Friday, December 10, 2021

ViacomCBS Enters Strategic NFT Partnership with RECUR

ViacomCBS Enters Strategic NFT Partnership with RECUR

Multi-year pact will offer innovative digital collectables across the ViacomCBS portfolio

NEW YORK--October 13, 2021--ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC) today announced a strategic partnership with leading non-fungible token (NFT) company RECUR to create a fan-focused platform that will bring the company’s iconic IP and cherished franchises that transcend generations to the space. Through this agreement, ViacomCBS and RECUR will create a unified environment where fans can buy, collect and trade NFTs as digital products and collectables across ViacomCBS' leading portfolio of consumer brands, including Nickelodeon, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Paramount Pictures and Showtime Networks Inc.

Launching in the spring of 2022 and rooted in community building, this space will encourage peer-to-peer engagement and facilitate innovative ways for users to unlock new experiences.

“Fueled by beloved characters and iconic properties with multi-generational appeal, we are thrilled to accelerate our consumer products presence even further into the growing metaverse,” said Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products. “In teaming up with RECUR to create an NFT platform dedicated to ViacomCBS IP, voracious collectors and first-time NFT buyers alike will find unique opportunities to own a piece of their favorite franchises.”

RECUR designs and develops on-chain experiences that allow individuals to buy, collect and resell NFTs as digital products and collectables. In an approach to reimagine the NFT market, RECUR has created a seamless process for brands to reach the widest-possible range of distribution.

“ViacomCBS is one of the first major media and entertainment companies to enter the metaverse in a significant way. We are so excited to welcome them into the ecosystem with this partnership. Our chain agnostic approach will provide fans the widest range of utility as well as unprecedented access to their favorite shows and franchises,” said Co-CEOs of RECUR, Trevor George and Zach Bruch.

Utilizing a chain-agnostic approach, all purchases on the forthcoming platform will accept most U.S. digital payments via credit card and debit card.

About ViacomCBS

ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC; VIACA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, its portfolio includes CBS, SHOWTIME, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+ and Pluto TV, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the television audience in the United States and one of the industry’s most extensive libraries of television and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions.

For more information about ViacomCBS, please visit and follow @ViacomCBS on social platforms.



Founded by crypto industry expert Zach Bruch and digital licensing industry pioneer Trevor George, RECUR is a technology company that designs and develops on-chain branded experiences that allow fans to buy, collect, and re-sell digital products and collectibles (NFTs). RECUR will be chain agnostic and is fundamentally changing the NFT market by creating and setting the standard for a decentralized recurring royalty, creating the widest distribution and reach for NFTs minted on their platform.


From Variety:

In the spring of 2022, ViacomCBS is planning to debut an NFT platform, featuring characters from brands including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Showtime, in partnership with startup Recur. “This is definitely an opportunity for us to continue to monetize our library – both for the rare collector and the common collector,” says Pam Kaufman, president of ViacomCBS Consumer Products.

ViacomCBS, for now, is mum on what NFTs will be available at launch. But Kaufman rattles off a list of fan-favorite properties the company has licensing rights to, including Star Trek, “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Blue’s Clues,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “The Godfather” movies. “I think we have some of the most in-demand consumer IP out there in the entertainment industry,” she says.


Update (12/10) -  Andy Milonakis has hinted of a NFT collaboration between Goat Soup, Recur and Nickelodeon! Goat Soup is a fully on-chain Genesis project by Milonakis. The utility includes invites to parties, events, IRL art shows, merch as well as occasionally free airdrops.

From Insider:

ViacomCBS futurist reveals how NFTs and interactive entertainment are evolving at the company that created MTV, 'an original metaverse'

ViacomCBS futurist Ted Schilowitz explores new tech and its applications for audiences and companies.

There's a "generational" difference in how concepts like NFTs and the metaverse are accepted, he said.

ViacomCBS has ventured into interactive with Nickelodeon NFL simulcasts featuring SpongeBob Squarepants.

Ted Schilowitz has kissed a lot of frogs.

As ViacomCBS' futurist — a title in the vein of Silicon Valley visionaries who do similar prophesizing — Schilowitz calls himself a "professional frog kisser," trying on new tech and seeing what has applications for industrialists and consumers down the road.

"You're responsible for looking at things and having, effectively, the most open mind of the whole company," he told Insider. "Everything might have some degree of value, or a tremendous amount of value. And the only way you're going to know that is to get out there and test the waters: explore, talk to the people using the technology, see if it feels like there's a there there."

One frog Schilowitz prospected some years ago was a virtual reality startup in Irvine, California. He started milling around its offices, "enamored" of its tech, and later on, noticed Mark Zuckerberg doing the same. Facebook's founder would eventually acquire the company known as Oculus in a 2014 acquisition valued at $2 billion.

ViacomCBS, which houses myriad cable channels and SpongeBob, may not spring to mind as a company on the bleeding edge of technological advancement. But Viacom was the "original innovator on how to evolve television," Schilowtiz suggested, creating 24-hour cablers such as MTV and Nickelodeon and offering viewers more choices than ever before.

"MTV is absolutely an original metaverse," he said. "Always on, always accessible, and finding a very targeted audience that could grow organically."

His company's steps into interactive entertainment have thus far taken the shape of a square, or rather, SpongeBob SquarePants, with Nickelodeon simulcasting a January 2021 Bears-Saints game featuring an augmented-reality layer that located touchdowns in the "slime zone." The concept was so popular that the kids' cabler repeated the stunt with the 49ers-Cowboys matchup.

There's also the company's foray into the NFT space, announced last fall — a multiyear partnership with Recur to create tokens based on IP from ViacomCBS' spectrum of brands, from BET to Comedy Central to Paramount Pictures.

ViacomCBS is not the only Hollywood player exploring the metaverse and NFTs. Fox is distributing "Masked Singer" and WWE NFTs, while producer Dick Wolf has partnered with Curio to create an NFT-powered detective storytelling group.

Despite the emergence of streaming and the broad acceptance of iTunes and other digital platforms, the idea of forking over cash (or crypto) for cyber collectibles is still a bit of a tough sell — which Schilowitz considers a "generational" obstacle.

"If you look at kids that are teenage or preteen years, their digital lives are such a big and well-defined part of their daily existence, that they do not create a definitional break between their digital personalities, their digital representation, and the real representation," he said.

"In my late 50s, I have to put real, considered, concerted energy every day in trying to think and act and function like a 16-year-old person," said Schilowitz. "That's kind of what a futurist has to do — you have to pretend you are within youth culture, you have to understand it. So a lot of the people I work around are many generations younger than me, because I am able to glean from them."

Most entertainment executives, of course, are Gen Xers and Boomers well into their 50s and 60s. But ViacomCBS' C-suite backs his mission, said Schilowitz (who reports to chief technology officer Phil Wiser), comprehending that they "cannot just sit back and let it wash over us like other revolutions."

Concepts such as NFTs and the metaverse, still in their early days, evince both skepticism and yearning. But mass adoption of an abstraction — like "owning" a copy of a movie on a streaming service — is nothing new.

"Humans like shared constructs," said Schilowitz. "We, as a human race, are really good at building a reality and saying, 'This is worth something.' And we've done it for many, many generations, going all the way back to the earliest stages of fine art or religious artifacts or anything like that."

He acknowledges that this all can sound a little pie-in-the-sky.

"My job, firmly, lives in the realm of nonsense," said Schilowitz, "until the day that it's not nonsense."


Originally published: October 13, 2021 at 19:29 BST.

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