Publishers are riding the NFT wave… and it’s working

Publishers are trying their hands at NFTs, with some looking to turn written work into digital collectibles.


April 8, 2021

People, this is an NFT (Source: The Generalist / Visualize Value / Mirror)

The NFT space is as hot as a Carolina Reaper dusted in chili powder.

Recently, publishers have been trying to get in on the action and a growing number are toying with NFTs in a variety of ways:

  • Time’s “Space Exploration” cover art NFT sold for $249k+ (the company is also building a 50-person team focused on NFTs and crypto)
  • Bleacher Report auctioned NFT basketballs for ~$810k in collabs with 2 Chainz, Quavo, Lil Baby, and Jack Harlow
  • The New York Times auctioned off a column about NFTs as an NFT and its now worth ~$700k

For writers, NFTs could be game-changing

Mario Gabriele, who runs the business analysis outlet The Generalist, recently led a project that — to his knowledge — culminated in the first tokenized, crowdfunded equity research report.

In English: The Generalist turned a written report about Coinbase’s IPO — accompanied by visualizations from digital artist Jack Butcher — into a set of NFTs that benefited everyone involved:

  • Writers and artists got paid through crowdfunded support
  • Supporters were rewarded through returns from a subsequent NFT sale of the work for 28.6 ETH ($59k+ at the time)
  • Collectors gained ownership over one-of-a-kind NFTs

In a conversation with The Hustle, Gabriele said he thinks NFTs “could offer newsletter writers an alternative to subscriptions and sponsorships.”

Writers? Money? We’re not complaining.

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