Media NFT: an editorial, community and commercial strategy (The 20 Mint, The Drum, Vogue Singapore and CNN Vault cases)

Non-fungible tokens or NFTs attract creators and brands as new media for communication and expression. The media also tests NFT approaches with strategies that go far beyond simple communication. Because NFTs can help the media win back their audiences, edit their content differently, and explore new business models. Explanations with 4 examples: 20 Mint, The Drum, Vogue Singapore and CNN Vault.

Source: 20 Mint, The Drum, Vogue Singapore, CNN Vault

20 minutes: 20 minutes

20 Minutes announced its “Web3” project on 1eh April 2022, but it is not a hoax, on the contrary. Principle: 999 NFTs put up for sale by 20 Minutes and Capsule Corp. Labs, to participate in the adventure of creating a free magazine dedicated to Web 3. (details) The “20 Mint” project aims to decipher blockchain, NFTs and the meta-verse, but also to apply to the press the spirit behind “web3” with its principle of decentralization. In fact, each NFT gives its holder the power to sit on the 20 Mints virtual editorial board (via a Discord channel) and vote on the articles that make up the magazine.

Source: 20 Minutes and Capsule Corp. Labs

20 minutes will be a paper magazine, in a special issue printed in 400,000 copies. A circulation comparable to the current circulation of a “20 minutes grand Paris” (ACPM data). Output of 1eh number next June 16th.

The editors highlight two unique benefits for paper : “Firstly, it has a beginning and an end, and when it comes to diving into such a big topic, it is reassuring to know that the rabbit hole has a bottom. Secondly, it lands in the hands of those who do not. “Many of these readers who thought they should read a classic 20 Minutes and instead receive a copy of 20 Mint will be immersed in a world they do not know.” (excerpt from 20 Mint FAQ)

The 999 NFTs went on sale on April 27, and all were found in less than a day with 792 owners. The selling price was 0.0999 Ether, or 270 euros at the time of sale, and 166.29 euros at the date of writing our own article. Because the price of cryptocurrencies is volatile, however the approach of the contributors to 20 Mint is part of the long-term. An approach that evokes the media in a collaborative structure. “Minters” participates in the writing of the articles, and for the first issue, they select 10 French NFT projects that will be highlighted. (details in this article of June 3 last year) The release of future special issues is planned, but without specifying dates at the moment.

The Drum: “The New Normal”

Established in London in 1985, Drum is a reference medium for the marketing and advertising industry in the UK and US. Its publishers work closely with the market and expertswith The Drum website, print magazine, agency listings, events, training and awards.

In a logic of understanding of trends and experiments directly from technologies, we therefore understand that The Drum wanted to try NFTs. Thus, in August 2021, The Drum put up the cover of its paper magazine for sale. Sound # 8, volume # 41, dedicated to one detail deep road with many brand NFT marketing cases. Its title, “The new normal”, referred to the post-covid context and therefore also places this NFT in our “collective history”. Transaction amount: 0.17 Ethereum (source Opensea.io, approximately $ 500 at the time of sale).

This approach was not intended to generate direct profits as the profits were donated to a charity. But this experiment reinforces the credibility of The Drum to its readership of marketing and advertising specialists. In 2020, the group also created a virtual influencer (“girlbot” Floresta) and in 2019 tested “sonic branding” by creating the sound identity for The drum (yes, with percussion 😊).

The drum also taught two relevant lessons. First of all, it is necessary to understand the function of cryptocurrencies (and the ecosystem of its technologies) when one is interested in NFTs where the two are closely linked. And brands and media must also go back to the basics: understand their community to offer an experience with NFTs that have value for her. (details in this THE Drum article: “What we learned to sell NFT”)

Vogue Singapore: “New Beginnings”

The world of luxury and fashion is often a forerunner in the use of new technologies to offer exclusive experiences to a demanding clientele. The luxury and fashion specialist media must therefore also experiment with blockchain, NFTs and cryptocurrency more broadly.

Source: Vogue Singapore

Thus, in November 2021, Vogue Singapore launched an NFT collection with the OpenSea platform, based on Ethereum. An operation in collaboration with digital creators, on the theme “New Beginnings”. On the same model as The Drum, the collection is included two digital covers only as NFTs. In addition, the magazine offered eight other works from the fashion, beauty and art worlds. An opportunity for fans and collectors to own “a piece of Vogue Singapore history”.

Offered for the base price of 0.16 Ethereum (more than 260 euros as of June 8, 2022), some NFTs traded for more than 5 Ethereum (more than 8,000 euros). Some transactions were more targeted at short-term speculation than collection and love of art, as there are 151 owners for every 10 pieces put up for sale.

Let’s not forget that either digital mode is a promising market for a new generation of creators already offering clothing and accessories for avatars. One of Vogue Singapore’s partners, the fashion house The Manufacturer, is reinventing its business in a decentralized web3 world. She thus compares the arrival of NFTs to “a new dawn” for the fashion world. A new “age” that the manufacturer has christened “The RenaiXance”with an unrestrained lyric in tribute to the Italian Renaissance of the 16th centuryth century. (details in the press release from Vogue Singapore)

CNN: Vault

The traditional and audiovisual media have also embarked on the NFT adventure, such as in the US CNN, Fox ViacomCBS or Warner Bros. NFTs are thus a new channel for promoting content, consolidating audience bases and possibly seeking new sources of revenue.

The project Vault by CNN has thus since 1980 utilized media archives to transform historical moments and artists’ interpretations into collectibles. It is therefore now possible to “own” cult moments from the non-stop news channel and its star presenters.

Source: VAULT BY CNN

This strategy of staging and improvement of catalog extracts in fact, approaches popularly merge with other platforms. We both think about the tactics ofeditorialization used by streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime video and approaches to snacks with ultra-short content offered by TikTok and YouTube Shorts.

CNN Vault also allows the news channel to make its own “news jacking” : to familiarize oneself with conversations and debates in society by drawing from the archives linked to news. Thus, CNN Vault is currently promoting an NFT dedicated to Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s swearing-in ceremony at the United States Supreme Court in 1993. Nearly 30 years after this recognition of an icon for the fight for women’s rights, in the United States, the constitutional right to abortion is now being questioned. The 250 copies of this NFT tribute to “RBG” will go on sale on September 6, 2022 at a price of $ 100.

Source: CNN VAULT

In addition to the world of media, blockchain and NFTs are also used by brands loyalty strategies. Example of our decryption of the Coca-Cola, Singapore Airlines and PSG cases.

Severine Godet

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