Jay entered the meta-universe, the windfall of the times is here?
During the New Year's Day, the news of "Jay Chou's entry into the Yuan Universe, selling 62 million yuan in 40 minutes" hit the microblogging hot search. Just a few days ago, Jay Chou withdrew his shares from the "True Love Fantaxi" KTV, which he had been working with for more than ten years.
This "one in and one out", showing that the wind of the times has changed.
With the rise of Karaoke app and the change of contemporary entertainment, offline KTV is not as attractive to young people as it was in the past. As the hottest concept of the moment, meta-universe has been highly sought after since last year, and many stars have set their eyes on the "meta-universe" innovation in the entertainment industry.
Jay Chou's way of "entering" the meta-universe is to launch a series of NFTs, and the one that sold for a high price of 62 million yuan was 10,000 "Phanta Bear" NFTs, which were jointly launched by Ezek, a digital encryption interactive entertainment platform. Jay Chou's famous hip brand PHANTACi to launch a limited edition.
NFT (Non Fungible Token) is a "non-homogeneous token" based on the Ether blockchain. Compared with Bitcoin, Ether and other "homogenous tokens", each NFT has unique characteristics because it is tied to a different "digital asset".
(For more background on NFT, please move to the article "NFT's crazy penetration into the luxury market" published by Kasumi last year)
At 11:00 on January 1, the sale of 10,000 NFT Phantom Bears was officially launched. 3,000 of them were sold in just 5 minutes after the sale started, and the network was once jammed by the swarming users. After about 40 minutes, all the bears were sold out.
With a unit price of 0.26 Ether (about RMB 6,200) per Bear NFT, the final total transaction amount is $10 million in total.
Perhaps the sales results are too eye-catching, Jay's personal company "Javelin Music" quickly issued a statement on January 3, stressing that this business practice has nothing to do with Jay himself, Jay only received PhantaBear NFT gift, but never participated in any planning and operation of the project, and did not obtain any revenue.
Jay also replaced the NFT avatar
The rush to buy phantom bears is based on the meta-universe concept and the explosion of the NFT concept in the crypto-currency world since last year.
The metaverse is seen by many as the future of the Internet, and virtual currencies based on blockchain technology, such as NFT, may become an important basis for building the metaverse economic system in the future. Some investors who have a consensus on this have accelerated the pace of betting on NFT and entering the metaverse last year, and a large number of NFTs were sold at seemingly "unreasonable" prices, refreshing people's perception of their value.
By assetizing virtual commodities, NFT is now used in multiple asset classes such as collectibles, luxury goods, artwork, games, etc.
Similar to the previous hit NFT "CryptoPunks", Phantom Bear is also a set of randomly generated digital collectibles, but much cheaper compared to the former.
According to the CryptoPunks website, the cheapest CryptoPunks NFT for sale currently costs 65.9 Ether (about 1.57 million RMB), which is more than 250 times the price of a single Phantom Bear NFT.
In order to catch the wave of fever and "feel the meta-universe", Jay changed his Instagram avatar to a phantom bear NFT on January 3.
The bear is wearing a "No. 18" jersey with Jay Chou's birthday printed on it, holding a basketball in his right hand and posing for a dunk with his left hand. Exploding head, "starry-eyed" glasses and basketball necklace and other accessories, conveying a cool "street style".
This phantom bear is one of the New Year gifts received by Jay Chou. His wife, Kun Ling, also received the same series of illusion bear birthday gift a few days ago, and changed her Instagram avatar to this bear.
Phantom Bear is the core IP of Jay Chou's hipster brand PHANTACi, which was co-founded by Jay Chou and his friend Ric in 2006.
Another big driver in building the Phantom Bear IP into NFT is the digital entertainment platform Ezek. one of the platform's founders, Liu Keng Hong, was once a singer and also a close friend of Jay Chou.
According to Ezek's official website, its goal is to explore a new experience of combining multi-trendy art and entertainment culture with metaverse built on blockchain technology. In addition to being a digital collectible, the Phantom Bear NFT can also double as an Ezek Club membership card. Each unique phantom bear corresponds to a different level of membership benefits.
In addition to this cooperation with PHANTACi, Ezek said it will continue to cooperate with more trendy entertainment NFTs to create more interactive communities that transform traditional entertainment content into a new generation of digital cryptocurrency entertainment experience.
According to Ezek, future platform members will be able to access VR/XR virtual concerts and related virtual properties applying the latest technology with NFT tickets to further explore the diverse possibilities of the metaverse.
According to the schedule published on its website, Ezek will launch its virtual concert work in the first quarter of 2022; in the second quarter, it will build a members-only clubhouse in the metaverse by purchasing virtual land and working with concert and film production teams. By the third quarter of the year, users will be able to participate in virtual concerts through Ezek NFT.
What is it like to listen to a Yuan Universe concert?
Before the rise of the metaverse concept, Jay had already tried to incorporate virtual technology in his offline concerts.
In 2013, Jay Chou's tour, an interval duet with the late singer Teresa Teng was a sensation, and became the content of the major media.
Dressed in a cheongsam, "Teresa Teng" suddenly appeared on stage, and Jay Chou sang "How do you say" "red dust inn" "a thousand miles away" three songs.
The chorus, which broke the barrier of time and space, brought tears to the eyes of the older audience in the audience, while the young people were curious about what technology allowed Teresa Teng's voice and smile to be so vividly reproduced on stage.
According to the media reveal, this stage effect used virtual image reconstruction technology and projected virtual images realistically onto the stage with 4D effect. For this, Jay Chou and 45 special effects artists spent more than 2 months and 100 million NTD.
In recent years, with the increasing maturity of XR (extended reality) technology development such as AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality) and MR (mixed reality), the technology-enhanced stage has broken through the audience's imagination even more.
On the stage of the 2021 Chinese New Year Gala, Jay Chou performed a song "Mojito". With the XR technology, the combination of characters, props and virtual scenes was realized on stage, bringing a newer viewing experience to the audience.
Under the virtual scene switching, the stage, which originally had only a table and a chair with simple furnishings, suddenly became colorful. Jay not only traveled around the world in a pink flying car, but also launched an interactive performance with the band ...... When this lively performance ended, the camera turned, the stage was still only Jay and a table and a chair.
With the rise of the metaverse, virtual concerts are starting to become part of real life.
Just this past New Year's Eve 2022, Tencent Music launched TMELAND, the first virtual music carnival in China, in which users can create their personal virtual image and also join virtual live streaming, virtual concerts and other digital scenes.
Mayday's New Year's Eve concert became the first TME live super live show "held" in the TMELAND meta-universe, and Jay Chou also made an appearance as a special guest at the concert.
The TMELAND concert attracted more than 10,000 people to watch online at the same time, which also triggered a discussion on Weibo about "what is the experience of crossing New Year's Eve in the meta-universe".
In the Mayday New Year's Eve concert, it was the "real people" in the band who performed on the screen. Last November, the famous Canadian singer Justin Bieber held a meta-universe concert in which he appeared entirely in a virtual image.
The concert was held through Wave, a virtual entertainment platform. Previously, Wave had created a virtual image specifically for Justin Bieber and projected the real performance movements of real people onto the virtual stage avatar through an inertial motion capture system.
The backdrop for this virtual concert was gorgeous, with Justin Bieber singing through a sunlit field of golden wheat, surrounded by golden fireflies floating in the grass and air.
His "real image" is dressed in a "motion capture suit" and appears in the bottom right corner of the screen. Viewers can see that Justin Bieber's every move is projected onto the screen in his own virtual image.
During the live concert, the audience could send a flowing golden light to Justin Bieber, and the grass on the ground would bloom in three different colors: red, yellow and blue. This meta-universe concert, full of technology, has caused quite a stir around the world.
The impact of the new crown epidemic has limited the development of large gathering events such as concerts, and virtual concerts have become one of the solutions, and Justin Bieber's meta-universe concerts are not an example.
During this time, virtual concerts are everywhere around the world, and many businesses and artists see meta-universe concerts as the next stage of development in the music industry and expect to profit and have fun in it.
In April 2020, American singer Travis Scott hosted a live concert called "Astronomy" in the game "Fortnite" under his avatar, which received hundreds of millions of views and earned Travis Scott himself $20 million. For comparison, he earned about $1 million per offline performance in 2018-2019.
In August of the same year, American singer Ariana Grande also held a virtual concert for a few days through this game. Both she and the players appeared as avatars, and players could interact with her musically or in-game. The event attracted 78 million players in total.
ABBA, a Swedish pop group founded in 1972, introduced the idea of "turning back the clock" in their meta-universe music.
The youngest of the four band members is 72 years old this year. In the upcoming offline concert in London in May this year, they will use artificial intelligence and motion capture technology to appear on stage as a "rejuvenated" virtual image, recreating the band's appearance in the 70s at its peak.
Similar ideas open the door to endless future possibilities for music entertainment companies and fans alike. Meta-universe concerts allow for dazzling special effects that are difficult to achieve in the real world, and increasingly sophisticated digital technology may help artists and their works break down more physical barriers and achieve reproduction and dissemination beyond space and time in the meta-universe.
Multi-party entry into the music meta-universe
The hotness of the metaverse concept has made capital also focus on its application in the music field, and a group of virtual performance service providers are favored.
Last year, American virtual performance provider Wave received several investments, including both celebrity investors such as The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Jillionaire, Top Dawg, and Chinese music giant Tencent Music. Tencent Music will carry out the exclusive broadcast of Wave Show in China based on its well-established music entertainment ecology in the Chinese market. Both parties will also work together to develop high-quality virtual concert content for Tencent Music's innovative performance brand TME live.
In May of this year, Wave also entered into a content and investment partnership with Warner Music Group, one of the world's top three music companies.
Wave founder and CEO Adam Arrigo expects immersive streaming platforms like Wave to continue to exist in the wake of the epidemic as artists continue to find new ways to interact with fans and promote their music.
In addition to Tencent Music, many well-known Chinese companies have also joined the layout of the music meta-universe. Bilibili, for example, has participated in Japanese virtual technology company Lategra, while NetEase has invested in Los Angeles-based live streaming company Maestro.
On September 6 last year, HTC's virtual reality content brand VIVE ORIGINALS, a Taiwan-based technology company, also announced the launch of BEATDAY, a holographic music platform to create a "music-focused metaverse".
According to media reports, the initial cost for BEATDAY to hold a concert may be as high as NT$30 million (about RMB 6.91 million), but the cost will gradually decrease as the market matures in the future. In addition, the singer, along with the record label and agency, can also earn revenue through digital tickets and peripheral sales such as NFT.
Boosted by major music giants and investors, virtual performances, NFT, etc. further depict the imagination of meta-universe music. Although capital from various countries have participated in the music meta-universe, some experts say that it will take at least 20 or 30 years before we can see the obvious results.
The future of metaverse concerts has more possibilities than imagined, but is highly dependent on technologies such as AR, VR, 5G, cloud computing and blockchain. According to foreign media reports, as far as the current technology is concerned, large-scale interactive operations can not be fully realized in the virtual concert, the fineness of the concert also has a lot of room for improvement.
In addition, the development of the meta-universe industry is still in its infancy, which corresponds to many uncontrollable risks and bubbles. The recent snapping up of the phantom bear NFT has been questioned by some fans as an act of "bloodsucking" by capital under the banner of Jay Chou.