Universal Music Group and leading avatar technology company Genies have announced a global partnership to develop avatars and digital wearables for UMG’s artist roster, building on the companies’ early collaborations to bring recording artists into the metaverse.

UMG and Genies will equip artists with official virtual identities for use in Web 3.0, providing a persistent virtual representation of themselves across the metaverse to engage with fans. In addition to virtual activations, UMG’s artists will have the ability to release exclusive avatar wearables for fans to collect and use to outfit their own avatars.

The agreement builds on earlier collaborations to create virtual identities for artists including Justin Bieber (Def Jam), J Balvin (Republic), Rihanna (RocNation), Shawn Mendes (Island) and Migos (Quality Control/Motown), and others.

In making the announcement, Celine Joshua, UMG’s executive vice president, commercial innovation & artist strategy, said, “UMG continues to lead and unlock what is possible with Web 3.0 and virtual economies. With our Genies partnership, we created an ideal framework and toolkit to empower our artists in the evolving digital universe.”

“We’re not bringing culture to NFTs and crypto. Genies and UMG together are bringing the power of NFTs and crypto to culture,” said Akash Nigam, CEO of Genies. “This next era of the internet is about empowering people with more ownership and capabilities. UMG’s roster of talent represents some of the world’s most entrepreneurial pioneers, and by equipping these iconic artists with their own Genie avatars, we’re excited to help them realize even more potential in Web 3.0.”