Non-fungible tokens are all the rage, with businesses of every ilk trying to grab their piece of what is becoming a booming — and at one time unforeseen — revenue stream. But as always, the entertainment sector is a force unto itself, and more media and tech firms are announcing plans to enter the space every day. But how solid is that market, really, and is there value beyond simply digital collectibles?
In the Variety Intelligence Platform webinar “The State of the Entertainment NFT Market,” VIP+ senior media analyst Gavin Bridge hosts a panel of industry experts so you can get those answers straight from the source.
Joining him to shine a light on the bubbling entertainment NFT world are Kelly LeValley Hunt, founder and CEO of curated P2P NFT platform and ecosystem Mint Gold Dust; Hub Entertainment Research founder Jon Giegengack; Warner Music Group SVP of New Business & Ventures Alex Kamins; and Melody Hildebrandt, chief information security officer and president at Fox and its Blockchain Creative Labs.
As new as entertainment NFTs are, Giegengack’s Hub started back in 2013, just as the streaming wars were getting underway. And yet as the technology opened up, he says the company’s purpose remained consistent: Conduct real-time research on how people find, choose and consume entertainment of all kinds to see which areas are surging and which could be in danger of sinking.
By contrast, Fox’s Blockchain Creative Labs only launched in summer of 2021. With its first project riding the wave of the network’s “Masked Singer” phenomenon, the goal of the campaign was simple. “How can we activate a really passionate fan base and kind of onboard them into the Web3 universe?” Hildebrandt says, acknowledging that the majority of those partaking were first-timers and the bar was high. But so was the hunger: “We drove about 350,000 new wallet installs,” all utilizing the highest capabilities of the studio’s rich audio and video.
So just how wide is the NFT market in entertainment? All the experts agreed openings abound in every sector, from music and gaming to film and TV to professional and college sports. Warner Music’s Kamins, who is on the hunt for forward-looking opportunities in what is often considered a traditional media company, says the potential for the collectibles is exploding, and the company is eager to build partnerships and investments capitalizing on that but also benefiting the artists.
That’s not to say the industry doesn’t face inherent hesitance over something this revolutionary, with all of its burgeoning new platforms. “One of the biggest challenges to the Web3 space scaling is the friction and the fragmentation that exists in the space,” Kamins says.
Still, Warner Music has its eye on the future. While plans are still in their nascency, he teases that one can expect metaverse virtual worlds along the lines of “Disneyland meets Coachella [meets] always-on stages … spaces that create these amazing tentpole moments.”
When it comes to NFTs in entertainment, the trends impacting that future are already taking shape and will soon etch themselves as everyday occurrences. Over at Mint Gold Dust, LeValley Hunt paves the way for artists, collectors and collaborators to use the technology to their advantage.
She points to blockchain payment structures, memorabilia built into ticketing systems so it allows for both event entry and upgrades in the experience and the application of Web 3 and decentralization across sectors as just a few refinements on the way.
For each of VIP+’s special guests, the future is now — and in this lively discussion they touched upon precisely how media is intent on embracing it. So if you’re currently active in NFTs or just curious and want to learn before you leap, this webinar is can’t-miss viewing.