster to define what it really means for an artist to build and establish a virtual identity.

“It’s hard to imagine a more impressive group of cultural tastemakers and we can’t wait to help them realize their full potential in Web3 – for themselves, for music & culture and for their new and existing fans all around the world.”

 Music Business Worldwide

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