The Metaverse Will Make Disney Stars Out of All Of Us
Ok, maybe just a handful of us.
As usual, K-Pop Leads the Way
Everyone in Web3 speculates about where Disney will go next. From their Web3 start-up accelerator to how the metaverse fits Walt’s vision, the ultimate magical kingdom of intellectual property is a hot topic for a scene where people are fascinated with new ways to utilize and monetize IP.
Which I will now tenuously tie to a tweet I saw from a super-fan of Korean girl group AESPA.
Apparently, they’re doing a little “tour” in the “metaverse” in preparation for their real concert tour. This includes a concert in Roblox and an after-party in Zepeto. They also have ae-aespa, their quartet of Alter Egos, who live in the metaverse. Beyond my comprehension level of K-Pop, but suffice it to say, these women are on the frontiers of digital performance. (more here if you’re curious)*
Where would your metaverse tour take you?
I am sure we’ll see more of this in a more formalized way as metaverse worlds gain in popularity. Which worlds and builds will creators need to drop into unexpectedly to drive buzz for their latest project? And much like New York clubs in the 90s drove bridge and tunnel attendance with occasional celeb sightings, is giving these celebs/influencers/whatever-we-want-to-call-them incentives to be seen in these spaces a way to acquire users into your metaverse world/activation? Yup.
Now, we know that they can’t just be slinging their star power all over, but it seems like the next evolution of a press tour to show up in the metaverse. Avatars let celebs and influencers pop up wherever, with far less grueling efforts than a real tour. Avatar appearance/functionality evolutions will be exciting in this space. Will we want to meet Kim Kardashian as a lifelike version of herself, a Roblox version of herself, or some dragon-headed mermaid goddess representation of how she sees her true metaverse self? (pure speculation, I have no idea how Kim views her true “metaverse” self)
It’s clear that POAPs or some sort of NFT will also be a part of these experiences, to both prove you’re interacting with the real Kim Kardashian (particularly if she’s a goddess dragon mermaid) and to commemorate the occasion, much like you’d take a picture with Tinker Bell today in the Magic Kingdom.
Which Platforms Will Win At This?
The obvious next step is questioning who will optimize this tour opportunity. Will record labels make deals with Horizon Worlds to include particular spaces as stops? Will Roblox be a must-do appearance? How will platforms approach this, such as Spotify, which has a significant role in the release of albums? And, OF COURSE, how will the Magic Kingdom approach this? How will we meet Mickey or the Mandalorian, or Spiderman? And in a world that OGs hope will be decentralized, will the coalescing of these bold-faced names/characters drive a meaningful (though as yet unclear) shift in where we spend our time in the metaverse?
I’ve often said influencers will be a driving force in the popularity of new platforms, as they move, so do their audiences. Will Snoop “make” the Sandbox happen in the long term? What could a group like aespa do for an up-and-coming platform? Or, to the victor go the spoils, and Roblox will retain their “metaverse” authority with Gen Z?
And back to my headline point, for up-and-coming influencers, how does this new way of interacting with fans in real-time, immersive environments affect their community and reach? Will this lead to more micro-influencers who have tighter relationships with more rabid fans? Or the metrics/ratios will look similar to Twitter/Insta today. TBD, friends.
As usual, only questions, no answers.
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*I’d be remiss if I didn’t not my head here to T Swift and her metaverse/not metaverse launch of her most recent album. But while Swift did appear to create a space/world with UnrealEngine, her power, as yet, has been in harnessing Web2 channels/platforms to drop breadcrumbs, clues, information, and opportunities for connection that makes her fan community ultra-valuable.