NFTs and the so-called ‘metaverse’ have boomed in the entertainment industry of late. With key business entities, from Disney to Facebook, pinning their hopes on this novel new aspect of the digital revolution as a key growth area, what should the film and TV industry know? Brandon Blake, entertainment attorney at Blake & Wang P.A, looks deeper into this new digital entertainment sector.
More than Just Art
In many ways, the entertainment industry is a prime growth environment for NFTs. Art is already inherent to what we do. Already, we’re seeing everything from monetized scenes and movie art to whole pieces of content offered through the NFT vehicle. ‘Digital collectibles’ and the legalities around them have even hit the courts as the wrangling over ownership, profit, and managing both is ironed out.
That’s NFTs, however. What even is the metaverse? Conceptualized as interlinked 3D worlds promoting social connection, it’s another area with great innovation potential for the future of film and TV entertainment. For now, it’s mostly being explored through a platform called ‘Ritestream’, involving their own crypto-like currency.
The associated NFT is created in pre-production, and funding members act as part-owners for the product created. Once through production, funded by these investors, the content is released as a concluding NFT, with funding members sharing in the proceeds as the production is sold or distributed. Think of it as another fundraising opportunity for producers outside of the traditional models.
An idea in its infancy, yes, but one we may see take traction in the indie space as producers look for new ways to fund their projects. Especially if it means retaining more of the eventual proceeds and better creative control through distribution than is offered by traditional funding.
In short, there’s immense potential for the entertainment industries there, but widespread adoption is still a dream or two away. That will need significant growth and development for the sector as a whole- which in turn will be powered through monetization and the appeal it has for the public and how mainstream these new vehicles can become.
Ironically, NFTs have become a saturated space in the last year, yet also one shifting so fast it’s hard to keep on top of developments. And, as is inevitable with any new tech, quick cash grabs rub shoulders with legitimate leveraging of new opportunities from quality projects. Escaping that ‘cash grab’ legacy will be a critical part of these new vehicles becoming widespread entertainment industry standards.
Yet we’ve seen key entertainment names- notably including Rene Zellweger- lean into the space in an attempt to not only change how we approach the making of film and TV- or ‘content’, as it is fast becoming- but also who benefits from its sale and distribution. Shifts in the digital market, as well as how and who runs the blockchain technology powering these lofty ideas, are evolving. The existing entertainment industry is perfectly poised to not only use, but also shape, its future.
For now, of course, it’s safer for the Disneys of the world to risk some profit investing in NFT production then an indie filmmaker with budget constraints, but there’s no doubt that the space has a lot of potential to be leveraged for smaller productions and entities, too. The market opportunity, however, is ripe for use to revolutionize not only how content is consumed on the viewer’s side, but also how it’s conceptualized, produced, and managed by the creators. And that’s well worth watching.