SM Entertainment, one of Korea’s largest entertainment agencies, has announced plans to establish an NFT division within its future metaverse (SMCU). They are thinking about issuing NFTs on the Solana blockchain.
K-Pop culture has grown in popularity, gaining new followers from all over the world. SM has been working on integrating technology into the music industry with the goal of expanding the market. However, some fans have stated that they do not understand what it is all about and do not see the need for it.
The metaverse is a digital reality space that aims to create an amalgamation of technology, such as virtual reality (VR), blockchains, social media, gaming, and many other possibilities that users can interact with and experience in new sensory ways. In other words, it connects the physical and digital worlds.
Similarly, NFTs are digital assets that exist on a blockchain and have an identifying code that makes each one unique, impossible to duplicate, and, in many cases, limited – increasing their value.
NFTs, which represent real objects such as artworks and gaming items, have grown in popularity. In many cases, anyone can see an NFT and share images of it, but only one person can own the original and prove it via its built-in authentication.
In this case, the SMCU metaverse intends to use the intellectual property of K-Pop artists to create “a metaverse-directed content IP.” It also aims to be a place of creation for K-Pop fans, where they can “recreate” original content and profit from it.
The agency believes that the integration of NFTs will usher in a new era of technology, creation, and consumption in the entertainment industry.
A direct source quoted in a Korean news portal said of the possibility of building it on the Solana Blockhain:
We are not directly collaborating with Solana, but SM Entertainment is preparing to publish NFT, with Solana as the underlying blockchain platform of choice.
Lee Soo-Man Dreams of a Digital Future
Soo-man Lee, the project’s chief producer, is directly involved in the project and shared his thoughts in a pre-recorded video during the Solana Breakpoint 2021 in Lisbon.
He stated that, as interest in the metaverse and NFTs grows, he envisions “the future as a world of robots and celebrities alongside SM.”
Last year, SM Entertainment debuted “a metaverse girl group called ‘aespa,'” who made their first foray into the environment with self-created avatars that co-existed with the group’s members.
The rise of aespa’s popularity piqued many people’s interest in the metaverse’s potential for the music entertainment industry, and Lee Soo-Man stated that SM Entertainment is eager to reach the “next level.”
The Metaverse and NFTs of SM Entertainment
The producer claimed that prosumers who recreated NFT content in the SMCU metaverse would earn 1/100 or 1/1000.
We need to create a model in which hundreds, if not thousands, of prosumers from around the world can collaborate to expand their creativity and create a single piece of NFT content in exchange for a percentage of the profits. NFT contents created in this manner will have a lifetime value. They will not consume content that will perish after a single consumption.
Furthermore, the agency wishes to create an environment that attracts prosumers by providing a complete experience that does not require purchases.
Lee Soo-Man believes that metaverse content will usher in a new era in which “it could be exchanged like currency or through a traditional bartering system.” He stated that in this scenario, legal regulations would be carefully considered.
The producer sees the NFT division within the metaverse as a chance to “design our future” in such a way that “a completely new mode of production, marketing, and distribution will occur.”
Lee Soo-Man anticipates that Korea will “become a leader in metaverse and NFT content” by expanding the country’s NFT through the creation of celebrity avatars and other metaverse features.