Universal Music Group has officially inked a partnership agreement with non-fungible token marketplace Curio, which is set to release NFTs from UMG artists moving forward.
The Big Three record label and two-year-old Curio – which was co-founded by former Universal Music Group, Universal Pictures, and Google higher-up Ben Arnon – announced their pact today. Having dropped its inaugural NFTs in February of 2021, Curio is now working with UMG on a “first issue” involving Capitol’s Calum Scott.
These NFTs are expected to launch sometime next month, with “more details” to arrive “in the coming weeks.” Longer-term, Curio – which offers customers digital collectibles from “television shows, graphic novels, movies, and more,” according to its website – will operate as “a dedicated global outlet” for UMG’s NFTs.
“UMG will be able to leverage Curio’s groundbreaking technology, exclusive partnerships, and innovative fan engagement networks, to create and launch future NFT projects from its unrivalled roster of global artists and labels, providing greater scalability and flexibility to issue authentic fan-orientated collectibles, carefully curated for each project,” the major label elaborated.
Also on the personnel side, William Morris Endeavor (WME) veteran Rikin Mantri co-founded Curio with Arnon, and former longtime WME global head of music Marc Geiger “serves as an investor and advisor to Curio.” (Endeavor this week joined a $4.5 million round for Web3 sync platform Dequency.) And former Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and Avril Lavigne manager Dan Dymtrow is Curio’s head of music and influencer for NFT global partnerships.
Addressing his company’s just-finalized deal in a statement, Ben Arnon said: “Curio is thrilled to be partnered with UMG in the NFT and Web3 space. UMG has a huge catalog with unlimited opportunity to deliver value to fans across the globe. Their brands and labels are historic and iconic. And the digital innovation and Web3 expertise amongst their executives is unparalleled.”
Regarding the latter, November of 2021 saw Universal Music launch Kingship through its 10:22PM “next-gen label.” A “metaverse group” featuring four characters from the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT project, Kingship currently has a waitlist on its website landing page, whereas its Twitter account hasn’t been updated since November.
In separate non-fungible token news, Snoop Dogg recently declared that Death Row Records “will be an NFT label,” and the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show performer last week released his 19th studio album, BODR, via Death Row. Meanwhile, YouTube is likewise entering the NFT space, and Coachella fans have spent substantial sums on several lifetime-pass NFTs.
But on the other side of the coin – or token, in this instance – NFT marketplace Cent has shut down due to rampant fraud.