News publishing has seen quite an evolution in the last few decades. With a decline in print starting in the 2000s, the industry has made a pivot to digital media, with new revenue being brought in via subscriptions, ads, and so on.
Now, it seems that NFTs might just be the next big money-maker for the news industry. This comes via a report from the Press Gazette that news publishers have brought in a combined $12 million in the last year through various NFT-related projects.
Some of the news corporations profiled in the Press Gazette report were CNN, Time magazine, Forbes, and so on. Out of all, Time was found to have made the most from NFTs, with a reported $10 million raked in.
Time’s first foray into the NFT space came in March 2021, with three covers sold as NFTs. Following that successful venture, Time has set up a store on OpenSea where covers are regularly sold as NFTs. This has helped not only bring in massive profits for Time but has also established it as a news publishing leader in the space.
Other efforts include the New York Times which auctioned one of its columns as an NFT, The Economist selling a cover as an NFT, Forbes launching a collection of digital billionaires for sale as NFTs, and CNN’s NFTs which consist of short videos and images.
In total, 10 media outlets were profiled by the Gazette and the report showed a variety of projects that were set up by them to leverage blockchain. The most common example was of covers being minted as NFTs, which seems to be a more common practice these days, especially for publications like Time magazine.
Then there are other, more experimental, concepts such as the New York Times selling a column and Gannett selling an interactive mosaic as an NFT and Forbes digital billionaires.
In terms of how long these projects have been ongoing, there is also some variance. While publications like the Gannett seem to have had a one-time NFT stint, Time magazine seems to be committed to NFTs in the long haul.
Its store on OpenSea and the constant sales from it (the report states that in January 2022, 100 sales were made in a four-day period) have made it the biggest earner on the list and perhaps the most visible mainstream magazine in the NFT space.
Will Print Remain in Web3?
From this report, it is clear that the news publishing industry has made a successful leap into Web3 with a slew of innovative projects. While these projects have certainly been lucrative for the organizations, the question remains of whether or not this will continue.
While some like Time magazine seem to be positioning their NFTs endeavours as long term projects, others seem not so sure. Either way, the market for them exists and as long as there is a consumer base that is willing to support the media houses through NFTs, the overall presence of the industry in Web3 should continue.