Paris Hilton this week announced that her company, 11:11 Media, will bring her world to the immersive virtual gaming world of The Sandbox.
There, she’ll launch a “land,” in which she’ll interact with her fans and sell digital goods. The platform said Hilton “is planning social and community events such as rooftop parties and glamorous social experiences in her virtual Malibu mansion” — with 11 versions of Hilton-inspired avatars.
The Sandbox, which describes itself as a leading “decentralized virtual world” that is “part virtual real estate, part amusement park,” has 300 existing partnerships, with the likes of Warner Music Group and video game maker Ubisoft, along with other celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki, along with brands such as The Smurfs, and Adidas.
In an exclusive interview with CNBC, Hilton said she wanted to bring her own metaverse from Roblox into other platforms.
“Snoop Dogg released his world in there, which is incredible, and I was so excited when I saw that,” she said. “I’m really excited to bring Paris world all over — we’re going to be working with a couple other platforms.”
In The Sandbox she’ll sell Paris-inspired NFTs and host virtual parties — but she says this us just the beginning of what she hopes to build.
“Right now we’re mostly focusing on the experiences and not the monetization because that’s just not the focus right now,” Hilton said. “But we are going to be doing digital wearables and working with different brands and there’s a lot of exciting projects I can’t announce yet.”
Hilton’s first move into the metaverse was when she built “Paris Hilton World” inside Roblox late last year. She launched the space with a virtual New Year’s Eve party in which her avatar DJ’ed. Then she DJ’ed what she called a “Neon Carnival” festival timed to Coachella. Roblox said that Hilton’s virtual world has been visited by nearly 544,000 fans — but it won’t say how much revenue it’s generated.
For Hilton, the virtual presence is an opportunity to reach more people — without the 250-day-a-year travel she was doing before the pandemic.
“On New Year’s Eve, I was DJing in the Maldives. It was my honeymoon and I was playing and there was more people at Paris World than there was a New York Times Square,” Hilton said. “At the Neon Carnival we had almost half a million people there and in the real life party there was 5,000. That’s the power of the metaverse where you can have people from all around the world be able to enjoy and experience things that are usually, you know, exclusive events.”
Paris Hilton attends a private view of “Vogue x Snapchat: Redefining The Body, Curated By Edward Enninful OBE”, an interactive augmented reality (AR) exhibition, at Centre d’art La Malmaison on June 19, 2022 in Cannes, France.
David M. Benett | Getty Images
Hilton started investing in crypto in 2016 — before crypto’s meteoric rise and fall — and she’s been selling NFTs since last April. Before that market dropped more recently, last year she sold one for over $1 million. She’s also invested in a number of startups in the space, including Genies, which creates customized avatars and has drawn investments from former Disney CEO Bob Iger, entertainer and model Priyanka Chopra and other luminaries.
Now Hilton is looking at how to bridge her real-world businesses — such as a tracksuit line — with her digital ones.
“We want to be able to do [something] where people could buy the tracksuit and then also get a digital version for their avatar to wear,” Hilton said. “That’s what we’re going to be doing a lot of — things that are happening in real live, I’m going to have them also be happening in the metaverse at the same time.”
And she’s talking to other metaverse platforms to expand her presence. She didn’t say which ones, but said she likes what Facebook parent Meta is doing.
Hilton’s 11:11 Media is private and doesn’t reveal financials, but said that the company’s business doubled from last year to this year and that it expects to generate tens of millions of dollars in profit this year.
There’s also no word on what kind of profits – or losses — she’s seen from her crypto investments over the years, but her company said she’s generated $3.5 million in revenue from NFTs this year.
As to what happens with the metaverse, and the NFTs that she’s promoted over the years, it’s too soon to say.