NFT’s, short for non-fungible tokens, are pieces of digital multimedia art (drawings, animated GIFS, songs, even tweets) that are recorded on the blockchain as a way of keeping track of who owns them. An NFT can be a unique, one-of-a-kind, single edition, or one copy of many (such as baseball cards).
Whilst eyebrows have been raised at the electricity consumption of NFTs, they represent a significant opportunity for publishers to monetize their content library, especially imagery and other one-offs such as magazine covers, etc.
This month, Fortune dipped its toes into the NFT waters, selling 256 limited edition NFTs of its latest cover art. Each “tokenized” piece cost 1 Ether, a single unit of the cryptocurrency Ethereum. According to Fortune, the entire set of NFTs sold out in minutes, raising a heady $1.3M for the publisher.
It was a crazy, live digital experiment.Alan Murray, CEO, Fortune
Now Maxim is raising the bar for publishers, partnering with xSigma (a subsidiary of NASDAQ-listed ZK International Group) to launch its own NFT marketplace entitled MaximNFT. Under the terms of the agreement, xSigma will operate the NFT platform, which will be promoted by Maxim.com across all its publishing platforms and social media.
According to Darren Moore Jr, a highly respected crypto YouTube commentator, xSigma is one of the brightest blockchain R&D Labs in the world. Speaking this week on his Patreon channel, Moore Jr added, “xSigma has a killer team – made up of former Ripple, Google, Facebook developers”.
Unlike Fortune, which solely sold its own copyrighted cover art, MaximNFT will operate as a marketplace and sell NFTs from individuals driving popular culture including musicians, artists, celebrities and sports stars, as well as its own NFTs from Maxim.com. It is understood that gaming NFTs will feature prominently.
MaximNFT will also allow customers to create and sell NFTs on various blockchains, including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Polkadot. Furthermore, it will offer an “NFT tokenization” feature letting customers trade fractions of NFTs in the marketplace encouraging further uptake. MaximNFT will go live “this fall” although the exact date hasn’t been clarified.
It comes at a time when NFTs are moving towards mass adoption. According to the Dapp Industry Report by Dappradar, NFTs have been responsible for more than $1.5 billion in transaction volume in the first quarter of 2021 alone. Moreover, according to NonFungible.com, the monthly sales volume reached $896 million in August 2021, representing a significant 80x growth compared to January 2021 figures.
NFTs represent a significant opportunity because of the breadth and depth of content publishers own, some of it iconic – the Washington Post’s ‘moon landing’ front page; the Daily Mail’s 1966 World Cup winner’s front page; the first issue of Vogue in 1892; MAD magazine’s first Alfred E. Neuman cover; the list is endless with possibilities – and, crucially, buyers.
Watch this space. It’s going to be huge.