Justin Bieber up for metaverse VMAs and Netflix drops a first NFT collection

The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) announced a new category earlier this week for its upcoming 2022 awards show: ‘Best Metaverse Performance.’ This move truly demonstrates a lean towards welcoming Web3 within the music industry. 

Ariana Grande, BTS, BLACKPINK, Twenty One Pilots, Justin Bieber and Charli XCX all sit as nominees for this category. 

Such an eye on the future of digital’s role in music on MTVs part could have been driven by travel and socialising restrictions imposed during the pandemic, a number of top-tier artists have performed virtual concerts on platforms including Roblox and The Sandbox.

Beyond MTV, Meta has also demonstrated metaverse and Web3 activity through its new series ​​‘Are we there yet?’ which is hosted by Keke Palmer and hopes to teach viewers about the metaverse. 

In the new trailer for the series, Palmer travels through a semi-psychedelic, sci-fi wonderscape in a convertible equipped with rocket boosters, alongside experts who answer “all your burning questions about the metaverse.” One shot suggests that the series will be focused on the period between the “metaverse present” and the “metaverse future,” covering roughly the next 10 years. The debut episode featured Vishal Shah, who bears the grandiose professional title of vice-president of the metaverse at Meta.

It-girl of the moment Ana de Armas (who will be playing Marilyn Monroe is a psychological biopic) also stars alongside Ryan Gosling in Grey Man, a new spy thriller from Netflix bringing its explosive energy to the metaverse.

“In an effort to reach a new audience of gamers and adrenaline junkies,” Netflix has partnered with Media.Monks and Decentraland to launch ‘The Grey Man Metaverse Mission,’ a new virtual experience inspired by the film.

Players are challenged to navigate a virtual maze – a recreation (spoiler alert) of the setting from the film’s climactic final scene – to recover a USB, like the one that’s brutally fought over by the characters in the film. Players will also have the chance to win one of a series of NFTs inspired by the film.

This also, notably, marks Netflix’s first-ever NFT drop.

Finally, HBO has begun streaming We Met in Virtual Reality, a new documentary filmed entirely in VR Chat, a popular platform in which users interact as virtual avatars. Filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic – when many were turning to VR as a means of connecting with others during the loneliness of lockdown – the documentary is centred upon a small cast of characters, including individuals working to build community and careers on the platform and couples who are getting to know one another virtually before meeting IRL.

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