NFT Projects That Could Change The Arts

Has the excitement over NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, already died off? Google has reported an 80 percent drop in NFT-related searches since the keyword peaked in popularity back in March 2021. 

Maybe the initial interest in the latest thing has slowed a bit, but another explanation is that people are still figuring out what exactly NFTs are, and how they can — or should — be used. 

As Anthony Martini, the CEO of US-based royalty marketplace Royalty Exchange, said: “The misconception is that NFTs are like a get rich quick scheme. That’s not really how it works.”

In reality, many experts on the music, film and book industries say that NFTs have yet to realize their full potential, and could still represent a sea change in how the arts are bought and sold. 

The music industry, in particular, has reasons to be excited. The rise of streaming services like Spotify, combined with the wide availability of music on YouTube, has completely changed the industry, and created a need for ways to actually get money into the pockets of the artists. 

Many now see NFTs as a way to bring sustainability back to an industry that has long lacked any means of sufficiently rewarding musicians who make popular music. 

Rolling Stone tackled the issue in a recent article titled “NFTs May Seem Like Frivolous Fads. They Should Be the Future of Music.”

The article details the recent kerfuffle around classic hip-hop band A Tribe Called Quest, which recently saw a portion of the rights to their music sold as an NFT through Martini’s Royalty Exchange. 

With blockchain technology, musicians can more easily detect the kind of hidden contractual information that caused A Tribe Called Quest — and many other bands throughout history — to be exploited by their own industry, Martini said in the article. 

“Transparency’s an issue, it’s fragmented, and there are control issues with it being a top-down type of industry,” Martini said to Rolling Stone. “Blockchain is a way to break down some of those walls and democratize things more. The art boom made people think of NFTs as a fad, but the underlying technology is what’s important. The future of NFTs is going to be based in functionality.”

Many insiders see the same possibilities for the film and book industries. 

Mogul Productions is a startup aimed at bringing decentralized financing, through blockchain and NFTs, to the film industry. 

In July, the company announced the first-ever blockchain-based vote for green-lighting a film script. The studio has three films ready for production, including a spy thriller, a horror movie and a John Wick-style action film.  

“The project selected these three films from a pool of 500 submissions based on the platform’s core selection criteria,” according to NewsBTC. “As for the criteria, the films must have 50% of their total financing in place, A-List on-screen talent, experienced directors and producers, distribution deals imminent, and a commercially appealing storyline to qualify for voting.”

And as for books, more authors are trying to cash in on the NFT craze, including the grandson of world-famous civil rights activist Nelson Mandela. 

Dumani Mandela, grandson of the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, plans to auction two of his novels as NFTs, according to Business Insider. Dumani has said the proceeds will be donated for the development of a mental healthcare app. They will go on auction in August. 

While the NFT trend has clearly entered the global consciousness, these stories suggest that the biggest developments of this technology are still to come.