At its core, the metaverse is an immersive platform for creativity, community and identity — and rich in potential for music creators and their fans. To deeply engage with the tech community and help shape the development of this promising new sector, The ASCAP Lab is partnering with the NYC Media Lab (NYCML), led by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, to conduct a “Music in the Metaverse” challenge for startups that are exploring new ways to create and experience music, express digital identity through music, and connect music creators and fans in the metaverse. 
Four startups, described below, have been selected by ASCAP and NYCML to receive grants to develop and expand upon their emerging technologies during the 12-week challenge. The ASCAP Lab will mentor and work closely with each startup team to provide guidance on how their products can best benefit the music creator community. This is the third year that ASCAP has worked with the NYCML on the program.

On August 10, The ASCAP Lab and the NYCML will host a Demo Day for the startup teams to demonstrate their projects, which will be presented virtually as part of ASCAP Experience. Anyone can RSVP for The ASCAP Lab Demo Day session and receive information on other upcoming ASCAP Experience events by visiting https://www.ascapexperience.com/demoday.
“The metaverse offers an exciting new frontier for the performance and experience of music, and for human expression and connection. By collaborating with these ambitiously innovative startup teams, ASCAP is driving creative and business cross-pollination and taking an early leadership role to shape how extended reality spaces can benefit ASCAP members and our music user partners,” said Nick Lehman, ASCAP Chief Strategy & Digital Officer.

The teams selected for the 2022 ASCAP & NYCML “Music in Metaverse Challenge” are:
Popins takes entertainment to the next level by delivering the artists you love to your world as photorealistic three-dimensional holograms anytime, anywhere. www.popins.io/ 
SolTunes utilizes a revolutionary music-generation algorithm to turn snippets of compositions from different creators into a multitude of musically-cohesive songs performed by pixel art bands, minted as NFTs, and integrated into blockchain gamified experiences. soltunes.io  
MetaCities recreates real-world locations in the metaverse (e.g. MetaVegas) and produces custom experiences in those spaces, with the next phase of development seeking to elevate music performances and experiences through avatars, holograms and other digital technologies. www.meta-cities.com 

OffBeat is the global community of music lovers that enables users to create their Music ID: a unique musical identity based on music consumption data, manually added tastes and music NFT ownership that serves as a music passport across metaverse platforms and experiences. www.offbeat.community/ 
More information on The ASCAP Lab and the 2022 teams can be found at www.ascaplab.com.
This is the third year that The ASCAP Lab and NYCML are collaborating on a music and technology challenge for startups and university teams. Last year, two teams from the 2021 Immersive Music Studio Challenge went on to demonstrate their prototypes at the annual NYC Media Lab Summit: MiSynth, a music software plugin that allows humans to synthesize sounds with brainwaves, reproducing a specific timbre or sound they hear in their mind into a playable MIDI synthesizer; and SOCIAL by DOTDOT, an accessible, web-based online platform that enables blended in-person and virtual live event experiences for performance venues that are memorable, playful and interactive. 
About ASCAPThe American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 850,000 members representing more than 16 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

About The ASCAP LabIn 2019, ASCAP launched The ASCAP Lab to drive innovation for its next century of growth. The multi-pronged effort is designed to explore how advanced technologies, new business approaches and creative collaborations can drive value for ASCAP music creator members and licensees. Learn more at www.ascaplab.com.

About NYC Media LabNYC Media Lab connects media and technology companies with New York City’s universities to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and talent development. Comprised of a consortium led by the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and including Columbia University, The New School, CUNY, School of Visual Arts, Manhattan College and Pratt Institute, NYC Media Lab's goals are to generate research and development, knowledge transfer and talent across all of the City’s campuses. Visit www.nycmedialab.org, and connect with @nycmedialab on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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Cathy NevinsASCAPcnevins (at) ascap.com
Hannah SchwartzShore Fire Media for ASCAP[email protected]