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Want to buy a non-fungible-token (NFT) of Spongebob Squarepants, Star Trek‘s Spock or Mission Impossible‘s Ethan Hunt? You might soon get your chance.
ViacomCBS is partnering with NFT company Recur to develop and sell digital collectibles based on its vast library of films and TV shows. In a statement Wednesday, ViacomCBS consumer products president Pam Kaufman said that “voracious collectors and first-time NFT buyers alike will find unique opportunities to own a piece of their favorite franchises” through the deal.
The companies will launch a platform in early 2022 where users can buy, collect and trade NFTs based on intellectual property from CBS, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, Showtime and BET. Buyers will be able to use credit or debit cards to buy the NFTs, eliminating the need to use cryptocurrency for the purchases.
While NFTs have been an area of interest for the entertainment industry in recent months, ViacomCBS is the largest company in the sector to make a significant corporate-level move into the space. The hope is to build a business that can add to existing lines of merchandise (like clothing or toys) and collectibles (like trading cards), but without the friction of having to go to a store.
In July, Lionsgate announced a deal with another NFT platform, Autograph, to sell NFTs based on its content like John Wick and Mad Men. And in June, CNN began selling NFTs of some of its historic news coverage. Fox Corp., meanwhile, announced a new business unit, Blockchain Creative Labs, and invested $100 million into a creative fund to grow its crypto and NFT business, though so far it hasn’t launched any sales.
Some NFT firms are seeking to enter the entertainment business by leveraging the IP they’ve created on the blockchain. Larva Labs, which created the NFT projects CryptoPunks and Meebits, signed with UTA for representation in the film, TV and gaming space.
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