Music industry

China NFT Weekly: NFTs and the Music Industry

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Digestible news on the latest developments in China’s NFT, Blockchain and Metaverse fields, delivered to you weekly.

This week: Bytedance is testing a metaverse-like social network, NetEase Cloud Music launches mini AI-powered music production app, The sandbox partners with Warner Music Group to create a virtual music room, and more.

(Source: Kanye West’s Instagram)

American rapper Kanye West posted a photo of a handwritten note on Instagram, pleading with people to stop asking him to do a “f***ing NFT”.

“My goal is to create real products in the real world,” he said. But, in a postscript, he wrote: “Ask me later.

ByteDance is testing a metaverse-like social network with the new Party Island app

ByteDance, owner of short video app TikTok and its Chinese sister app Douyin, has launched a new social app called Party Island (Pàiduì Dǎo, 派对岛), which allows users to interact in a virtual community through avatars , as global interest in the Metaverse continues to grow.

  • According to SCMP, while Party Island’s main features are the standard definition of the metaverse – a network of three-dimensional virtual worlds where people can interact – a Douyin representative said it “has nothing to do with the metaverse”. , adding that the app is currently in beta testing by a small group of users and requires an invite code to access it.
  • The app was developed by ByteDance’s wholly-owned subsidiary Beijing Shi Qu Wu Xian Technology Co., Ltd., and launched earlier this week on iOS and Android app stores in China.
  • This decision marks a new attempt by ByteDance to challenge Tencentmonopoly in the Chinese social media market. Aside from Douyin, the company’s other previous ventures into social media have been mostly unsuccessful. For example, in 2019, ByteDance launched its instant messaging app Feiliao, known internationally as Flipchat, but had to shut it down last year.
  • Bytedance’s acquisition of VR startup Pico Interactive last August was widely interpreted as a step into the metaverse realm, but the company’s head of product and strategy Alex Zhu said the move had been spurred on by recognition of the value of VR and AR, rather than an attempt. to develop the metaverse. (SCMP)

SEE ALSO: Meta opens access to the virtual reality social platform Horizon Worlds

NetEase Cloud Music Launches China’s First Music Production Mini-App and AI-Powered Music NFTs

Chinese music streaming platform NetEase Cloud Music launched NetEase Tianyin, an AI-powered music production platform, during Chinese New Year.

  • NetEase Tianyin is currently live on WeChat as a mini app. An official version of the mini-app will be released later this year on NetEase Cloud Music, according to the developers.
  • For now, the creative capabilities of the mini AI music production app are limited to only generating Chinese New Year-themed lyrics and visuals.
    • Users can start creating by entering the name of a friend or family member they wish to dedicate the song to and then choose from a variety of wishes based on which the system will generate a song that can be shared on WeChat.
    • The mini-app also provides users with a library of tracks and instrumental genres (e.g. R&B, folk) to choose from and all songs will be performed by NetEase. Cloud Music’s virtual idols.
  • To further promote the AI ​​music production platform, NetEase Tianyin recently released an NFT music series on NetEase Cloud Music. These would be the country’s first music NFTs and would be “unique, immutable, non-fungible digital assets,” according to local news reports. (Sine)

Binance Labs Announces Strategic Investment in Massive Gamified Co-Creation Platform StarryNift

Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of Binance, has made a strategic investment in StarryNift, a massive gamified co-creation platform.

  • The proceeds will be used to help StarryNift develop better GameFi and social features, as well as improve its software development kits (SDKs) for creators, according to a press release.
  • StarryNift’s latest NFT and Metaverse ventures include Starryverse, a 3D virtual gallery accessible on laptops, mobile devices, or VR headsets. StarryNift said it will also develop an internal marketplace for creators to create and trade NFTs later this year.
  • Prior to Binance, StarryNift secured funding from Monday Capital, Sparkland Capital, Blockwall Capital, CoinGecko Ventures, Gate Labs, and LD Capital. Jihan Wu, founder of Bitmain, and Pranav Sharma, Woodstock Fund, are StarryNift’s individual investors and consultants. (Binance Blog)

Binance hopes Russia will contribute to regional growth

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is keen to expand in Russia and neighboring countries where it sees prospects for new regulations that could boost its business, an executive has said.

  • According to Binance’s Director for Eastern Europe, Gleb Kostarev, “the goal is to obtain a license and conduct legal activities where regulations allow”. Kostarev added that Binance hopes for a phased regulatory approach from Moscow that could influence the approach taken by its neighbors.
  • In Russia, the annual volume of crypto transactions amounts to about $5 billion. Kostarev said the country is important to Binance and added that he plans to hold a “dialogue with the regulator”.
  • Meanwhile, Russian politicians have been pushing for a change of course previously set by the central bank, which has proposed restricting crypto trading and mining over fears it could lead to financial instability.
  • A Reuters investigation last week showed Binance withheld information about its finances and corporate structure from regulators, even as it welcomed government oversight and praised its anti-money laundering program. silver.
  • The investigation also revealed that Binance had acted against its own compliance department by recruiting clients in Russia and six other countries deemed to pose an “extreme” money laundering risk. (Reuters, Yahoo! News)

China names blockchain test zones after its cryptocurrency crackdown

China has designated certain cities and entities to test blockchain applications, underscoring the importance Beijing attaches to this particular technology.

  • The Chinese capital Beijing and the megalopolis Shanghai, as well as Guangzhou in southern China, are all part of the pilot projects. Local governments, universities, banks, hospitals, car manufacturers and power companies are among the 164 entities chosen by the government to carry out trials of blockchain applications.
  • China’s cyberspace regulator along with other official departments issued a notice on Sunday calling on provincial-level regulators to “give full play to the role of blockchain” in areas such as data sharing, optimizing business processes and reducing operating costs.
  • China’s blockchain push comes after a renewed crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining last year. Beijing has long viewed bitcoin and other digital coins as a threat to the country’s financial stability.
  • Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China is continuing to roll out a digital version of the country’s yuan. However, it is not a decentralized cryptocurrency like bitcoin. It will be controlled and issued by the Chinese central bank itself. (CNBC)

The sandbox partners with Warner Music Group to create a virtual music room

Supported by Animoca brands The sandbox recently announced a partnership with Warner Music Group (WMG) to create a musical theme park and concert hall within its gaming metaverse.

  • The virtual music room, called LAND, will be used to host concerts and live events featuring artists and talent represented by WMG.
  • The sandbox announced that it will hold a LAND sale in March offering space adjacent to the WMG property, although it did not say if this offers tangible benefits or if buyers simply get emotional satisfaction.
  • The sandbox has previously collaborated with individual artists like Snoop Dogg for experiments, but this is apparently a larger, more ambitious installation.
  • The sandbox Land sales have precedent in virtual worlds like second life, another place where companies have opened up virtual experiences. Digital lands remain in high demand and a consistently high volume of trade in The sandbox has made it one of the most competitive players in virtual real estate. (Cointelegraph, The Verge)

John Legend Launches New “Our Song” NFT Platform

American singer-songwriter and Grammy winner John Legend has been named co-founder and chief impact officer at OurSong, an NFT social platform.

  • Officially marketed as a “social commerce platform”, OurSong allows users to create NFTs (referred to as “Vibes”) and monetize communities of superfans through access to private chat rooms and unreleased music.
  • OurSong notably differs from many NFT platforms in that it does not require users to have external cryptocurrency wallets. Instead, digital fan cards purchased through OurSong are stored on the app itself, allowing users to access “clubs” based on their card privileges.
  • Work alongside a team of media technologists and futurists, including Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin; Matt Cheng, founder of Cherubic Ventures; and Chris Lin, CEO of KKBOX, Legend co-founded the project as a way to create more opportunities for content creators, introducing the art form to new audiences.
  • The OurSong mobile app is available in English, Traditional Chinese, Bahasa Indonesian and Japanese on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The app also allows users to create NFTs directly from their phones, furthering the desire to keep the app experience entirely on mobile devices. (Forbes, Billboard)

That’s it for this week’s newsletter – thanks for reading! As always, I appreciate any feedback on how to improve this newsletter. My email is [email protected]. Happy Chinese New Year and see you next week!