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Let's Discuss Whether NFTs Drive Publisher Revenue

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While the digital-advertising business market was focusing on crucial M&A deals last year, all eyes were on the three key things when it comes to the supply side — first-party data, metaverse and NFTs.

Unlike the metaverse, which obviously implies exceptional benefits for gaming businesses and media-content creators, the minting of NFTs has already accumulated some significant revenue for publishers of editorial inventory. More importantly, their success stories are accelerating the global effort to achieve equally ambitious revenue targets and even surpass these goals.

Top-tier names take the lead

It was obvious from the very beginning that some of the most significant NFT earnings will be achieved by top-tier publishers like Rolling Stone or New York Times. The reasoning is clear: Their operational and financial resources, as well as their vast global reach, are simply sufficient to take a plunge.

Much focus has been given to cover artwork, while others kept things simpler by utilizing the editorial-content segment. But what auction results are telling us is that both strategies are effective, as long as there's enough media hype around the concept itself (e.g. the minting of an NFT) and the actual release.

Are we going to see more NFT auctions in this segment? Well, there definitely will be some, but it seems the overall interest toward the entire idea of it is already declining.

Mid-sized players want a piece of pie

Unlike large publishing houses or conglomerates eager to invest spare resources into trying out new marketing strategies, even for charity purposes, many of their mid-sized counterparts perceive NFTs as an incremental business-revenue source. And here's where things get tricky. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money, and in case of minting the NFTs, it just couldn't fit the case better. Aside from the design costs and the listing fees, one aspect that's less talked about is marketing. Unlike a world-famous newspaper or magazine, a regional news publisher won't get the required media attention to its NFT launch as simply, hence needing to spend extra money to promote it.

So, is there a working strategy for a mid-sized editorial business when it comes to minting their NFT? A possibly efficient tactic would imply a release of a collection (either of the media or the editorial content archives, for instance) instead of a single piece and its further sale for a relatively small price with the main focus on their loyal reader audience.

Is there room for small-sized local publishers in the NFT world?

As many of you might have guessed, not really. But the variety of newly-emerged revenue acquisition tactics available to them this year, including limited merch pre-sales or exclusive partnerships with local brands, is still encouraging. And of course, the key staples of success remain the same: creative thinking, careful planning and extensive testing.

Bottom line? NFTs are one more way for legacy media in particular to leverage their archives and ensure their brands remain timeless. It's worth any publisher at any level looking into.

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