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Interview: CAA's Chief Metaverse Officer Joanna Popper

Tim Baysinger
Sep 1, 2022
Photo illustration of Joanna Popper with palm trees and abstract shapes.
Photo illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios. Photo: Peter Samuels

The metaverse is coming to the C-suite. Axios caught up with CAA's Chief Metaverse Officer Joanna Popper to talk about Hollywood's race to the forthcoming digital world.

Why she matters: The hire of Popper — who came to CAA after stints at HP, Singularity University and NBCUniversal — is the latest example that the metaverse is Hollywood's next gold rush.

How do you view this new role?

With most organizations, [the metaverse] is still something that people are learning about.

  • We represent many of the most culturally significant artists and brands, some of which are already operating in the early versions of the metaverse or already planning their strategies. And so these types of clients that we represent will have a huge impact on the direction that the metaverse goes in.

Much of this web3/NFT world is around the idea that it's a lot more self-made, where you're cutting out the middleman. They can have a direct relationship with their fans and customers. Are any of these artists apprehensive about working with an agency?

We have quite a few endemic or native artists in the space. They see the role of an agency as advising, supporting, helping direct them, helping them understand the best structure for the deals and connecting them with parties that they might not connect with otherwise.

  • There's examples of native web3 or metaverse clients that we work with where we then help them get into a production deal or get into a podcast studio or a book deal.
  • This is a new type of new creativity and new ideas coming from this group of artists, but they still often have interest in extending their brand.

How would you rate the education level of some of the more traditional media partners?

Both the technology companies as well as the media companies certainly recognize the importance of this opportunity and the importance of having teams and staff and employees in a state of being on the cutting edge.

  • All the players have people deeply experimenting and investigating and testing and learning and preparing.
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