Universal Music Group buys Bored Ape NFT for $361K

The music industry giant announced Friday that it had paid $360,817 to purchase Bored Ape #5537 to be part of the Kingship group it founded last fall.

Universal Music Group buys Bored Ape NFT for $361K

In order to capitalize on the popularity of non-fungible tokens, Universal Music Group acquired one of the cartoon apes which have swept the world of collectible digital goods to head a virtual music group.

The music industry giant announced Friday that it had paid $360,817 to purchase Bored Ape #5537, also known as Manager Noet All, to be part of the Kingship group it founded last fall.

Known as Kingship, the entire band will exist in digital form, including its own website and presence on the messaging platform Discord.

They will also eventually release new music and offer virtual performances in the metaverse, a loosely defined concept describing a realm in which the physical and digital worlds converge.

Each band member is a NFT - three Bored Apes and a Mutant Ape, courtesy of Jim McNelis.

"I think it would be amazing if it became part of culture," McNelis said.

Creating virtual bands with digital characters isn't a new concept. In 1998, Hal Albarn and Jamie Hewlett formed Gorillaz, a virtual band that released seven albums on Warner Music Group's Parlophone label. Hatsune Miku, a Japanese pop star, is a hologram.

In the case of Kingship, Universal's 10:22PM label sought out one of the best-known NFT collections on the blockchain, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which features 10,000 anthropomorphic apes, each clothed, adorned and expressive in his or her own way.

A number of celebrities have invested in Bored Apes, including Jimmy Fallon of "The Tonight Show," Justin Bieber, Stephen Curry of the NBA, and billionaire investor Mark Cuban.

Creating characters and storylines that generate excitement in the metaverse will be a learning experience for Universal Music as they take part in the Kingship project.

"The label is a laboratory where new forms of entertainment are experimented with and understood," said 10:22PM founder Celine Joshua.