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Big music companies are in a race to hire the best web3 talent – before the biggest media companies beat them

MBW Reacts is a series of short comments from the MBW team. These are our “rapid” reactions – through a music industry lens – to major entertainment news.

The Walt Disney Co. is taking such a big leap into the metaverse that it’s hired a dedicated executive to oversee its strategy.

This person, Mike White, was named Senior Vice President of Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experience, which, Reuters reports, will work alongside Disney’s creative teams to “define how consumers experience Disney’s future metaverse.”

White’s nomination follows Disney’s metaverse expansion plan announcement in November – plans which were further highlighted in January following reports that he had patented technology to be built a theme park in the metaverse.

Writing to employees last week, Disney boss Bob Chapek told them that “for nearly 100 years, our company has defined and redefined entertainment by leveraging technology to bring stories to life in deeper and more impactful ways.”

He added, “Today we have the opportunity to connect these universes and create a whole new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories.”

Disney isn’t the only media giant with an eye on the Metaverse. YouTube is also recruiting for a key role in Web3.

According to a job posting spotted by Bitcoin.com, the company is hiring a Director, Product Management, YouTube Web3.

This person will need to have an “understanding of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, consensus mechanisms, NFTs and other Web3 technologies”, says the a d. The appointment follows the platform’s recent blogpost describing its NFT, metaverse and blockchain plans.

Spotify is also hiring for an engineer to work in a team “responsible for driving growth through new technologies, such as Web3”.

Oh, and don’t forget Facebook, which rebranded its entire corporate identity around a long-term metaverse strategy that includes a first $50 million investments in research and development in the metaverse and a wave of hiring in Europe over the next five years.

Facebook, Disney, Spotify, and even YouTube’s Web3 plans tie into the broader tech, media, and entertainment industry’s current fascination with virtual worlds, goods, properties, and people.

Although accelerated by the Covid lockdowns of 2020-2021, when virtual offices, meetings, concerts and conferences were all a necessity, the notion of the metaverse is becoming more popular as we enter a post era. -pandemic.

This is especially true in the music business, where the earning potential of metaverse projects and related Web3 categories like NFTs and crypto is becoming too big for most artists and the top three music companies to ignore.

At Warner Music Group, for example, CEO Steve Cooper recently told analysts on the company’s earnings call that “Web3 represents an exciting future for the music industry that will help our artists achieve millions and millions of new fans in interesting and innovative ways”.

Recent Web3-related WMG investments and projects include an investment in gaming platform Roblox in January last year and a partnership with platform The Sandbox to create a music-themed world .

Meanwhile, Sony Music joined a $30 million investment round in the NFT MakersPlace platform last August and teamed up with children’s brand Pinkfong to launch an NFT collection for the entertainment phenomenon for Baby Shark children.

UMG has also launched into Web3, for example with its “next-gen Web3 label” subsidiary 22h22, created by former Sony executive Celine Joshua. UMG also entered into a partnership with the NFT Curio platform last week.

Universal has also just hired an executive to drive its Web 3.0 business forward. That person, Richard Cusick, joined the music company as product manager, global e-commerce.

According to UMG, Cusick will assemble a product team responsible for translating UMG’s business goals into what it calls “innovative products and experiences across e-commerce, Web3.0, and artist and fan-centric initiatives.” .

With investments in Web3 clearly increasing at the majors, it’s only a matter of time before we start to see more senior experts hired to oversee Web3 strategy at these companies.

They’ll have to start hiring them soon, though — before Disney and other media giants bring in all the top talent.The music industry around the world