- NFTs offer a compelling value proposition as a source of revenue and a vehicle for digital-native audience interaction.
- Every major production is investigating the use of NFTs.
- NFTs may include the chance to vote on how the next season of a television show will unfold, as well as access to exclusive content available exclusively to NFT holders.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have already begun to dominate the music industry, and they are now encroaching on the film and television industries.
For instance, the cartoon series “Stoner Cats” collected USD 8.4 million in late July through the sale of NFTs (which provide holders the exclusive right to watch episodes), which sold out in less than 35 minutes.
This is only the beginning, as industry insiders tell CoinNewsDaily that an increasing number of film and television companies are beginning to investigate NFTs. Indeed, Enderby Entertainment, a global production firm, joined with CurrencyWorks in June to launch VUELE, the world’s first full-length feature film NFT watching and distribution platform.
And for many in the cryptocurrency and television-film industries, NFTs may not only provide a new source of revenue, but may also help alter the business in novel ways. This will involve facilitating finance for smaller, independent production companies and maybe allowing viewers to vote on narrative developments via NFTs.
‘A strong value proposition’
“As with any creative sector, whether cinema, photography, or music, NFTs offer a compelling value proposition as a source of revenue and a platform for digital-native audience engagement,” said Alex Salnikov, co-founder and head of product at Rarible.com.
While Salnikov acknowledges that the NFT field is still in its infancy, he notes that more users from traditional industries — such as cinema and television — are experimenting with NFTs, thereby validating them as a commercial component.
He points out that the first Oscar-nominated picture was launched as an NFT only this year, and that media conglomerates such as Fox have begun exploring investment and development prospects in the space.
“All these actions have a domino effect: they influence other major players in the industry to give NFTs a go, while budding artists and creators get even more inspired to explore this new exciting medium,” he told Cryptonews.com.
Additionally, Salnivok writes that Rarible hosted an NFT sale by award-winning director Michael Beets to collect funding for the world’s first documentary shot live by refugees from around the world. These are merely first moves, but according to some leaders in the NFT sphere, they herald an impending general revolution in the television and film industries.
“Every major studio is investigating the use of NFTs to increase fan engagement and generate new revenue streams. Because film licensing is complicated, it’s taken time to work out the best implementation strategy, but we expect that once that’s resolved, NFTs will become a significant part of the movie fan experience,” said Wes Levitt, Head of Strategy at Theta Labs, the company behind Theta Network (THETA), a blockchain-powered video streaming network.
Mintable CEO and Founder Zach Burks corroborates this image of increased interest in NFTs throughout the film and television industries, implying that the majority will participate in some capacity.
“I believe that television studios and production organizations have already jumped headfirst into NFTs. There is already a lot of engagement in the field, from CNN to Fox to indie studios,” he told CoinNewsDaily.
Burks used Stoner Cats as an example of how popular shows based on or linked with NFT might become, given the show’s success upon debut. Indeed, the program, which stars Ashton Kutcher, Chris Rock, and Jane Fonda, has already premiered its first episode, with additional installments to follow. Fonda — has already released its debut episode, with additional episodes in the way.
More control and closer contact
As previously stated, potential viewers must acquire Stoner Cat NFTs in order to receive access to episodes, with each NFT costing ETH 0.35 (equivalent to 0.35 ETH every episode) (over USD 1,000 at the time of writing). With such a high price, it appears that NFTs could become extremely profitable for television and film firms.
“The first and simplest use case is the one most people see: digital collectibles like iconic movie scenes, NFTs representing famous characters or items from movies, and other passive examples,” said Wes Levitt.
Despite this straightforward use, the bulk of individuals active in cryptography and the NFT subsector anticipate that other exciting applications will emerge over time. According to Cameron Chell, executive chairman of CurrencyWorks and co-founder of VUELE, non-financial institutions (NFTs) will give production companies increased control over their work’s finance while also bringing them closer to their audiences through direct participation. “Our platform enables a production company to market itself. They may decide how many NFTs of their film to release and whether or not to package them with exclusive content, such as artwork or behind-the-scenes footage,” he explained in an interview with us.
Chell also mentions that filmmakers will have complete control over the pricing and timing of NFT drops with VUELE. They will almost certainly evolve into a helpful marketing tool in the future, allowing production companies to “stay current on the needs of their target audience.”
According to some observers, in addition to producing new revenue and financing sources, NFTs will result in the development of new, emergent forms and experiences in the television and film industries.
“The really exciting use cases are still in their infancy; think NFTs granting the right to vote on how the next season of a TV show plays out, or access to special content that can only be seen by NFT holders. This next level of fan engagement is when you’ll really see demand for NFTs skyrocket and change how fans interact with their favorite IP,” said Wes Levitt.
Similarly, Alex Salnikov anticipates that NFT applications in Hollywood will grow over time.
“In the near term, I anticipate that more television series and films will begin experimenting with NFTs to deliver unique digital content relating to each film and show, as well as with add-ons such as experiences, physical goods, and exclusive content.
Further down the road, we may see things like TV screenings in metaverses, NFTs evolving to reflect the evolution of the series, and on-chain voting for character fates,” he stated.
According to Zack Burks, NFTs will move from being an add-on or complement to television and cinema to something that advances or evolves the output of production studios.
“NFTs make a lot of sense in terms of television and movies. A particularly exciting moment I’m anticipating is when a studio employs an NFT in a way that relates to the production’s IP [intellectual property] — that will be great!” he said.
Cameron Chell of VUELE also believes that NFTs will become an evolutionary new way to distribute and enjoy films, not least because they reward the ownership of digital property, which has been devalued by years of streaming. For instance, rather than relying on a traditional distributor or streaming provider, VUELE enables studios and distributors to directly reach fans through CurrencyWorks-developed digital collectibles.
“NFTs are providing new ways for creators to forge deeper and more meaningful relationships with their supporters,” Chell concluded.