Warner Music Group (WMG) has partnered with The Sandbox, a gaming virtual world under Hong Kong-based software company Animoca Brands, to create its first music-themed world, WMG LAND, in the gaming metaverse. The music-themed world will feature concerts and musical experiences from WMG's leading roster of artists. This partnership marks WMG's first entry into the NFT metaverse realm, and The Sandbox's first deal with a major music company. With hundreds of top artists and labels such as Atlantic, Warner Records, Elektra, and Parlophone under its belt, The Sandbox added that the partnership will be creating a new arena for musical entertainment in the metaverse.
Under the partnership, WMG will be working with The Sandbox to develop innovative music experiences for WMG LAND, These immersive experiences will then empower artists from Warner Music to engage with their fans, as well as reach the global community of The Sandbox. This, in turn, will "generate new revenue streams and new forms of virtual entertainment", said The Sandbox.
To mark the occasion, The Sandbox will also be holding a LAND sale in March 2022, which allows music fans to buy coveted LANDS adjacent to the WMG property. More information regarding the LAND sale will be released soon, said The Sandbox's website at the time of writing. A LAND is a digital piece of real estate in the The Sandbox metaverse that players are able to buy to build interactive experiences. The Sandbox will also be holding a LAND sale in March 2022, which allows music fans to buy coveted LANDS adjacent to the WMG property.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to The Sandbox for additional information regarding the partnership.
WMG's chief digital officer and EVP of business development, Oana Ruxandra, said that as a first-mover, Warner Music has secured the equivalent of beachfront property in the metaverse. "On the LAND, WMG will develop immersive social music experiences that would defy real-world limitations and allow our artists and their fans to engage like never before," she explained.
Meanwhile, The Sandbox's co-founder and COO, Sebastien Borget said it was shaping to be a fun entertainment destination where creators, fans, and players can enjoy first-of-a-kind immersive experiences. Additionally, it also allows these individuals to be closely connected to their favourite musical artists through NFTs. "This strategic partnership with Warner Music Group brings the open metaverse one step forward in the direction of its fan-owned and community-driven initiatives. The possibilities are very exciting," added Borget.
Last year in November, The Sandbox received US$93 million in an investment led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, which is being used to grow its creators' economy. The Sandbox previously said it was planning to launch its first virtual concert with the investment featuring artists such as Snoop Dog in the second quarter of this year, along with the launch of The Walking Dead game. This year, The Sandbox will also be launching a decentralised autonomous organisation with staking and voting mechanisms for $SAND, LAND, and AVATAR holders, which will provide players and creators with more control over the metaverse.
"We want to be on par with the notorious centralised ones while offering a better value proposition for creators and players through thousands of experiences available made by creators or IPs and brands, by launching their own NFTs and play-to-earn seasons, and by engaging their communities through various activities and events," said The Sandbox.
Earlier this month, Toronto-based crypto investment company Cypherpunk sold 450,000 ordinary shares of Animoca Brands for about US$1.2 million. After the sales, Cypherpunk still holds 1.55 million ordinary shares of Animoca Brands. It initially spent approximately US$1.62 million to acquire the shares. Commenting on the sale at that time, Jeff Gao, Cypherpunk's CEO said: "We were thrilled to have invested in Animoca Brands at a time when NFTs were at an inflection point between reckoning and mass adoption. It came at the heels of Animoca brand's fundraising at a valuation of 2.2 billion and at a time when metaverse projects were in the final stages of take-off. Investing in Animoca Brands highlights Cypherpunk's ability to source exclusive global deal flow."
Aside from Snoop Dog and WMG, Animoca Brands also made another joint venture with Cube Ent for its music metaverse last year in November. Aside from its plans of building a metaverse, the partnership with Cube Ent consisted of an NFT collection which featured digital sound sources, albums, portraits, and avatars of globally popular K-pop artists under the management of the record label.
Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, said at that time,“K-pop is taking the world by storm, and here at Animoca Brands, we can’t wait to work with Cube Ent and its roster of K-pop artists as we continue our efforts to make the open metaverse a reality.”
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