Jay Chou “trapped” in the Metaverse

Ten thousand possibilities of a Metaverse concert.

During the New Year’s Day, the news that “Jay Chou entered the Metaverse, sold for 62 million yuan in 40 minutes” appeared on Weibo’s hot search. And only a few days ago, Jay Chou had just withdrawn from the “True Love Fantasy” KTV that he had cooperated with for more than ten years.

This “one in and one out” shows that the wind of the times has changed.

With the rise of K song APP and the change of contemporary entertainment methods, offline KTV is no longer attractive to young people. As the most popular concept nowadays, Metaverse has been highly sought after since last year, and many stars have also set their sights on the “metacosmic” innovation in the entertainment industry.

The way Jay Chou “entered” Metaverse was to launch a series of NFTs. The 10,000 “Phanta Bear” NFT sold at a high price of 62 million yuan this time was launched in limited quantities by the digitally encrypted interactive entertainment platform Ezek and Jay Chou’s trendy brand PHANTACi.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

NFT (Non Fungible Token) is a “non-homogeneous token” based on the Ethereum blockchain. Compared with “homogeneous tokens” such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, each NFT has unique characteristics due to its binding of different “digital assets”.

(To learn more about the background knowledge of NFT, please refer to the article “NFT Crazy Infiltration into the Luxury Market” published by Xiaguang News last year)

At 11 o’clock on January 1st, these 10,000 Phantom Bear NFTs officially went on sale, and 3,000 of them were sold in only 5 minutes. The crowd of users caused the network to freeze for a while. About 40 minutes later, all phantom bears were sold out.

Calculated at a unit price of 0.26 Ether (approximately RMB 6,200) for each bear NFT, the final total transaction amount is 10 million U.S. dollars.

Perhaps the sales results are too eye-catching. Jay Chou’s personal company “Jewell Music” quickly issued a statement on January 3, emphasizing that this business activity has nothing to do with Jay Chou himself. Jay Chou only received PhantaBear NFT gifts but never participated in the project. No profit has been obtained from any planning and operation.

01 Jay Chou also changed his NFT avatar

The craze for buying phantom bears is based on the popularity of the Metaverse concept and the concept of NFT in the cryptocurrency circle since last year.

Metaverse is regarded by many people as the future of the Internet, and virtual currencies based on blockchain technology, such as NFT, may become an important foundation for constructing a metaverse economic system in the future. Some investors who have a consensus on this have accelerated the pace of betting on NFTs and entering Metaverse last year. A large number of NFTs were sold at seemingly “unreasonable” prices, refreshing people’s perception of value.

By capitalizing virtual goods, NFT has been applied to many types of assets such as collectibles, luxury goods, artworks, and games.

Similar to the previously popular NFT “CryptoPunks”, the phantom bear is also a set of randomly generated digital collectibles, but the price is much cheaper than the former.

According to the CryptoPunks website, the price of the cheapest CryptoPunks NFT currently on sale is 65.9 Ether (approximately RMB 1.57 million), which is more than 250 times that of a Phantom Bear NFT.

In order to catch up with this wave of craze and “feel the feeling of the Metaverse”, Jay Chou replaced his Instagram profile picture with a phantom bear NFT on January 3.

This little bear is wearing a “18th” jersey with Jay Chou’s birthday date, holding a basketball in his right hand and slam dunk in his left. Afro, “star eyes” glasses and basketball necklaces and other accessories convey a cool “street style”.

This phantom bear is one of the New Year gifts that Jay Chou received. His wife, Kun Ling, also received a birthday gift from the same series of Phantom Bear a few days ago, and changed her Instagram profile picture to this little bear.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

Phantom Bear is the core IP of the trendy brand PHANTACi under Jay Chou. The street fashion brand was co-founded by Jay Chou and his friend Ric in 2006.

The Phantom Bear IP is another major driver of NFT, which is the digital entertainment platform Ezek. Liu Genghong, one of the founders of the platform, was also a singer and a good friend of Jay Chou.

According to Ezek’s official website, its goal is to explore a new experience combining multi-trend art and entertainment culture based on blockchain technology with the Metaverse. In addition to being a digital collection, Phantom Bear NFT can also double as a membership card of Ezek Club. Each unique phantom bear corresponds to different levels of membership rights.

In addition to this cooperation with PHANTACi, Ezek said that in the future, it will continue to cooperate with more trendy entertainment NFTs to create more interactive communities that convert traditional entertainment content into a new generation of digital encrypted currency entertainment experience.

According to Ezek, in the future, platform members will be able to use NFT tickets to enter VR/XR virtual concerts and related virtual real estate using the latest technology to further explore the diverse possibilities of the Metaverse.

According to the timetable announced on its official website, Ezek will start virtual concert work in the first quarter of 2022; in the second quarter, by purchasing virtual land and cooperating with concert and film production teams to build a member-only participation in the Metaverse The clubhouse. By the third quarter of this year, users will be able to participate in virtual concerts through Ezek NFT.

02 What kind of experience is it like to listen to Metaverse concert?

Before the rise of the Metaverse concept, Jay Chou tried to incorporate virtual technology in offline concerts.

In 2013, on Jay Chou’s concert tour, a duet with the dead singer Teresa Teng was a sensation, and became the content of the media that year.

“Teng Lijun” dressed in cheongsam suddenly appeared on the stage and sang three songs “How Do You Say”, “Red Dust Inn” and “A Thousand Miles Away” with Jay Chou.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

This chorus that broke the barrier between time and space made the elderly audience present weep, and the young people were curious about the technology that made Teresa Teng’s voice and smile so vividly reproduced on the stage.

According to media secrets, this stage effect uses virtual image reconstruction technology, and the virtual image is realistically projected onto the stage with a 4D effect. To this end, Jay Chou and 45 special effects artists spent more than 2 months at a cost of NT$100 million.

In recent years, with the development of XR (extended reality) technologies such as AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and MR (mixed reality), the stage under the blessing of science and technology has broken the audience’s imagination.

On the stage of the 2021 Spring Festival Gala, Jay Chou performed a song “Mojito”. With the help of XR technology, the combination of characters, props and virtual scenes can be realized on the stage, bringing a new and strange look and feel to the audience.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

Under the switching of virtual and real scenes, the stage, which was originally simply furnished with only one table and one chair, suddenly became colorful. Jay Chou not only traveled around the world in a pink speed car, but also started an interactive performance with the band… When the lively performance ended and the camera turned, there was still only Jay Chou, a table and a chair on the stage.

With the rise of Metaverse, virtual concerts have begun to become a part of real life.

Just past New Year’s Eve 2022, Tencent Music launched TMELAND, the country’s first virtual music carnival, where users can create personal avatars, and can also join digital scenes such as virtual live broadcasts and virtual concerts.

Mayday’s New Year’s Eve concert became the first TME live super live performance “held” in TMELAND Metaverse. Jay Chou also appeared in this concert as a special guest.

TMELAND’s Metaverse concert attracted more than 10,000 people to watch online at the same time, and it also triggered a discussion on “What kind of experience is the Metaverse New Year’s Eve” on Weibo.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

In the Mayday New Year’s Eve concert, the “real people” in the band performed on the screen. In November last year, the famous Canadian singer Justin Bieber held a Metaverse concert that was completely virtual.

The concert was held through the virtual entertainment platform Wave. Previously, Wave had created an avatar for Justin Bieber, and used the inertial motion capture system to project the real performance of real people onto the avatar on the virtual stage.

The performance background of this virtual concert is very gorgeous. Justin Bieber sang through the golden wheat field under the sun, surrounded by golden fireflies floating in the grass and the sky.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

His “real image” is dressed in a “motion capture suit” and appears in the lower right corner of the screen. The audience can see that the details of Justin Bieber’s every move are projected into his avatar on the screen.

During the live broadcast of the concert, the audience can send a flowing golden light to Justin Bieber, and the grass on the ground will bloom in three different colors of red, yellow and blue flowers. This scientific and technological Metaverse concert has caused quite a stir in the world.

Under the influence of the new crown epidemic, the development of large-scale gatherings such as concerts has been restricted, and virtual concerts have become one of the solutions. Justin Bieber’s Metaverse concert is not an exception.

During this period of time, virtual concerts can be seen everywhere in the world, and many businesses and artists regard the Metaverse concert as the next development stage of the music industry, and hope to obtain profits and fun in it.

In April 2020, American singer Travis Scott used his avatar to hold a live concert called “Astronomy” in the game “Fortnite”, which received hundreds of millions of views, and Travis Scott made a profit of 20 million. Dollar. For comparison, his revenue per offline performance from 2018 to 2019 was approximately US$1 million.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

In August of the same year, American singer Ariana Grande also held a virtual concert for several days through this game.Both herself and the player appear as avatars, and the player can interact with them in music or games. A total of 78 million players participated in the event.

The Swedish pop music group ABBA, established in 1972, introduced the idea of ​​”turning back in time” into its Metaverse music.

Among the four band members, the youngest is 72 years old this year. At the upcoming offline concert in London in May of this year, they will use artificial intelligence and motion capture technology to appear on the stage as a “rejuvenating” virtual image, recreating the appearance of the band in its most glorious period in the 1970s.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

Similar ideas have opened the door to unlimited possibilities in the future for music entertainment companies and fans.The Metaverse concert allows those dazzling special effects that are difficult to achieve in the real world to be realized, and more and more mature digital technology may help artists and their works to break more physical barriers, and achieve a complex beyond time and space in the Metaverse. Now and spread.

03 Multi-party entry into the music Metaverse 

The enthusiasm of the Metaverse concept has made capital also pay attention to its application in the field of music, and a number of virtual performance service providers have been favored.

Last year, American virtual performance service provider Wave received multiple investments, including celebrity investors such as The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, J Balvin, Jillionaire, Top Dawg, and Chinese music giant Tencent Music. Based on the perfect music entertainment ecosystem in the Chinese market, Tencent Music will carry out the exclusive broadcast of Wave Show in China. The two parties will also jointly develop high-quality virtual concert content for TME live, an innovative performance brand under Tencent Music.

In May of this year, Wave established a content and investment partnership with Warner Music Group, one of the world’s three largest music companies.

Wave founder and CEO Adam Arrigo predicts that immersive streaming platforms like Wave will continue to exist after the epidemic, as artists are still looking for new ways to interact with fans and promote their music.

Jay Chou "trapped" in the Metaverse

In addition to Tencent Music, many well-known Chinese companies have also joined the layout of the music universe. For example, Bilibili participated in the Japanese virtual technology company Lategra, and NetEase invested in the Los Angeles live broadcast company Maestro.

On September 6 last year, VIVE ORIGINALS, a virtual reality content brand under HTC, a Taiwanese technology company, also announced the launch of the holographic music platform BEATDAY to create a “Music-focused Metaverse.”

According to media reports, the initial cost of BEATDAY’s concert may be as high as NT 30 million (about 6.91 million RMB), but as the market matures in the future, the cost will gradually decrease. In addition, singers, record companies, and brokerage companies can also earn income from peripheral sales such as digital tickets and NFTs.

With the help of major music giants and investors, virtual performances and NFTs further depict the imagination of Metaverse music. Although capitals from all countries have participated in the action of participating in the music Metaverse, some experts said that it will take at least two to thirty years to see obvious results.

The future of the Metaverse concert has more possibilities beyond imagination, but it is highly dependent on AR, VR, 5G, cloud computing, blockchain and other technologies. According to foreign media reports, as far as current technology is concerned, large-scale interactive operations cannot be fully realized in virtual concerts, and there is still much room for improvement in the precision of concerts.

In addition, the development of the metaverse industry is still in its infancy, which corresponds to many uncontrollable risks and bubbles. The phantom bear NFT that has recently triggered a panic has been questioned by some fans as a “blood-sucking” behavior by capital under the banner of Jay Chou.

Reference materials:

[1] “The Virtual Music Company Behind the “Metaverse” Concert”-VR Gyro

[2] “ABBA’s Virtual Concert, The Metaverse And The Future Of Entertainment”-Forbes

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