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ViacomCBS to jump on NFT bandwagon with a digital collectibles 'metaverse'

ViacomCBS' merchandising division will launch its NFTs and a place to buy and sell them in the spring.

ViacomCBS' channels include Nickelodeon (home of SpongeBob), Comedy Central, MTV, Showtime and its main CBS broadcast network. 

ViacomCBS is the latest company to latch onto the NFT craze, saying that it will partner with Recur, an NFT-focused startup, to create digital "experiences" based on the company's characters, programming and franchises, as well as roll out what sounds like a digital bazaar to buy and resell them. ViacomCBS' networks include BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Showtime.

NFTs -- short for nonfungible tokens -- are blockchain-created certificates of authenticity for a digital asset or piece of art. They're also the latest goldrush, with NFTs for images, video clips, tweets, musical compositions, memes and weirder stuff triggering bidding wars. ViacomCBS isn't the first corporation to get on board: Visa, Nike, Taco Bell and Coca-Cola have all experimented with them too. 

ViacomCBS' venture into NFTs will bring its consumer products division "even further into the growing metaverse," Pam Kaufman, the president of ViacomCBS consumer products, said Wednesday in a release. Metaverse is a term that, lately, has morphed into a buzzword sometimes referring to a sort of interconnected virtual ecosystem and sometimes referring to online marketing gimmicks dressed up to sound more future-y.

ViacomCBS' NFT metaverse (or, possibly, its digital-collectibles online marketplace) will launch in the spring of next year. 

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