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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jeppe R. Stokholm

Don’t underestimate NFTs in the Entertainment Industry

Hollywood is not only synonymous with entertainment, money, and glamour.

It’s also the perfect stage to showcase new tech solutions.

If you want to understand how new tech gets mass adaption and how important it is to quickly adapt to the winds of change, Hollywood is the place to be.

Because what happens in Hollywood never stays in Hollywood.

The Winds of Change

For many young people it is hard to imagine a time when we couldn’t watch a movie on instant demand. From 8mm film to Betamax,VHS and DVD, everything developed in certain steps on different physical platforms.

But everything physical is now turning digital.

Just look at the streaming revolution and how fast it disrupted the Film & TV industry. Who saw that coming so rapidly?

Not Blockbuster, who declined to buy Netflix 20 years ago for USD 50 million. Today, Netflix has a market cap of more than USD 102 billion.

From the Internet of Information to the Internet of Value

Then look at the tech developments that kickstarted the digital transformation of the Film & TV industry.

The internet, smartphones, social media, etc. All leading to a digital transformation of entertainment, that now can be consumed by everyone, everywhere. These tech developments are still in their early stages but with huge impact across all verticals and sectors.

Meanwhile, many new tech solutions are entering the stage, including NFTs build on the blockchain technology.

We are now entering a new internet age, from the internet of information to the internet of value and transaction.

What’s happening in the NFT space?

To understand the winds of change in Hollywood, it’s important to take a close look at the main influencers in the space, and what they are doing:

  • Why did Fox release a USD 100 million creators’ fund for NFTs and why did they release 10,000 “Miss Masky” NFTs tied to their hit reality show “The Masked Singer”?

  • Why did Warner Bros create 100,000 “Matrix Resurrections”-inspired NFTs (and what made them so popular, that they immediately sold out?)

  • Why is Lionsgate creating NFTs for huge franchises like Mad Men, John Wick, and The Hunger Games?

  • Why is Reese Witherspoon and her media company Hello Sunshine linking NFTs to new TV and film projects?

  • Why is the producer of “Law & Order”, Dick Wolf, using NFTs to release interactive story telling projects?

  • Why did Julie Pacino (Al Pacino’s daughter) use NFTs instead of traditional funding for her upcoming feature film?

The pattern seems to be the following:

All the above is happening, because NFTs are adding new opportunities for user engagement, interaction, and most importantly: New increased revenue streams for all parties involved, including the fans and the community.

Why use NFTs?

When you own an NFT, you are the one in control of that specific right.

It can be IP rights shaping any stage of the film-makers journey from script to screen, copyrights to certain images, autographed physical/digital memorabilia, animated digital avatars, video scenes, digital posters and images, VIP tickets, one-of-a-kind digital collections etc.

It can also be the economic rights to box office achievements and merchandise (imagine a George Lucas / StarWars NFT, how cool would that be!). It all depends on the NFT and how the smart contract is coded. You can sell it or store it as you want. It’s your contract, you have earned it, and your ownership is registered in all official records.

For the industry, NFTs provide a unique opportunity to engage with their community and bring added value. In the DVD age, you could get extra material if you bought “Directors Cut” or “Extended” versions etc., but on the streaming platforms you rarely get access to these features.

With NFTs it’s different.

Not only can you buy the right to special features such as unpublished or extended scenes, maybe you’ll want to get your hands on some of the original handwriting screenplays and commentary track from the filmmaker himself.

Quentin Tarantino facilitated this opportunity, and the first Tarantino NFT sold for USD 1,1 million.

NFTs are Smart Contracts

NFTs have the potential to completely transform the way films are made, produced, distributed and consumed, and at the same time prevent piracy and other intellectual property related issues.

Now any provider of content can be in control of their intellectual property on all primary markets. But it doesn’t stop there. They can continue to earn money from the resales of their NFTs on secondary markets, because there’s a record of ownership built into the NFT’s metadata.

NFTs are smart contracts, and the coding opportunities for the contract are unlimited.

They can be self-executing, fully automated, and they can be coded to be upgradeable. Such NFTs can evolve and mutate over time, they are not static. By using an upgradeable NFT, the content creator can retain control of any spin-off products and even profit of it.

Again and again for every upgrade that sells in the market.

Profit from Meme Content

Humor is profitable and so is meme content.

We all know the hilarious Adolf Hitler memes from the blockbuster movie “The Downfall / Der Untergang” (2004), also known as “Hitler Finds Out…” or “Hitler Reacts to…”.

This series of parody-subtitled videos is based on a pinnacle scene, that led to thousands of anachronistically subtitled videos of Hitler getting upset over the war being lost on all fronts.

Such content could easily be coded as a spin-off product by the owner of the IP-right, that could be upgraded again and again and shared on SoMe platforms and traded subsequently.

The sky is the limit when it comes to meme content that goes viral.

That’s why NFTs and the trading platforms in the Film & TV industry is an area to follow closely.

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