New types of tokens with unique functionalities are transforming the world of digital assets, and opening up new opportunities for business models that weren’t previously possible. In this article I will discuss how blockchain is changing photojournalism.

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For those who create material for news media, the future may be brighter than it is for the stock picture marketplaces where their work is marketed. And it’s all a result of NFTs becoming more and more common (non-fungible tokens). According to a recent analysis, photography and NFTs may have an unbreakable bond in the future.

This is due to the danger posed by NFT platforms to eliminate the stock sites that act as a bridge between content providers and the news networks who utilize their material. It could not be long until photojournalists no longer get pennies for their job.

The Situation Right Now

The current status of selling your photos or films as a freelance content producer in the field of photojournalism is not at all profitable. If one of your images is utilized by, let’s say, CNN or NBC, the stock website that selected your material keeps up to 85% of the transaction. Such news organizations are prepared to spend up to $35,000 on video recordings of a single event.

A stock platform or website is a database that stores many kinds of contributor-generated audiovisual material; see Getty Images, Alamy, and Shutterstock. Everything from cartoon images to films depicting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may be found there.

For places they don’t cover, news organizations buy the license rights to use multimedia material. The stock websites serve as a middleman between the content originator and the publishing companies. A 2021 Shutterstock investor report claims that the average profit per transaction for the content’s author is a pitiful News agencies purchase the licensing rights to utilize multimedia content for areas they lack coverage. The stock sites act as a third party between the content creator and the agencies in which the content appears. According to a 2021 Shutterstock investor report, the content’s creator pockets a paltry $0.42 on average from each transaction..42.

Shutterstock, Getty, and Alamy charge between 60 and 85 percent, 75 and 80 percent, and 50 and 80 percent, respectively.


What the Future Could Bring

If you compare those numbers to the prices charged in an NFT marketplace, the difference is clear. The largest NFT marketplace in the world, OpenSea, only keeps 2.5 percent of each sale. The major sales commission for SuperRare is up to 15%. An NFT marketplace does not yet have the infrastructure to link media content providers with media outlets. But is the key word here.

NFTs are restricted to JPEG trading and bound by a hazy notion of community. Enterprises have the opportunity to create goods using digital non-fungible tokens that might change the nature of their respective sectors. According to the paper, photojournalists may benefit especially from NFTs because of the confluence of digital rights and market speculation.

The creator would have more autonomy and financial possibilities if the role of the third party were reduced. Photojournalists would be able to directly compete with established businesses like Getty, which brings in over $300 million annually, if there were a category on the NFT marketplace for them. The authors would be able to choose the royalties for each transaction under this category, and the marketplaces would make millions of dollars in transaction fees. News outlets might avoid paying the high membership costs associated with interacting with stock platforms by cutting off the middlemen.

The features that the stock sites lack, such as price naming, exclusivity settings, and conduits to contact with buyers directly, would need to be included in an NFT Media Vertical. By placing editorial material on a chain, interested individuals would also be able to see what media outlets have purchased the content, read the license agreements, and openly learn who the content’s authors are.

How It Might Be Executed

Implementing a media vertical’s logistics would be simple and affordable for a well-established and well-funded operator like OpenSea. The market already has the necessary infrastructure in place, such as a forking minting process. It might include unique license conditions, KPIs, and subscription paywalls for customers.

New online markets like Uniswap could have a section devoted to editorial material. Holders may vote on the logistics up until they opened the market because of its democratic character.

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The “NFTs crypto” is a new technology that allows photographers to create and sell photo rights. This new tech is changing the future of photography by allowing more people to be involved in the process, which will hopefully make it easier for them to get their work seen. Reference: what is photojournalism.

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