While virtual artists are nothing particularly new, entering the global mainstream more than two decades ago via the animated band Gorillaz and more recently sweeping Asia by way of Japan’s Hatsune Miku and a wide range of Chinese avatars, major entertainment companies are now seriously exploring the space as a new way to reach young audiences and venture into the metaverse.
This week, the entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) announced that it has signed an agreement with the Web3 entertainment company Hume that will see CAA will help Hume “identify and create opportunities across a variety of areas, including licensing and merchandising, brand partnerships, live events, film, and television and more.”
Hume’s collaboration with CAA comes after Hume raised $11.7 million from investors like TCG Crypto and Gmoney, launched a new creative platform called “The Spot,” and hosted a songwriting camp at Art Basel in partnership with the generative audio project, Blocktones.
This is an interesting step in the rollout of virtual music stars, which have yet to make as much of a splash in markets like the U.S. that they have in Japan and China. Hume’s first so-called “metastar” — a virtual musical artist that is designed to “blur the lines between the digital and physical worlds” — is angelbaby (not to be confused with Hong Kong superstar Angelababy).
According to a company release, angelbaby is one of the highest-grossing and streamed Web3 artists, with multiple #1 hits on Audius (previously on JCC) and three #1 trending music NFTs on OpenSea. Hume recently debuted its newest metastar, Clio, with plans to intertwine Clio’s broader narrative with that of angelbaby.
The open question now is what the involvement of CAA could mean for Hume’s plans in the year ahead — and what this could mean for the possible success of virtual artists in real life or online. According to Jay Stolar, Chief Artist Officer and co-founder of Hume, “Working with CAA presents an opportunity to bridge the gap between traditional media and Web3 to bring metastars into the mainstream.”
Could it also mean incorporating some of CAA’s real-life clients into the Web3 space, and essentially developing virtual avatars?