ViacomCBS to launch NFT business

Media giant ViacomCBS has announced plans to enter into the NFT business.

NFTs – non-fungible tokens – are effectively one-of-a-kind digital items that are part of the Ethereum blockchain. The format has gained popularity as a form of art collection and investment, with collectors purchasing NFTs of drawings, music and other digital items.

Now ViacomCBS is moving into the space to create a platform to sell digital collectibles.

Via a multi-year partnership with tech firm Recur, ViacomCBS will create a platform from which to sell digital assets associated with its brands including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Showtime. 

The company will launch its NFT business in the spring of 2022. 

ViacomCBS is far from the first US media company to see an opportunity in NFTs. The likes of Lionsgate and  WWE have begun selling NFTs as a source of generating revenue.

Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products, said: “Fueled by beloved characters and iconic properties with multi-generational appeal, we are thrilled to accelerate our consumer products presence even further into the growing metaverse. In teaming up with Recur to create an NFT platform dedicated to ViacomCBS IP, voracious collectors and first-time NFT buyers alike will find unique opportunities to own a piece of their favourite franchises.”

Recur Co-CEOs Trevor George and Zach Bruch added: “ViacomCBS is one of the first major media and entertainment companies to enter the metaverse in a significant way. We are so excited to welcome them into the ecosystem with this partnership. Our chain agnostic approach will provide fans the widest range of utility as well as unprecedented access to their favourite shows and franchises.”

Fox Entertainment meanwhile has partnered with Blockchain Creative Labs have launched The MaskVerse, described as a marketplace that aims to make buying and selling of Masked Singer related NFT’s “more accessible and intuitive to consumers, while adhering to technical principles important to crypto enthusiasts.”

The platform will allow fans of the competition format to build their own collection of limited-edition digital masks for characters from the show’s six seasons in the US, as well as unlocking exclusive giveaways.

They will also be able to play games and win prizes, having first created a ‘digital media wallet’ through which they can buy NFTs via credit cards or cryptocurrencies.

It comes six months after Fox and Blockchain Creative Labs partnered with US animation studio Bento Box Entertainment to launch a $100m creator fund to identify growth opportunities in the space. A digital marketplace for Dan Harmon’s upcoming animated comedy Krapopolis is also in the works, which Fox said would make the show the first animated series to be curated entirely on the blockchain.

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