Disney Is Beefing Up its NFT Team As Digital Collectibles Boom

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Disney Is Beefing Up its NFT Team As Digital Collectibles Boom
Image from Pixabay

With the NFT craze sweeping the entertainment industry, Disney is looking for someone to lead its foray into the world of digital assets.

The Burbank-based media giant posted a job opening this week for someone to “help lead Disney’s efforts in the NFT space.” The business development manager would monitor the “evolving” NFT marketplace, set strategy and manage partnerships, according to the job posting. The position requires “knowledge of and passion for digital and NFT categories.”


NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets verified by blockchain technology, giving their owners proof of authenticity and ownership. Entertainment companies in the music, movie and gaming industries have been quick to sell NFTs—even if the jury is still out on whether they’re just a fad or a multibillion-dollar industry in the making.

Disney waded into the NFT world last year when it sold digital comic books and collectibles from its Marvel franchise. The company later sold digital artwork memorializing “Golden Moments” from other iconic franchises, including "Star Wars" and "The Simpsons." Buyers of the digital golden trophies, sold through NFT platform VeVe, also received three months of free access to the Disney Plus streaming service.

Representatives for Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

Last week, former Disney CEO Bob Iger predicted that NFTs are here to stay, comparing them to baseball cards. In an interview with the New York Times, he suggested that Disney’s vast library of intellectual property would put the media giant in a strong position to capitalize on digital collectibles.

“When you think about all the copyright and trademarks, [the] characters Disney has,” he said. “The NFT possibilities, they’re extraordinary.”

Other media giants have also entered the NFT space, including Warner Bros., Lionsgate and ViacomCBS. Musicians like Grimes and the Kings of Leon have joined the fray, as well. On Tuesday, popular Southern California music festival Coachella announced that it would auction off lifetime passes as NFTs.

The NFT craze has not been without controversy. Some gamers have resisted efforts to buy NFTs within their favorite games, while NFT marketplace OpenSea this week revealed that roughly 80% of the tokens minted for free on its platform are spam or scams.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Aavrani Co-founder Rooshy Roy On Creating Your Own Success ‘Timeline’

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

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