Are movie NFTs the next “collectors”? Warner Bros. believes so. At least one Hollywood studio wants to shift its home entertainment business away from DVDs to NFTs.
Warner Bros. will release NFTs to celebrate its 2001 classic film “Lord of the Rings” web3.wb.com. The studio announced Thursday. The NFTs are a digital experience that offers all the benefits of a single digital experience. Each copy includes a 4K copy, bonus footage and other behind-the-scenes stills.
Web3 company Eluvio created the NFTs, and is hosting them along with all content data via its Ethereum compatible Content Fabric.
Michelle Munson, CEO of Eluvio and co-founder, stated that the core digital assets, not just tokens, are on the Blockchain. This was in an interview with Decrypt.
She stated that both are owned and attested to. In addition, all streaming you see with the film, including the AR objects, interactive experiences, and audio commentary, is authorized and distributed directly via the Content Fabric blockchain.
NFTs, which are unique tokens on blockchain that represent ownership, can be used to signify ownership. A single “Lord of the Rings NFT” gives the holder the right to view the film footage the same way as buying a BluRay DVD.
These NFTs don’t promise holders any commercial rights. However, each DVD is digital-only and contains more immersive, immersive menus as well as some exclusive AR assets, such as Gandalf’s wand. QR codes can be scanned with a smartphone to view the wand in real-world settings, such as Snapchat filters.
This is the first time that the studio has offered full-length feature films in NFTs. Customers can now feel more connected to their digital assets by holding NFTs in their MetaMask wallets.
Warner and Eluvio also offer a custodied option. You can also buy LoTR NFTs using a credit card, USDC on Solana, Ethereum, ETH or Bitcoin – something you can’t do with your Apple TV.
Are NFTs becoming the preferred method for cinephiles to have a deeper sense of ownership in this digital age?
You could argue that self-custody here is symbolic, considering Warner and Eluvio’s control of metadata and ironclad ownership over NFT IP.
Jessica Schell is Warner Bros’ EVP and General Manager. In an interview, Discovery Home Entertainment explained to Decrypt that the launch of NFT is an experiment to determine if mass-market audiences are interested in direct-to-consumer content using Web3 elements.
Schell stated that “It’ll be easy to overlook that it actually uses Web3 or NFTs underneath the hood and that this is by design.” We believe the initiative could be a new way to distribute movies directly to our fans.
Schell stated that Warner might consider turning more titles into NFTs if it is successful. Warner could also build its own NFT marketplace where users could fractionalize their NFTs or trade specific assets such as the AR wand filter. (Warner Bros. also shared the NFT marketplace user interface with Decrypt.
Schell spoke out about Warner’s Web3 approach, saying, “We want to learn, we desire to engage, and we want to understand the workings of this space.”
LoTR will allow fans to trade all their NFTs in one package on Warner’s NFT Marketplace. Munson assured Decrypt however that fractionalization is possible for these NFTs.
Munson stated that each one could be tokenized individually and said it would be easy for Eluvio in the future.
Warner Bros. is also looking into NFTs, as the home entertainment market is continually evolving and studios want to remain competitive.
“We sell physical products in retail, but that market has declined.” Schell stated that digital distribution has a larger share of the market. We have a long tradition of developing business models that meet consumers where they live.
Will NFTs become mainstream in Hollywood?
Schell stated, “I believe that it must be seamless in order to get mass adoption,” There are still many perceived obstacles to engaging with blockchain.
The NFTs protect Warner’s IP against piracy, which is a significant and ongoing concern for the film industry.
Munson referred to digital rights management.
“Blockchain contracts control the authorization of the keys that make the DRM, so if you don’t have this NFT, it won’t be streamed.”
Warner Bros. is not the only Hollywood brand that has made a bet on NFTs. Lionsgate released NFTs for “Saw,” Paramount launched “Star Trek” NFTs earlier in the year, AMC launched ” Walking Dead”, and Netflix received some criticism for its ” Stranger Things ” NFTs.
Schell isn’t afraid of the competition. Schell hopes that more studios will create Web3 experiences using their IP.
She said, “We’re still early in the game.” “I enjoy looking at other studios’ work and I welcome it all.