What are NFTs and what do they mean for the creative industries?
It feels like no matter where you turn, everyone’s talking about NFTs. But what exactly are NFTs, and what do they mean for the creative industries? Here’s what you need to know.
What are NFTs?
“NFT” stands for “Non-fungible token.” An NFT is a unique, collectible digital file that can be anything from artwork to music to videos – even memes. They’re stored on a blockchain network, encrypted with copyright and ownership information, and can’t be altered.
Some popular examples of NFTs are:
- CryptoPunk 7523, a rare digital character in a series, which sold for $11.75 million at auction.
- The first ever tweet by the founder of Twitter: “just setting up my twttr,” which sold for $2.9 million.
- A collage of the first 5,000 pieces of digital art by Beeple, which sold for $6.9 million, one of the most expensive NFTs ever sold.
What can NFTs mean for the creative industries?
Even though NFTs are still in their relatively early stages, many digital artists are seeing unique opportunities for their work. NFTs mean that digital files can be owned, and their creators can sell, rent, or display them. Creators and designers can connect with a wider audience than before, since the NFT market is entirely online. And whether it’s through royalties or direct sales, creatives can get paid for their work in many ways that haven’t been possible before.
Essentially, if it can be made digital, it can be made into an NFT. Some examples of NFTs in the creative industries include rare illustrations, artist-designed sneakers, and digital furniture to be used in virtual environments. Lovers of NFTs think outside the box and are drawn to really creative – and sometimes odd – ideas, so it can be the ideal environment for a creative to make money.
Unfortunately, the world of NFTs isn’t perfect for the creative industries. One controversy surrounding NFTs is the rising costs of pieces, when the system was initially designed to equalize the art-buying market. This means that many people who might have previously been able to support their favorite artist are being priced out in a way that many feel is unfair. Not to mention, the fees for a creator to mint their NFT could be prohibitive as well.
Additionally, there have been instances of people selling work not created by them, or NFT owners mistakenly believing that they also own the full copyright to the original work.
Are you in the creative industries and curious about making money with NFTs? While the longevity of the NFT market isn’t certain, right now they’re allowing designers, artists, and creators to connect with new audiences and make money from their work in exciting ways. NFTs are shaking up the creative industries, and now could be a good time to see what all the hype is about. Get in touch if you have a video or graphic design idea for your brand that you’d like to explore!