Disney launches search for NFT manager

NFTs considered key for building metaverse, where users will work, play games and interact in a computer-generated environment

Disney is launching a search for a non-fungible token, or NFT, expert that will help lead the entertainment giant's efforts in the space. 

The so-called manager of business development for Disney's digital experiences team will be responsible for "monitoring the evolving marketplace, setting category strategy, and managing key partners," according to the job posting. The manager's duties will include identifying growth opportunities by category, franchise and distribution, implementing new deals to fill the gaps, and tracking and analyzing category trends and market data to maximize business in each segment. 

Candidates are required to have a minimum of five years of licensing or business development experience, a knowledge and passion for the digital and NFT categories and a strong proficiency with Microsoft Office applications such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Keynote. 

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An NFT is a unique digital token that can turn any item in the digital world, from tweets to Gifs to videos, into a collectible asset. Like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, NFTs are sold and bought via the blockchain. Non-fungible tokens verify authenticity and ownership by encrypting the creator's signature on the blockchain.

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger arrives for the world premier of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," on Dec. 16, 2019, in Hollywood, California. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

"They can be digital, and they have meaning to people," former Disney CEO Bob Iger recently told the New York Times' "Sway" podcast. "And as long as that meaning can be essentially substantiated in a blockchain, I think you’re going to see an explosion of things being created, traded, collected in NFTs."

Reuters reported last month that NFT sales reached $25 billion in 2021, citing data from market tracker DappRadar.

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NFTs are believed to be a key component for building the metaverse, an immersive online space where users can work, play games and interact with others as avatars in a computer-generated environment. 

"I don’t think there’ll be one metaverse," Iger said. "It’ll be dispersed. You may have an avatar, but you’ll go all over the place. And I think that it’s likely to be developed into something real as an experience."

In December, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved Disney's application for a "virtual world simulator" that would track individual theme park visitors through their smartphones or other devices to personalize 3D projections. People would not have to wear special goggles or headsets to see the images.

While the company told the LA Times it has no current plans to use the technology in the immediate future, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told analysts on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call that it is laying the groundwork to connect the physical and digital worlds to allow for "storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse."

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Iger warned that a crucial step to creating the metaverse will be coming up with a strategy for moderating behavior. 

"I’m thinking about telling my kids that they should start creating technology tools to moderate behavior in internet 3.0, because I think it’s going to be a huge challenge," he said. "So I think something Disney is going to have to consider as it talks about creating a metaverse for themselves is moderating and monitoring behavior."

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In addition to Disney, other companies and personalities that have jumped on the NFT bandwagon include Frank's Redhot, Walmart, Coinbase, Melania Trump, Rob Grownkowski and Tom Brady.