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Weekly Tech Recap: Hollywood Talent Agencies Are Embracing Web3 Clients
Photo provided by UTA

If you need more proof that NFTs have officially invaded Hollywood, look no further than United Talent Agency’s client roster.

The Beverly Hills-based talent agency recently signed Deadfellaz, an NFT collection of 10,000 zombie portraits. UTA counts Larva Labs, the creators behind the CryptoPunks NFT project, as a client, too. Even Coinbase, the publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange, is now part of UTA’s portfolio.

The agency’s foray into the crypto world shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Digital artists are selling NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, for sky-high prices. NFT exchanges like NBA Top Shot have attracted large fan bases willing to shell out money for digital collectibles. And entertainment companies in the music, film and gaming industries have been quick to venture into NFTs—even if there’s still plenty of skepticism about the digital assets.

“At first, my instinct was that this would be disruptive of things like art,” Lesley Silverman, UTA’s head of Web3 and a former fine art agent, told dot.LA. “We as an agency quickly realized that there would be similar innovation around the way we think about the broader media landscape, and that NFTs, and Web3 more broadly, would impact all of them.”

Silverman was the first full-time digital assets agent at UTA, which claims to be the first major talent agency to launch a dedicated Web3 practice. Other Hollywood talent agencies have since entered the fray—including rival WME, which recently signed a pair of Bored Ape NFTs.Read more >>

Here’s What Happened in LA’s Entertainment Tech World This Week 🍿

Netflix’s new “culture memo” reads like a blueprint to how the company is evolving after its disappointing earnings and subscription numbers, focusing on anti-censorship, frugality and employee behavior.

Meet the women-led startups trying to address gender imbalance in the music and film industries.

The problems dogging Netflix don’t seem to have affected Disney Plus—at least not yet.

Activision is arguing that California overstepped its authority in bringing a harassment lawsuit against the company.

Riot Games claims competing game developers stole intellectual property and promotional tactics from "League of Legends."

Some Activision Blizzard employees say they feel left in the dark about what the potential repeal of federal abortion protections might affect them and their workplace.

Netflix’s new ad-supported tier could be in effect by the end of the year.

Social Media 📱

The mother of a 10-year-old girl who died after allegedly trying a dangerous online “challenge” has sued Culver City-based TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance.

Queer dating app Grindr plans to merge with a Singapore-based blank-check company in a deal that would value the company at $2.1 billion.

A U.S. senate bill would require social media companies like TikTok and Snap to share previously undisclosed data with credible researchers.

Unexpected demand for Snap's new Pixy handheld drones has led to a 3-month delay for orders.

Top 10 YouTube breakout influencers for April include a backyard trampolinist who racked up more than 826,00 subscribers last month with contests around flips, pranks and other stunts.

Philippine President Elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reportedly paid TikTok influencers to support him and spread misinformation.

Snap has hired advertising veteran Colleen DeCourcy as its chief creative officer.

Transportation 🚗

The stock market hasn’t been so hot, especially for electric vehicles companies.

Rivian reported a net loss of $1.6 billion in its Q1 earning report. Still, it saw its stock rise in after-hour trading.

Xos’ new electric semi and medium-duty trucks aim to shift everything from local delivery vehicles to long-distance freight away from internal combustion engines.

Ford dropped 8 million shares in Rivian, but still owns 94 million shares in the electric vehicle manufacturer.

🎧 Listen Up 

Jumpstart Nova’s Kathryne Cooper says the pandemic was a wake up call about the disparities in the healthcare system, especially for people of color.

Before founding Farmgirl Flowers, Christina Stembel said investors couldn't see past the fact she didn't have a college degree. So she funded the company with her own savings.

Thinking of starting your own business? Blenders Eyewear founder Chase Fisher says bootstrapping is the best way to learn what you’ll need to succeed.


Looking to name your new startup concept? Spencer Rascoff has some suggestions.

U.S.'s lax privacy precautions around tech could endanger women seeking info about abortions.

Pasadena wearable biosensor startup Rockley Photonics is ramping up production, even as it takes a hit from disappointing quarterly earnings.


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