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Intellectual Property Issues to Consider When Launching Metaverse Offerings

It is and always has been a fundamental best practice for companies to align their intellectual property (IP) legal strategy with their business strategy.The most successful companies and brands (think Apple, Nike, or Disney) do this extremely well. Their IP, whether that is patents, trademarks, or copyrights, protects the core commercially valuable products, services, and brands of the company that differentiate them from their competition. Their business and IP strategies, operationalized by various agreements that dictate how that IP can be used and by whom and in exchange for how much money, are tightly coupled to together ensure that those assets are most effectively monetized.The unsupported but nonetheless still popular notion that the decentralized world of web3 and blockchain is so new and different that “web2 laws don’t apply” has it precisely backwards. (And also, holy déjà vu! I’m old enough to remember back to the late 1990s, when “old laws” weren’t going to apply to the then newfangled Internet. That didn’t exactly come to pass. Not at all.)In fact, in the brave new world of NFTs and the metaverse, it is now more important than ever to have a good understanding of intellectual property laws and to ensure alignment between IP strategy and business strategy. This is because what is fundamentally most exciting about blockchain technology and NFTs are the twin truths that (1) we are creating more and more digital “stuff” and spending more and more time in digital spaces; and (2) blockchain and NFTs allow for the monetization of digital “stuff,” addressing a long felt need and thorny problem.The most fundamental reason folks are excited about NFTs is because they provide a viable mechanism to monetize digital assets (which have always been very hard to monetize). In a digital world, IP becomes more important, not less. As I was fond of saying back in the old days before 3D printing became a reality, “in the future, when all you need is the digital design file to go home and 3D print yourself a pair of sneakers, the IP covering that digital design file is the most fundamentally – and really only – valuable thing to protect.” That, my friends, is the world we are very close to living in today.The world’s most sophisticated and successful brands understand this. That is one reason they are investing in and rushing to occupy the metaverse, and to extend their brands into these spaces.Below, I outline four areas for brands and creators focus on to best align IP and business strategy in web3:1. IP AcquisitionAlignment of business and IP strategies begins in the IP acquisition phase. It is important to identify critical IP at the outset and to seek and obtain the strongest IP protections for that IP.This could mean registering key copyrights and key trademarks or filing patent applications on the most critically important technological features of your system or platform.While registrations are not necessary for you to have copyright or trademark rights, they do significantly strengthen those forms of IP protection. For copyrights, registration provides the holder with the right to sue for copyright infringement and also allows the holder to pursue statutory damages, which can be significant. For trademarks, registrations provide national rights and the potential for a mark to become incontestable and harder for an opposing party to challenge.2.Choosing When to Enforce IPPart of business strategy is choosing how, when, and whether to enforce IP.IP Owners interests aren’t always best served by always being as aggressive as possible in enforcing the IP. For example, MLB isn’t best served by shutting down every Twitter user that does a breakdown of a baseball highlight, even though it may technically be copyright infringement, because those breakdowns make the sport more popular. It’s one thing to obtain IP. It’s a separate thing to determine what to do with it.3.Baking IP Strategy into Business Strategy - AgreementsIP strategy and business strategy are integrated in all sorts of agreements, including terms of service for software or NFTs, licenses, and sale agreements. Because literally any digital file of any sort may be tokenized into an NFT and because “smart contracts” and digital terms of service that govern NFTs allow for a flexible and wide array of rules and functionality to be attached to an NFT. NFTs are an incredibly broad and flexible asset class.This means that different and flexible IP strategies may be employed for NFTs depending on the business model and use case.For example, for many sales of NFTs associated with digital art, only very limited IP rights are conveyed to the buyer. All the buyer may purchase is a limited license to display the digital art. In other situations, broader IP rights may be conveyed, which may make the NFT more valuable to a buyer and increase the price buyers are willing to pay sellers. For example, in Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club, one of the most famous and pricey NFT collections, Ape buyers acquire all of the IP rights – including the rights to commercialize and create derivative works from the IP in the buyer’s Ape – in the form of a Bored Ape movie or book or to be hired out for all manner of work for brands. Not surprisingly commercialization rights in the IP, in one form or another, are a feature of the priciest and most well-known NFT collections considered to be “blue chip,” including Gutter Cat Gang, Doodle’s, and RTFKTS’ Clone-X.As noted earlier, there are many new use cases and business strategies, and each may lead to a different IP strategy. For example, Pearson, the academic book seller, announced that they would be selling digital books as NFTs. Pearson said, “Educational books are often sold more than once, since students sell study resources they no longer require. Publishers have not previously been able to make any money from secondhand sales, but the rise of digital textbooks has created an opportunity for companies to benefit…’In the analogue world, a Pearson textbook was resold up to seven times, and we would only participate in the first sale. Technology like blockchain and NFTs allows us to participate in every sale of that particular item as it goes through its life.’”In the music industry, NFTs are being employed as digital tickets to combat the scalping problem. This allow increased fan engagement and the waterfalling of secondary sale revenues to artists or venues. NFTs are also seen as a way to shift the power from large record labels back to the artists and creators. With the buying or licensing of clothing, accessories, or digital real estate, vibrant and large economies are being created inside of video games and other virtual spaces inside the so-called metaverse. NFTs are also disrupting stodgy real-world industries like real estate and insurance. Each of these use cases have complicated and diverse sets of IP strategies that could be employed and needs to be thoughtfully considered and implemented.4.Understanding and Addressing Risks and Trade-OffsFinally, it is important to understand and recognize the repercussions of various IP strategic choices. Pursuing a particular IP strategy comes with trade-offs and risk-factors that should be understood and, if possible, addressed and mitigated.One high profile example of this was revealed in the recent lawsuit brought by Yuga Labs against artist/provocateur Ryder Ripps. Ripps, for lack of a better word, ripped off the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection, copying the various Apes in the collection identically and calling his collection RR-BAYC. An examination of the Complaint, however, reveals that Yuga Labs only sued Ripps on trademark theories, not for copyright infringement, which would have been a far easier claim to prove. Because Yuga Labs chose to pursue an IP strategy in which the buyers of the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection acquired copyrights in their Bored Ape, Yuga Labs is no longer the copyright holder and was left without standing to sue for copyright infringement. A smart, business aligned IP strategy recognizes those tradeoffs and would examine what options are available to protect the Bored Ape Yacht Club holders from being knocked-off.ConclusionThe nascent world of NFTs and the metaverse makes aligning business and IP strategy more important than ever. Considering the above four areas will put brands and creators in the best position to set up their NFT projects and metaverse offerings for success.

READ MORE by Michael J. Kasdan

Can the Metaverse Be a Space for Healing?

As the history of the internet has shown us through time, all versions of virtuality and its and potential developments is here to stay. Virtuality will mostly likely evolve over time because of connectivity, accessibility, and the overall improvement of resolution. The metaverse is a protagonist of 2022 because of the evolution of human interactions and the possibilities within virtual spaces.The idea of the "metaverse” was first introduced by Neil Stephenson in his 1982 novel Snow Crash. The meaning refers to "the universe beyond," a concept which invites us to look beyond the tip of the technology iceberg. Instead of just seeing the groundbreaking, technological possibilities of the metaverse, people can also expand their awareness to see another positive aspect of the metaverse: it’s ability to improve the quality of life in the present. One perspective of technology is that it is meant to be fed by human interactions, and it should prioritize human wellbeing. It is sometimes easy to forget that every entity that enters virtuality is real, and there is an actual person behind the screen with real feelings and reactions. Having said that, one of the most incredible opportunities that metaverse technology may give to humanity is the ability to enable healing spaces in a genderless, cultureless, and borderless way.Healing resources should be accessible on equal terms to everyone. The existence of a tech-powered, virtual space like the metaverse, opens doors for incredible interactions as people from all over the world have the ability to share their profound experiences from their healing journeys.Healing, as defined in the study of positive psychology, is the ability to constantly train one’s mind and emotions to create inner tools. These inner tools help people react to life’s challenges in a healthier way for not only themselves, but for and others as well. These tools can be further learned within interactions within the metaverse.People may assume that healing in the metaverse requires physical tools. A VR (virtual reality) headset does improve the metaverse experience, but it is not necessary to enjoy and learn from metaverse interactions. For example, a leading project called BE LIGHT offers sound and healing sessions in the metaverse that do not require headsets. Their sessions match brain waves to specific colors or sounds that help users enter a deep meditative state. On the other hand, another project called Healium does utilize headsets to conduct healing meditation interactions. Healium uses immersive 360-degree AR (augmented reality) and VR scenarios to help users efficiently manage their stress and anxiety.The metaverse is capable of reproducing sound, characters, and high-quality scenarios for healing. With greater technological advances, such as emotional AI that combines machine learning and computing techniques like biometric sensing designed to react to human emotions, more tailor-made healing systems can potentially be created in the metaverse.The metaverse has already created healing spaces for those working on their mental health. For example, there are virtual mental health sessions that connect those in need with a practitioner that can help them regardless of physical location. This gives an opportunity for anyone who needs help to openly go to therapy without the hassle of travel. The ability to access the kind of therapy that caters to each individual’s needs may be the push that inspires people to take care of their mental health.These opportunities are reason to be hopeful because technology is being used to promote emotional and mental well-being. Having one’s emotional needs taken care of as much as physical needs may help individuals have a more meaningful life with stronger personal relationships, more self-awareness, and more empathy towards others. Technology may bring mental health risks, but if the functions of the metaverse are used with a people-first mindset it can be a loving ally to its users.Learn how to invest in your future experiences with Fount ETFsThe Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please clickhere.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount Subscription Economy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing models, including those in the technology hardware industry.

READ MORE by Daniela C. Merlano

Trillions of Potential Reasons to Invest in the Metaverse

Global metaverse spending by consumers and businesses could reach $5 trillion by 2030, according to a recent report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company.[1] What may drive this growth in metaverse spending? How are businesses responding?$5 Trillion by 2030McKinsey interviewed 3,104 global consumers and polled executives from 448 companies across 15 industries in 10 countries. Based on their research, they estimate global metaverse spending by 2030 will reach $5 trillion. The study estimates the largest impact in the following sectors:E-commerce - $2 trillion to $2.6 trillionVirtual learning - $180 billion to $270 billionAdvertising - $144 billion to $206 billionGaming - $108 billion to $125 billionSubstantial Investment in the MetaverseBusiness leaders continue to signal their confidence in the metaverse space through significant investments. During the first five months of 2022, over $120 billion worth of investment flowed into the metaverse space, more than double the entire $57 billion invested in 2021.According to the report, this growth is being fueled by the following factors:Ongoing technological infrastructure enhancements needed to power the metaverseFavorable demographicsDesire to increase consumer-led brand marketing and engagementIncreasing marketplace readiness and enthusiasmThe existing 3 billion gamers who already have access to different versions of the metaverseConsumers Are Enthusiastic About the MetaverseConsumers are enthusiastic about the functionality of the metaverse. McKinsey reports that almost 60% of consumers are excited about the transition of everyday activities to the metaverse, with connectivity being the number one driver of excitement. 59% of survey respondents said they preferred at least one virtual activity versus physical, while some 79% of consumers have already made purchases in the metaverse . The following were the most preferred activities in digital spaces versus their physical alternatives:ShoppingAttending virtual games and eventsVirtual reality exerciseDatingEducation (classes/learning events)Company Executives Are Equally EnthusiasticSenior executives of companies surveyed also believe in the potential of the metaverse, with 95% of respondents expecting the metaverse to have a major impact on their industry within the next five to ten years. Nearly 61% of respondents expect the metaverse to moderately change how their industry operates. Almost two thirds of executives expect metaverse technology to drive more than 5% of their revenues within five years, with 24% expecting it to drive more than 15% of revenue.The top five uses for which company executives expect to employ metaverse technology are:MarketingEmployee education and developmentMeetingsEvents or conferencesProduct designInvestment OpportunityGiven its estimated growth, along with the willingness of consumers to adopt metaverse activities and the investment being made by companies, the metaverse may present an attractive investment opportunity for individuals.How may individuals gain exposure to the metaverse?The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.[1] All data sourced from: Value Creation in the Metaverse, McKinsey & Company, June 2022

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi

Posts

04-Aug-2022

MTVR Metaverse Report (July 22-July 29)

Industry updates from the Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR).Clickhere to access the full list of holdings.Xiaomi’s Metaverse Related PatentsTech giant Xiaomi’s recent patents show the company’s attempts to further progress into the metaverse. They received authorization for a magnetic AR (augmented reality) glasses patent. The glasses include a frame, the first temple, and the second temple, 97 micro sensors, and communication modules. This news comes after Xiaomi experimented with Smart Glasses in September 2021. [1]Xiamoi has also introduced a patent, titled Virtual Character Processing Method, Device, and Storage Medium, that utilizes blockchain technology to create virtual characters for the metaverse. The patent elaborated that Xiaomi’s virtual characters will be generated using different gene sequences meaning that each one of the characters will be unique and unpredictable. [2]XiaomiTommy Hilfiger Opens Virtual Store on RobloxTommy Hilfiger has opened a shop called Tommy Play in Roblox’s metaverse. Tommy Shop is a virtual and immersive experience to show off the brand’s newest designs. It also hasinteractive events like parkour, bike courses, and freeze tag to get people playing while they learn more about Tommy Hilfiger’s offerings. [3]Tommy Hilfiger will also live stream their New York Fashion Week show on Roblox, where avatars wearing the collection will strut down a catwalk in a virtual New York City. [4] RobloxKakao to Expand NFTsKakao’s blockchain subsidiary, Ground X, has formed an alliance to popularize and expand the use cases in the NFT (non-fungible token) ecosystem. The alliance, called GRID, consists of around 50 companies including Shinhan’s banking and credit card subsidiaries, Amore Pacific, Lotte Department Store, and Kakao Games. Ground X will support companies in GRID by providing digital infrastructure services. [5]Kakao/Ground XHYBE’s NFT Venture to Launch SoonDunamu, the operator of South Korea’s Upbit crypto exchange, and HYBE, the entertainment agency managing K-pop groups BTS, TXT, and Seventeen, confirmed that that they will be launching their NFT and Web3 business later this year. Although specific details have yet to be released, Dunamu said their NFT business will be based on the intellectual property of K-pop artists. [6]HYBELearn how to invest in your future experiences with Fount ETFsThe Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please clickhere.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount Subscription Economy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing models, including those in the technology hardware industry.For a list of SUBS holdings, please clickhere.1) “Xiaomi Gains Magnetic AR Glasses Patent, Advancing Metaverse Layout,” Pandaily, July 22, 2022.2) Goschenko, Sergio. “Xiaomi Files Patent to Create Its Own Blockchain-Powered Virtual Characters,” Bitcoin.com, July 22, 20223) Meers, Whitney. “Roblox fashion expands even further with in-game Tommy Hilfiger shop,” PC Games, July 22, 20224) Waldman, Sophie. “Tommy Hilfiger to Host NYFW Show Inside Roblox's Metaverse,” Hypebeast, July 28, 20225) Park, Danny. “Kakao’s Ground X forms business alliance to expand NFT use cases, services,” Yahoo, July 22, 20226) Park, Danny “Dunamu’s NFT venture with BTS’s HYBE to launch services later this year,” Yahoo, July 25, 2022.

READ MORE by Inhee Lee
03-Aug-2022

The Majority of Consumer Brands May Offer Subscriptions by 2023

The majority of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands may offer subscription plans by 2023, according to a report released by e-commerce market intelligence firm PipeCandy.[1] What is driving this trend? How may consumers gain exposure to companies offering subscription plans?Factors Driving the Growth of SubscriptionsThe PipeCandy report estimates that nearly 75% of DTC companies will offer subscription pricing plans by 2023. They attribute this growth to two main factors:Ease of Entry –DTC brands can easily set up a DTC website on platforms such as Shopify and utilize third-party apps to enable recurring purchases.Favorable Demographics– Millennials and Gen-Zers, representing 47% of the U.S. population, have entered the workforce in the last decade.They are more tech-savvy than earlier generations and more likely to utilize e-commerce platforms.Additionally, they are avid social media users and engage in online forums to discuss their interests.Companies have seized that data to create personalized, subscription-based experiences.Rapid Growth of Subscription-Based Pricing ModelsIn the ten years spanning 2012 through 2021, the Subscription Economy Index[2] advanced 437% versus the 132% and 130% returns of the S&P Retail and S&P 500 indexes.Size of the Global DTC MarketThe report also indicated that the global DTC subscription market was worth $58.3 billion in 2021, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)[3] of 68%, over the past decade. The U.S. subscription market, worth about $27 billion, is the largest segment of the global market.According to the report, there are over 27,000 DTC companies in the U.S. Additionally, there are over 225 million subscriptions and 61 million subscribers in the U.S., making for an average of 3.7 subscriptions per subscriber.Pandemic EffectThe COVID-19 pandemic helped to accelerate the growth of subscriptions. In 2020, the gross merchandise value (GMV)[4] of the monthly subscription box segment spiked by 80%, with nearly 25% of U.S. consumers subscribing to this service.While that number is declining as the economy normalizes, it is still estimated to register a 20%-30% year-over-year gain in 2022 versus 2021.Why Do Consumers Like Subscriptions?The top reasons that PipeCandy’s research indicates that consumers like subscriptions include:Saves timeNo need to remember to shop regularlyMore convenient than shopping in a physical storeMoney-savingAvailability of higher-quality itemsMore variety in product offeringsThe research highlighted the following reasons why consumers initiate a subscription:Financial incentives (discounts, savings, etc.)To try something newRecommendationThe research indicates the following reasons consumers stick with a subscription:Value for their moneyPersonalized experienceConveniencePotential Growth Suggests an Investment OpportunityThe growth of the subscription economy suggests that there may be a potentially attractive opportunity to invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing plans.How may individuals gain access to companies in the subscription economy?The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount Subscription Economy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may offer an attractive vehicle for individuals looking to invest in companies offering subscription-based pricing models.For a complete list of SUBS holdings, please click here.[1] All data sourced from: State of the US Direct-to-Consumer Subscriptions 2022 – Industry Report, PipeCandy, 2022[2] The Subscription Economy Index (SEI) is designed to measure the growth in the volume of business for subscription-based products and services. The index is constructed by Zuora, a subscription consulting company and is not associated with the SUBS ETF nor is it the index that the fund aims to replicate. the SP 500 is a stock market index tracking the performance of 500 large companies listed on the stock exchanges in the United States. The S&P Retail Index measures the performance of retail stocks within the S&P 500. Note that some companies that are constituents of the SEI are also constituents of the S&P 500 and S&P Retail Index.[3] Compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, is the mean annual growth rate of an investment over a specified period of time longer than one year. It represents one of the most accurate ways to calculate and determine returns for individual assets, investment portfolios, and anything that can rise or fall in value over time.“Compound Annual Growth Rate: What Is CAGR? – Investopedia”[4] GMV – the dollar value of all merchandise sold as part of subscription boxes.

READ MORE by Bong-Geun Choi
28-Jul-2022

SUBS Subscription Economy Report (July 1-July 22)

Industry updates from the Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS).Clickhere to access the full list of holdings.Microsoft and Netflix Team UpAfter first announcing plans to launch a cheaper, ad-supported subscription plan to Netflix in April, Microsoft has been named Netflix’s global advertising and sales partner. This means that all ads streamed through Netflix will be exclusively available through Microsoft’s platform. Netflix stated that their long-term goal is give more choices to consumers and a premium, better-than-linear TV brand experience for advertisers. [1]MicrosoftXfinity Stream AppComcast announced the launch of the Xfinity Stream app on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, giving Xfinity TV customers another way to access their subscriptions. The redesigned app offers editorial recommendations that makes it easier to find new content to watch. There is also a new personalization algorithm that allows customers to continue watching their shows or movies across any platform or device. [2]ComcastNew Google Meet FeaturesFeatures which were previously only available on Google Workspace are now being offered to Google One subscribers. The new Google One features include:- the ability to have group calls lasting up to 24 hours (up from a previous limit of one hour)- access to Google Meet’s background noise filtering feature- support for recorded video callsThe features will be available to subscribers in US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, and Australia who pay for 2TB of storage or more. [3]GoogleMore Subscription Features for InstagramInstagram announced an expansion of test features for their creator subscription services. The initial features included subscriber-only stories, subscriber badges, and subscriber-only livestreams. The new updates to Instagram subscriptions are:- subscriber group chats (that can include up to 30 people)- subscriber-only reels and posts- ‘subscriber-only’ tabs on a creators’ profilesMeta does not take a percentage of creator earnings and hopes Instagram subscriptions can be a way for creators to establish a sustainable and predictable income. [4]InstagramSnapchat for WebSnapchat+ subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will be able to access Snapchat for Web. With Snapchat for Web, users can send messages and snaps, video chat, and make regular calls from their desktops. Snap plans to bring its Lenses feature to video calls in the future. Just like the mobile app, messages sent on Snapchat for Web will be deleted after 24 hours, and users will not be able to take screenshots. [5]SnapLearn how to invest in your future experiences with Fount ETFsThe Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please clickhere.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount Subscription Economy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing models, including those in the technology hardware industry.For a list of SUBS holdings, please clickhere.1) Parakhin, Mikhail. “Netflix names Microsoft as partner for new consumer subscription plan,” Official Microsoft Blog, July 13, 2022.2) “Xfinity Stream App Launches on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD,” Comcast, June 30, 20223) Porter, Jon. “Google Meet’s premium video calling features come to individual subscribers,” The Verge, July 11, 20224) Silberling, Amanda. “Instagram is adding more features to its creator subscriptions test,” Tech Crunch, July 14, 2022.5) Malik, Aisha. “Snap launches Snapchat for Web to bring the app’s core features to desktop,” Tech Crunch, July 18, 2022.

READ MORE by Inhee Lee
28-Jul-2022

MTVR Metaverse Report (July 11-July 22)

Industry updates from the Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR).Clickhere to access the full list of holdings.Google to Test AR GlassesGoogle revealed that they will conduct tests for of their prototype augmented reality (AR) glasses in public settings. The glasses, which look like normal glasses, will be tested for features like real-time translating and showing directions inside the lenses. The device has an in-lens display, microphone, camera, and an LED light that turns on when the glasses are recording image data. [1](Google)Digital Collectibles as Snap FiltersSnap Inc. wants to let creators show off their digital collectibles as useable AR filters. Testing for this feature will begin in August, and selected artists will be able to create and mint their own NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on another platform, and then import them into Snapchat as Lenses. According to reports, Snap does not plan to charge creators to display their NFTs. [2](Snap)Blackpink in Your (Metaverse) AreaWorld famous K-pop girl group Blackpink will hold an in-game concert in collaboration with Krafton Inc.’s PUBG (PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds) mobile game. This will be the first time a Korean artist will perform a virtual concert using 3D avatars. The foursome, after a 20-month hiatus, will perform their hits and reveal a special track. PUBG Mobile players in North and South America will be able to watch the concert on July 22-23 and July 29-30. [3](PUBG Mobile)Avatar Cover ImagesMeta Platforms is continuing to experiment with avatars by adding a new graphic cover image feature. The feature lets Facebook users include their avatars in their profile’s cover image and add their avatars onto imagined scenes. [4] This comes after the introduction of the avatar store which allows users to purchase digital clothing items for their personal avatars. (Matt Navarra Twitter)Learn how to invest in your future experiences with Fount ETFsThe Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may be an attractive vehicle for investors looking to invest in the metaverse.For a full list of MTVR holdings, please clickhere.The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS)The Fount Subscription Economy ETF (SUBS) seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the total return performance of the Fount Subscription Economy Index. The Index was designed to measure the performance of companies engaged in the business of providing subscription services, i.e., companies that sell products or services for recurring subscription revenue.SUBS may invest in companies that offer subscription-based pricing models, including those in the technology hardware industry.For a list of SUBS holdings, please clickhere.1) Lesswing, Kif, “Google will once again test augments reality glasses in public,” CNBC, July 19, 2022.2) Mehta, Ivan, “Snap eyes adding NFTs as AR filters in Snapchat,” Tech Crunch, July 13, 20223) Bang, Jun-sik, “Blackpink to hold K-pop’s first in-game concert on PUBG mobile game,” The Korea Economic Daily, July 12, 20224) Hutchinson, Andrew, “Meta Tests New Option to Create Avatar-Aligned Cover Images for Your Facebook Profile,” Social Media Today, July 18, 2022

READ MORE by Inhee Lee
27-Jul-2022

Fount ETFs Portfolio Update: 2022 Rebalance

1) Wilson, Ciana, “Adobe and the metaverse: the future of immersive,” Adobe Blog, April, 12, 2022.2) Nitta, Tuji, “Bandai Namco to spend $130m creating Gundam 'metaverse',” Nikkei Asia, March 6, 2022.3) Kim, Do-Hyong, “Kakao to Implement metaverse based on interests,” The Dong-A Ilbo, June 8, 2022.4) “KRAFTON, INC. PARTNERS WITH NAVER Z TO BUILD AN NFT METAVERSE PLATFORM,” Krafton Press Release, February 9, 2022.5) Hybe Company Website.6) Snowflake Company Website.7) Cadence Design Systems Company Website.8) CVS Health Company Website.9) Paychex Company Website.

READ MORE by Inhee Lee
21-Jul-2022

Will the Metaverse Change the Face of Education?

At-home learning, aided by technological advances, became a mainstay during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Now that restrictions have been lifted, individuals have become more comfortable with remote learning. Does the metaverse have the potential to change the face of education?Growing Acceptance of Remote LearningRemote learning at the university level is growing while on-campus enrollment is declining, according to an article in DiverseEducation.[1] Over the past several years, remote learning has been accomplished through platforms like Zoom. However, with the anticipated growth of remote learning, the metaverse may offer a better option.Potential Benefits of the Metaverse in the Field of EducationAugmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) may allow for substantial improvements overcurrent onlineplatforms such as Zoom. What potential advantages does the metaverse offer education?Creating an Engaging and Life-Like ClassroomThe metaverse may enable educational institutions to create more life-like classroom environments, even creating a digital twin of its physical campus. Learners may create personal avatars to interact with others in a digital classroom.Promoting CommunicationPhysical distance can create feelings of isolation and loneliness among remote learners. Virtual classrooms may allow remote learners to interact and collaborate via their personal avatars with other participants and instructors.DiversityThe metaverse may allow individuals from around the world to interact in digital classrooms, allowing interaction among individuals whose paths may never have crossed in the physical world. Time and distance are virtually erased in the metaverse.Fully Immersive ExperienceAR and VR may allow for fully immersive educational experiences. Think about virtually dissecting a frog in a metaverse lab. Rather than just seeing photos of historical locations, imagine walking through digital recreations.Is Learning Enhanced?Can the metaverse enhance the learning experience and improve educational outcomes? Consider the results of one study.Prominent edtech researcher Richard Mayer published a paper describing an experiment to test the hypothesis that a lesson in VR would be more effective than the same lesson delivered via standard video.The study took 100 middle school students on a virtual field trip to learn about climate science. Some students were equipped with a VR headset, while others watched the same material in standard video on a computer screen.The group in the VR group scored significantly better on an immediate post-test and on a test given later in the term. The VR group also reported higher presence, interest, and enjoyment.[2]Additionally, a recent study by consultant PwC found that 40% of VR learners are more confident in applying what they’ve been taught and feel 150% more engaged during classes.[3]The Future Is NowTen colleges have teamed up with technology companies to create metaversities – digital twins of their campuses. Most notable are Morehouse College in Georgia, University of Maryland, and West Virginia University.[4]As the technology improves, we expect more educational institutions to embrace the metaverse as part of their remote learning platforms.How may individuals gain exposure to the metaverse?The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.MTVR may provide an attractive vehicle for individuals to gain exposure to the metaverse.For a complete list of MTVR holdings, please click here.[1] Kelliher, Rebecca, What Could the Metaverse Mean for Higher Education?, DiverseEducation, 6/9/22[2] Young, Jeffrey R., Can the Metaverse Improve Learning? New Research Finds Some Promise, EdSurge, 4/29/22[3] Edward, Roz, Morehouse Breaking Bold New Technology for Metaverse Learning, Atlanta Daily World, 5/21/22[4] Melnick, Kyle, 10 “Metaversities” Are Opening Across the US This Fall, VKScout, 4/7/22

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Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus or summary prospectus with this and other information about the Fund, please call 855-425-7426 or visit our website at www.fountetfs.com. Read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before investing.

Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC. serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. The Funds are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co., (SIDCO) 1 Freedom Valley Drive, Oaks, PA 19456. SIDCO is not affiliated with Exchange Traded Concepts, LLC. or Fount Investment Co. Ltd.

Risk Disclosure:

 

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee the Funds will achieve their stated objectives. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, international investments may involve the risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, differences in generally accepted accounting principles, or social, economic, or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors, as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. 

 

The Funds’ concentration in an industry or sector can increase the impact of, and potential losses associated with, the risks from investing in those industries/sectors. For MTVR, the Fund may be concentrated in the entertainment and interactive media & services industries. The entertainment industry is highly competitive and relies on consumer spending and the availability of disposable income for success, which may cause the prices of the securities of companies to fluctuate widely. The prices of the securities of companies in the interactive media & services industry are closely tied to the overall economy's performance. Changes in general economic growth, consumer confidence, and consumer spending may affect them. MTVR may also be subject to the specific risks associated with metaverse companies. These risks include but are not limited to small or limited markets, changes in business cycles, world economic growth, technological progress, rapid obsolescence, and government regulation. Smaller, start-up companies tend to be more volatile than securities of companies that do not rely heavily on technology. Metaverse Companies may rely on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secret laws to establish and protect their proprietary rights. There can be no assurance that these steps will be adequate to prevent the misappropriation of their technology or that competitors will not develop technologies that are equivalent or superior to such companies’ technology.

 

For SUBS, the Fund may be concentrated in the software industry. Technological changes, pricing, retaining skilled employees, changes in demand, research & development, and product obsolescence can affect the profitability of software companies causing fluctuations in the market price of company securities. 

 

Both Funds are subject to communication services sector risk, which can involve the same risks as being concentrated in the software industry. Network security breaches, potential proprietary or consumer information theft, or service disruption can negatively affect companies’ stock prices.

 

The Funds are non-diversified. The Funds are new and have limited operating histories for investors to evaluate. New and smaller funds may not attract sufficient assets to achieve investment and trading efficiencies. In addition to the normal risks associated with investing, investments in smaller companies typically exhibit higher volatility.