If you’re allergic to the catchy buzzwords executives and investors love to throw around, you might not want to read the next sentence, given the risk of anaphylactic shock. ViacomCBS has become “one of the first major media and entertainment companies to enter the metaverse in a significant way,” thanks to a partnership that will bring its TV and film characters to the NFT market, gushed a press release from ViacomCBS and NFT firm Recur earlier today. Several hours later, another TV company, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp., announced an NFT deal related to its show “The Masked Singer.”
If you are a cynic, you might think ViacomCBS and Fox, two aging and unglamorous media companies, are trying to sprinkle themselves with NFT-metaverse confetti to look a little more hip. You might be right. But that’s not necessarily the only thing going on. Assuming that NFTs (more boringly known as non-fungible tokens) are an asset class that is here to stay, entertainment companies with libraries of iconic film and TV shows have a good chance of cashing in. After all, the NFL has jumped into the NFT market, as have NBA players through NBA Top Shot, along with plenty of creators. And in the immersive virtual world the cool kids are calling the metaverse, NFTs connected with pop culture could be ideal as digital accessories (hence ViacomCBS’ vaunted entry to that futuristic world).