June 29, 2022

Universal Music Group has announced to develop non-fungible token (NFT) collections for its record labels and artists after striking a partnership with NFT platform Curio.

According to reports, the deal is a major move into a potentially new revenue stream by the world’s largest music company, which, depends heavily on streaming music for its financial survival, like its rivals.

Universal Music mentioned that it plans to work with Curio to develop digital artwork and other collectibles for the company and its artists. Curio starting in March will also serve as an online outlet where fans can buy officially licensed NFTs, with a collaboration from Capitol Music Group and the British singer-songwriter Calum Scott.

Universal Music Group’s executive vice president of digital strategy, Michael Nash mentioned that the coming generation of the internet built on blockchain technology, NFTs and Web3, present an opportunity for labels and artists to create unique digital products for fans when streaming has made access to music ubiquitous.

According to reports, Universal has been actively exploring ways to capitalize on the growing popularity of digital collectibles, by even forming a music group, Kingship, made up entirely of simian characters from the NFT brand Bored Ape Yacht Club. The animated apes, which live as unique items on the digital blockchain, have currently become coveted prizes for Hollywood celebrities and other collectors.

Universal found an executive well acquainted with its business as co-founder and co-Chief Executive Officer Ben Arnon in Curio, who previously worked at Universal Music Group. While one of Curio’s advisors, Marc Geiger, is the former head of music at William Morris Endeavor talent agency.

Curio, which was founded in 2020 and dropped its first NFT last February has subsequently released more than 75,000 digital collectibles working with music, films and television industry partners.