How NFTs are Disrupting Collector Culture in Entertainment


By Jake Fraser, Head of Business Development at Mogul Productions

The entertainment industry is among the world’s biggest and a massive part of our lives, with a global market size of $2.2 trillion. The TV series, music albums, and movies from this industry shape our day-to-day experiences. Likewise, actors, filmmakers, and musicians occupy a special place in our hearts. And we often go out of our way to express love and admiration for our favorite stars. That’s the root of fandom culture. 

People also spend thousands of dollars to own unique artwork, posters, merchandise, and other collectibles related to celebrities and their craft. For example, K-Pop fans collect the cards that come with music albums and new releases. Similarly, Harry Potter enthusiasts have notably spent thousands of dollars on unique items featured in the films. 

Overall, almost every fandom offers some collectibles fans are willing to buy. But most existing collectibles are merely decorative items. They do not give fans any real and tangible value or even the experience of being an active contributor to the domain. Thus, the entertainment industry, being forever adaptive to technological innovations, found a new disruptor in NFTs. NFTs are poised to redefine collectibles by giving fans genuine value in the long run.  

NFT Collectibles: The New Frontier in the Collector Culture

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, first came into the limelight with CryptoKitties. The game enabled players to breed rare cats and sell them on marketplaces. And with its tremendous success, people realized the potential of digital collectibles and NFT technology. 

The non-fungibility of NFTs promised exclusive ownership of underlying assets, and artists were the first to jump on this bandwagon. They made millions of dollars selling digital artwork as NFTs, which further testified to the urge among fans to own unique items within their fandom. The demand for NFTs thus grew exponentially, making it a full-fledged industry worth over $17 billion.  

Against this backdrop, NFTs help reimagine collector culture and how fans interact with the entertainment industry. They allow fandoms to do away with mere posters or merchandise, instead offering fans assets with long-lasting social and financial value. 

From Fandangle to Valuable Assets

Major production houses are now teaming up with NFT marketplaces and digital artists to create NFTs for their upcoming projects. For instance, Arabian Camels is producing Antara, a $50 million Hollywood film. The producers recently announced an NFT drop for the project. This NFT collection will allow holders to contribute to the film’s production, own a portion of the digital rights, and profit from its box office success. So, while having something to collect in the fandom, fans also benefit from the film’s overall performance and become a part of the production process. 

Moreover, NFT collectibles are an asset and not a liability. So, even without any additional benefits, these collectibles are inherently more valuable than the existing ones. When you come to think of it, the possibilities are virtually endless. From digital cards and posters to clippings or audio, it’s possible to tokenize everything and offer them as NFTs for fans. It is also possible to etch decision making, financial, and social benefits for fans right into the NFT. 

Mogul Productions, a decentralized film financing platform, launched an NFT collection in 2021, celebrating Stan Lee’s legacy. The collection featured ten adaptations of Stan Lee’s iconic Marvel covers that pop artist Rob Prior had painted. Fans who won the auction for these NFTs also received the physical painting signed by Stan Lee himself. Mogul Productions took this a step further by creating an NFT marketplace for the entertainment industry. The platform partners with some of the biggest names in entertainment to bring valuable collectibles to fans.

Even the four media giants Fox, Warner Media, Lionsgate, and ViacomCBS launched NFT initiatives to offer better collectibles. Fox created The MaskVerse to let fans build limited-edition digital masks for characters from all six seasons of The Masked Singer. 

ViacomCBS partnered with RECUR, a leading non-fungible token (NFT) business, to develop a fan-centric platform where users can buy, collect, and exchange NFTs as digital products. Pam Kauffman, ViacomCBS’s Consumer Product President, said, “Voracious collectors and first-time NFT buyers alike will find unique opportunities to own a piece of their favorite franchises.” 

These projects give us a sliver into how NFTs can transform fandoms and the collector culture within the entertainment industry. They are poised to rewrite the very meaning of collectibles, from mere fandangle to valuable assets that people can appreciate in the long run. 

Building a Mutually Beneficial Relationship

For entertainment fans, NFTs provide many opportunities to collect and cash in on their favorite fandoms. Even for artists, celebrities, filmmakers, and producers, NFTs ensure a broad scope for marketing their films, circumventing budget constraints, and building a fandom from scratch. 

Overall, integrating NFTs into showbiz creates a mutually beneficial relationship between fans and the industry, creating a space where both parties can thrive.

About the author:

Jake Fraser is the Head of Business Development at Mogul Productions, a DeFi and NFT marketplace platform for the film and entertainment industry. Jake possesses over 10 years of experience across a variety of industries such as sport, entertainment and crypto. He has helped build several successful businesses and specializes in sales, marketing, product development and strategy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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