What Will NFTs Mean For The Future Of Creatives?
NFTs have been hitting the headlines lately, in publications across a broad spectrum of creative industries, but what exactly are they, and what do they mean for the future of the creative arts?
In simple terms, NFTs (which stands for ‘non-fungible tokens’) offer a way for musicians, artists, or anyone whose work can be digitized, to sell that digitized work as a limited-edition, or even a one-off product, directly to fans and collectors. They can do this through blockchain, a technology most readily identified with cryptocurrency. I know — these terms need a separate article in themselves in order to be properly understood. Suffice to say that a blockchain is a type of database, the unique nature of which allows for greater security and tracking of data (for more on cryptocurrency, I can recommend a listen to David Baddiel’s excellent podcast on bitcoin.)
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Note: From Merriam-Webster: fungible — “being something (such as money or a commodity) of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in paying a debt or settling an account.”
Non-fungible, then, simply means unique, although this is a little misleading, as an NFT might also exist as a limited quantity. The smaller that quantity is, of course, the more valuable each individual unit will be. It might be helpful to look at some practical examples, at this point. Here are some recent, high-profile cases:
Why Sonu Nigam is embracing NFTs
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It’s not just the big players, however, who are set to benefit. In theory, there’s nothing to stop any creative, no matter how well-known, or how obscure, from marketing and selling their works in this manner, but what will that mean going forward?
NFTs are a wholly new phenomenon, and as such, there is no consensus as to exactly what impact they might have. What is certain is that many creatives are heading in this direction, and that artists and musicians at all levels will surely welcome a new revenue stream.
Promoting NFTs and marketing NFTs is sure to open up a new world of possibilities. What that world will look like, we can’t yet say.