An engaged fan base almost always equals more sales. Think of everything from the early boy band fan clubs to the streaming parties hosted online by groups of fans today. These kinds of efforts often lead to more visibility for the project or artist in question and ultimately to more sales.
As such, entertainment companies have worked for decades to engage fans, be it through contests, giveaways, limited edition products and so on. As we enter the web3 era, NFTs are fast becoming the new way companies create fan engagement.
With all the different media that can be used to ensure fan engagement, why are NFTs more in demand today? First, they are very popular among the youth. While virtually any demographic can be fans of a project or entertainer, traditionally young people are the most passionate fan bases. As such, it makes sense to leverage a digital tool of which they are the biggest consumers.
After all, a 20-year-old is more likely to buy an NFT collectible than a 50-year-old. Then there’s the ease of distribution to fans. In the past, fans had to buy limited edition items, for example in a physical store or have them delivered to their home. For entertainers or projects with fans in different parts of the world, this can present logistical challenges.
With NFTs, such challenges are usually eliminated. Since they exist in the virtual internet space, anyone from anywhere in the world can easily buy them. More ease of purchase equals more money earned. Needless to say, these have helped make NFTs one of the best fan engagement tools in the world.
It is also more relevant as consumers develop their identity on digital platforms and need account security and ownership information.
“By using Gated or Access NFTs, we can provide certificates of authenticity in the Metaverse auxiliary function, such as access to an event or verification of ownership of an item, which when combined with Digital Identity and innovative in-platform inventory management can create interoperability and still enable portability like all other NFTs,” said David Lucatch, the CEO of Liquid Avatar Technologies and Managing Director of Aftermath Islands Metaverse.
Managing, controlling and creating ownership of digital identity and personal data, along with open standards, is the future of interoperability. Products such as Liquid Avatar Technologies’ Meta Park Pass enable users to take control of personal identity and data to support interoperability between Metaverse players while improving privacy and data governance rules.
NFT involvement is increasing
So, are NFTs the entertainment world’s new darling? Well, so far their involvement can be classified into; collectables and benefits. In the case of collectibles, NFTs are often used as tie-ins for new project launches to excite fans and reward them for involvement.
For example, DC Comics has created collectible NFTs of all the iconic Batman hoods to tie in with The Batman’s release earlier this year. These collectibles not only rewarded fans for being loyal to the franchise, but also helped build more buzz around the latest movie. NFTs have also been used as quests for fans. Ahead of the final season of Stranger Things, a scavenger hunt-style website was created that teased fans with puzzles and riddles that reference both the new season and NFTs.
In terms of distribution of benefits, NFTs were used by Coachella this year to sell passes for specific events and experiences during the festival. Those who bought them could do this by scanning QR codes,
As NFTs are also used to deliver rewards to customers, more market options are popping up to take care of the backend. After all, not every company can set up a department to sort out the logistics and coding needed to launch an NFT collection that delivers benefits.
This is where projects like Polarys come in. Polarys offers NFTs-as-a-service, a fast-growing niche that provides companies with end-to-end support for their NFT projects. Through a single platform that requires no coding experience, companies can easily take their NFT campaigns from concept to execution. The nature of the NFT has its importance: By focusing on utility-based NFTs, Polarys aims to give their holders the opportunity to reap tangible rewards. These include dropping assets to fans and creating Discord channels that only asset holders can access.
The marketplace aspect of the project also means that sales and billing can be accessed from one dashboard. For consumers, this means they can easily get the benefits and rewards such as cashback from their favorite brands. This has huge implications for indie projects and smaller releases that want to foster fan engagement but may not have the resources of DC Comics or Coachella.”
More than sentiments
But while there are a plethora of options on the market for users to use their favorite franchises with NFTs, there are also many NFT collections that offer more than just nostalgia and an emotional attachment to media.
The Bandit Project is an NFT collection with 3,000 assets that offers holders an opportunity to profit from their purchases. Based on the Binance Smart Chain, each NFT given to a buyer is chosen at random while the ecosystem revolves around the native
$BANDIT token. Those who have the token can earn passive income from it by minting their NFT. Once a person hits an NFT of the Bandit project, his capital is locked in a sense. From the day the NFT is minted, they will receive 1% ROI daily until all 3,000 assets are sold (depending on the rarity of their NFT, this could be even more).
Projects like Alóki push the boundaries for those who want to enjoy benefits beyond the virtual world. As one of the first Play-to-Own blockchain projects, Alóki allows users to play a blockchain-based game where virtual sustainable actions are mirrored in the real world. For example, if a tree is planted in the game, a real one can be planted on a real piece of land in Costa Rica, in addition to the 11,000 trees already planted.
The company aims to recreate a true community village in a physical jungle land with houses and social spaces that can accommodate users who earned rewards for fully covered retreats. Award-winning sustainability architect Benjamin Saxe will help Alóki bring this vision to life.
With 750 acres of land associated with the project, players have the chance to eventually visit and even own some of it through NFTs tied to real-world utility.
NFTs: the future of entertainment?
With all the uses of NFTs taking root in the entertainment industry, it’s safe to say that they should become a mainstay in the industry over time. From sentimental collectibles for fans to practical tools for benefit-sharing and public access, NFTs have found their place in entertainment.
In addition, new projects are pushing the boundaries of what is possible with NFTs and creating even more tangible value for consumers. With all this in mind, NFTs are just the beginning of what they can do.