Updated: Oct 1, 2021
News dropped yesterday that CryptoPunks, Meebits, and Autoglyphs had signed with a Hollywood talent agency so I figured this would be a good time to take a closer look at Meebits. My bullishness for the metaverse is the main factor that makes me want to focus on Meetbits specifically. CryptoPunks have already been covered by every NFT journal in exiestence and Autoglyphs are cool but I don't see them having as many use cases in media as 3D characters.
What are Meebits?
Meebits are algorithmically generated 3D characters created by Larva Labs (team behind CryptoPunks). These characters were released in May 2021 with a dutch auction starting at 2.5 ETH. A marketplace is coded into the Meebit smart contract which allows owners to trade Meebits between each other for zero fees. This marketplace can be accessed through Larva Labs' website.
Mint price: 2.5 ETH
Launch date: May 3, 2021
Meebit owners receive access to an asset pack that includes it's full 3D model. This model is meant to be used an an avatar in the metaverse and can also be imported into a majority of 3D modeling and animation software. IP rights are not included with NFT ownership.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, United Talent Agency signed Meebits and the other Larva Labs projects to their organization. These projects will now be represented by UTA in the form of film, TV, video games, and publishing projects. This gives Meebits/Punks/Autoglyphs the first opportunity for an NFT project to break into mainstream media.
It's hard for me to look at this partnership with UTA as anything other than bullish for Meebits. They'll have the potential to greatly expand their audience through more mainstream media platforms. Auction Houses like Christie's and Sotheby's were a nice first step for awareness but if Meebits start becoming featured in commercials it will elevate them to a whole new level of popularity.
The biggest advantage Meebits has going for it is its association with Larva Labs. It's hard to bet against projects tied to a team with historical relevance when looking at how well they perform in the secondary market. Just take a look at anything from the ArtBlocks platform, for example, and you'll be hard pressed to find anything that costs less than a few ETH.
My biggest concern for Meebit owners is the lack of IP rights they have when it comes to their characters being used by other agencies. After all, the biggest drawback on Larva Labs projects has always been NFT ownership not including IP rights. To my understanding, UTA is allowed to use whichever Meebit character they want without requiring permission or compensation to its owner. If this is true it makes the UTA partnership seem more like a win for Larva Labs rather than the owners of their NFTs. Regardless of IP concerns, I think the added exposure will lead to a continued price increase for Meebits in the foreseeable future.
This is likely the first of many dominos that will fall when it comes to media agencies acquiring rights to NFT IPs. The grey area surrounding IP usage makes me even more bullish on projects like BAYC which give owners full IP rights to the NFTs they own.
People call for the market top everyday on Twitter but with signings like this it seems clear that NFTs are about to make the cross-over into the mainstream world and that they are not finished yet. When picking a winner in a market like this it's important to ask yourself this question: Who will have the biggest cultural impact?