Welcome, esteemed explorers of the investment universe. If you're on a quest to find wealth-building ideas in the virtual realm and elevate your portfolio to new heights, you just stumbled upon a digital treasure map. As the immersive digital experience known as the metaverse goes through its most formative years, sharp-eyed investors are looking for the most promising stocks to reap the rewards of this virtual gold rush.

Read on to see two compelling (and surprising) metaverse stocks that are primed for takeoff in April and beyond.

Live Nation: Keep on rockin' in the metaverse

Let's start with a curve ball. I'm sure you know all about Ticketmaster, the dominant seller of event tickets of every stripe, and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment (LYV 2.15%). But do you think of Live Nation as a serious metaverse investment?

Maybe you should. Ticketmaster is not only ready to host virtual events in the metaverse, but it's already running special ticket sales through the digital world. I mean, Ticketmaster is champing at the bit to take advantage of these new ideas from several different angles.

First, Ticketmaster is working with event organizers to throw extra fairy dust on a concert, sporting event, or industry conference with the help of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These digital tokens are like virtual trading cards or souvenirs, but instead of keeping them in your room, they live online or in your digital wallet. Fans can get them before, during, or after events, and they can even unlock special rewards or VIP experiences.

These tokens are minted on the Flow token -- an Ethereum blockchain network designed to provide consumer-friendly payment services, metaverse experiences, and digital keepsakes.

For example, Ticketmaster issued 70,000 NFTs as a digital memento for each ticket to Super Bowl LVI -- the final scrum of the 2021 season. The NFTs kept flowing throughout the 2022 NFL season as well, as at least three home games per team included a Ticketmaster NFT with every seat ticket. So Live Nation's NFT-minting is already in full force. I'm sure there will be a lot more of it in upcoming seasons, across more sports, and extended to other types of events. Moreover, as the Flow-based tokens are designed for metaverse events, it won't surprise me when Ticketmaster launches its first fully virtual concert experience around that platform.

In the second part of Live Nation's metaverse, Ticketmaster also supports other projects using NFTs in the general vicinity of Ticketmaster's service area.

Look at how heavy metal veterans Avenged Sevenfold take advantage of NFTs, for example. A premium membership in the band's fan club involves the so-called Deathbat NFTs. Owning a Deathbat token gives you access to Avenged Sevenfold's ticket presales and the band is actually planning pure metaverse events. And when Ticketmaster is running a token-gated ticket sale, NFTs like the Deathbat token put you first in line for the virtual ticket window.

Ticketmaster can barely contain its glee as it explores the exciting world of the metaverse and NFTs. It's giving a thumbs-up to innovation and finding new ways to make concert and event tickets more engaging. The metaverse-only shows are coming, too.

So Live Nation might not be the first company you'd think of in the metaverse discussion, but it's already a serious player in the virtual world. I'm not suggesting that Live Nation is a no-brainer buy, since the company has some irksome issues to sort out elsewhere, but it certainly deserves a small investment or at least a spot on your watch list. It will be thrilling to see Ticketmaster's metaverse events spring to life over time.

Sony: The metaverse MVP

My second metaverse recommendation today is more traditional, if the terms "traditional" and "metaverse" even work together yet. Sony (SONY 0.46%) wants to do many things in the metaverse market, and many of these ideas are downright exciting for investors.

Oh metaverse, how does Sony love you? Let me start to count the ways:

  • Metaverse sports: Last November, Sony expanded its footprint in the virtual sports business when it picked up sporting data expert Beyond Sports. Beyond is known for creating live 3D presentations of football and hockey games in real time, giving the audience custom views of the action as if there were an invisible drone camera right in the thick of it. Now imagine bringing that experience into a virtual reality headset instead of your living room TV. That's the power Beyond Sports gives to Sony.

    Furthermore, Sony picked up the ball-tracking expert Hawk-Eye Innovations way back in 2011. So the Japanese media giant has more than a decade of trailblazing experience in building digital representations of sporting events. Sony's well-established expertise should make the company an instant and lasting leader in metaverse sports.

  • Collaboration with sports teams: Sony's even partnering up with sports teams like Manchester City to create metaverse experiences for fans. This could mean virtual meet-and-greets, behind-the-scenes access, or even playing alongside your favorite athletes. Manchester City's metaverse effort is billed as a proof of concept, preparing digital fan interaction with other teams in the long run. I'm telling you, Sony expects a large and lucrative market to emerge in the sports-related side of the metaverse.
  • PlayStation VR headsets: As the company behind the legendary PlayStation video game console, Sony was an early provider of virtual reality headsets. Meta Platforms is still the market leader here with its game-changing Quest and Quest 2 VR visors, but Sony is coming on strong.
  • Poetry in motion with music and movies: Of course, Sony's no stranger to producing entertainment experiences. The company is a giant in movie and TV production, music publishing, video game development, and more. These musical and cinematic talents are an obvious fit with the metaverse, too. For example, Sony will stand ready to tackle the digital production side of Live Nation's metaverse-only rock concerts.

I could go on, but you get the drift already. Sony is deeply engaged in the metaverse opportunity already and will continue to push deeper into that market as it evolves. In particular, I can't think of another company that can match Sony's assets and ambition when it comes to metaverse sports.

Sony's stock trades at the modest valuation ratios of 16 times earnings and 1.4 times sales right now. The growing metaverse opportunity should throw more fuel on the Japanese conglomerate's business fires in the coming years. So if you're looking for an investment that might heat up your portfolio, don't overlook Sony's potential in the metaverse while the stock is more than reasonably priced.