How NFTs are democratizing and reshaping the Media & Entertainment industry

Non-fungible tokens are upending the global Media and Entertainment (M&E) industries, spawning new collector communities and granting artists greater access to their fans and supporters. With limited-edition Saw collectibles from Lionsgate, 100,000 “Matrix Resurrections” NFTs from Warner Bros., and Disney’s metaverse department “next-generation storytelling” already a hit, the NFT market in M&E is experiencing unprecedented growth and has the potential to completely transform the sector.

What is a Non-Fungible Token?

An NFT is a non-changeable digital identifier that is stored in a blockchain and used to verify ownership and authenticity. International artists and collectors’ recent interest in non-fungible tokens has sparked a boom in the sector, with the NFT market expected to be worth $231 billion by 2030.

The revolution is here

NFTs hold out the possibility of a closer connection between a musician or filmmaker and their audience. Additionally, it enables artists to raise funds devoid of conventional gatekeepers like a record label or a movie studio. The independent film industry is particularly well-positioned to gain from NFTs because they open a fresh avenue for fundraising that helps artists get past financial obstacles.

Major media companies have already been working with technology pioneers to use blockchain and NFTs to reach a larger audience and more effectively monetize their content. NFTs give media companies the ability to increase levels of personalization and rights control while extending monetization efforts beyond traditional barriers. For example, MGM in collaboration with VeVe distributed digital collectibles for the 2021 James Bond film No Time to Die. MGM is one of several media companies that have recently explored the viability of NFT distribution to support their Intellectual Properties (IPs).

The NFT collections of well-known celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Shawn Mendes, Eminem, Madonna, etc, are already very popular among fans. Numerous celebrities in India have also introduced their NFTs. A part of Amitabh Bachchan’s NFT collection, which also includes autographed Sholay posters and other items related to the movie, is Madhushala, his father’s celebrated poetry recital. It was auctioned off for Rs. 7.18 crores. Similarly to this, Salman Khan, Kamal Hassan, and Rajnikanth have debuted their NFTs.

The future of NFTs in the M&E industry

Media and advertising businesses can eliminate fraud, cut costs, and improve transparency to connect with audiences directly with the aid of digital assets like NFTs. Non-Fungible Tokens are poised to completely transform the financing of movies and decentralise it to allow NFT holders to participate in the process. Several NFT projects are now introducing a new method of financing movies for a worldwide audience where they receive an equitable share of the box office receipts. An NFT community called Arabian Camels has already announced its NFT drop for the $50 million Hollywood film “Antara,” which is based on the life of the legendary Arabian knight Antarah Ibn Shaddad. It is the first NFT that enables a purchaser to digitally co-own movie rights, allowing owners to share in box office and streaming revenues. Similarly, owners can stake their NFTs to earn yields while the movie is still in production, in addition to enjoying partial ownership of the content represented by the token or of the movie rights themselves. This raises the overall appeal because NFT holders can decide to keep their money invested throughout the film while also using it to generate returns on their digital tokens that outperform the market. Additionally, members of these NFT communities can obtain roles in the film being made, receive credit as producers, and even join the production team for private events with the cast and crew on the actual film set.

The impact of the crypto crash on the NFTs market

During a pandemic-driven rise in the value of cryptocurrencies, many NFTs concepts emerged. Actress Resse Witherspoon announced that an unscripted TV series based in the world of NFTs will be produced. Similarly, pop star Shawn Mendes also announced an NFT character for upcoming film and television projects. However, several of these concepts were dropped after the subsequent crash in cryptocurrency prices. NFTs were also affected by the star power, star engagement, and the credibility of the platform. As many celebrities lost the motivation to interact with their fans, the popularity of their NFTs declined.

How decentralised platforms are the next big thing?

Many blockchain platforms have emerged as a result of the rising popularity of NFTs to democratise access to Web 3.0, the metaverse, and future technologies on a global scale. Creators and artists can now access global opportunities thanks to decentralised platforms for NFTs. They can expand their fan base, gain access to a global audience, and monetise their creative output through them. With the ability to be customised, these new platforms provide Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 monetisation options that maximise the advantages and returns for both consumers and creators. Through smart contract technology and controls built into the ecosystem, creators can ask for patronage and share returns and profits with their supporters.


Navdeep Sharma, Founder, Reel Star

The media and entertainment sector has been notably opaque in its operations since its inception, blocking any potential outside interference. Opportunities for aspiring artists and movie producers who were persistently trying to break into the business were severely constrained by this rigid way of doing business. The entertainment and digital media industries are now welcoming a wider range of artists, content creators, producers, and viewers thanks to NFT integration solutions. Fans now have a way to participate directly in the workflow and happenings within the industry, not only to fund movies but also to earn from their profits and gains, while content producers and creators have new ways of monetizing their work as well as raising new funds. Together, these three interdependent groups—producers, creators, and consumers—could eventually change how the world enjoys entertainment and consumes digital media in the years to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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