About two years ago my fiancé, Ronnie, turned to me with full confidence and said, “Crypto is the future”. This wasn’t some spicy and shocking statement as he had invested a lot of time learning about it and a bit of money as well. Fast forward to just a few weeks ago, he turned to me again and went off on a rant about how NFTs are what the next generation of collectors are getting into, and how he and his friends were going to purchase some Buttheads (WTF?).
Now, he has a whole family of butt-face NFTs that he genuinely believes have value. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering what the heck is an NFT, who is talking about NFTs, and what kind of brand would ever sponsor NFT-related content?
Using the ThoughtLeaders trends report I saw that there was a significant uptick in mentions, brands, and content creators around NFTs back in February of 2021. During this time there are tons of articles of people discussing what NFTs are, and what we should be doing with them. Yet, it seems the hype around these conversations shortly died down but the market for NFTs only continues to grow. As we got past this peak there has still been a significant volume of chatter around NFTs on YouTube (red), podcasts (purple), and newsletters (light blue). Seemingly enough, I truly believe that the conversations around NFTs are only going to grow with time.
An NFT is a non-fungible token that contains a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger. NFTs can be used to represent easily-reproducible items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files as unique items, and use blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership. Although NFTs first surfaced in 2014, they’re gaining infamy now because it’s a popular and favorable way to buy and sell digital artwork. Since November 2017 nearly $10.7 billion has been spent on digital artwork. NFTs are either one of a kind or are part of a limited edition collection. NFTs have the potential to increase in value with the demands of the market
Up until very recently if you wanted to buy an NFT you needed to have a crypto wallet like Metamask with ETH loaded onto it (yes, I don’t understand these terms either, but like me, you are free to Google them!). Once you had your funds you could head over to marketplaces like OpenSea (like eBay for NFTs) or Rarible, to start buying and selling on their platforms.
The reality is that a large chunk of people, especially older folks, don’t have the motivation or technical savvy to open their own crypto wallet, which stagnates mainstream adoption of NFTs as a valuable asset. Purchasing NFTs is getting simpler as Crypto.com collaborated with large brands and artists such as Formula One, the Philadelphia 76ers, and Snoop Dogg to sell directly on their platforms. Other popular crypto exchanges like FTX and Coinbase recently opened up NFT marketplaces for their customers. Coinbase in particular saw 1.4 million sign-ups less than 48 hours after announcing they were getting into NFTs!
Most NFT content is coming from business-minded channels. To be clear, I’m not speaking about Bloomberg or Forbes - but YouTube for a younger audience with business mentalities.
Take Impact Theory on YouTube by Tom Bilyeu for instance. Here you have a business-minded creator who has years and years of experience in the field. So hearing his opinion on NFTs was a really interesting take. Although his channel focuses on business, it takes a twist by discussing modern-day business and the highly discussed conversation around crypto and NFTs. Maybe people view crypto or anything related to it as volatile, while others view it as the future. Seemingly enough, Bilyeu is attempting to amend the gap between these two extremely different opinions by bringing on a guest, Raoul Ral, who specializes in the evolution of the world’s financial systems. With nearly 2.37 million subscribers, and 114.2k projected views his viewers value and trust the information he shares. By bringing on credible guests to discuss a topic that many are not willing to accept shows how well Bilyeu understands the sensitivity of the conversation around NFTs and crypto.
It’s interesting to note that this episode was sponsored by BluBox. This might not be the most obvious brand to sponsor Crypto-related content:
“hey guys hope you enjoy the episode brought to you by our sponsors at BluBloxs go to blubloxs.com/forward-impacttheory for 15% off your order or just use discount code impact theory at checkout all right enjoy the episode”
However, BluBlox is using crypto content to reach a powerful niche for their brand. As internet savvy people are getting more and more into crypto, these are people that Blubox wants to target: the more time they are spending at the computer, the more they will need this product.
Although NFTs aren’t actually sponsoring the content we view on YouTube and podcasts, there are quite a few brands that in one way or another relate to NFTs that are indeed sponsoring content and creators.
In a recent podcast episode of the Unchained Podcast: Is the Metaverse Already Here? experts, Andrew Steinwold, managing partner at Sfermion, and John Egan, CEO at L'Atelier BNP Paribas, discuss NFTs and debate the characteristics of the metaverse. While John believes, “NFT's are by definition a part of the metaverse and I don't believe that even web 3 is actually part of the metaverse I believe in the metaverse as this aspirational concept.” Andrew believes that
So, of course as we’re listening to this podcast, Crypto.com’s mid-roll integration fits the content well because as we’re discussing ways in which crypto has impacted our daily lives we can actually see a tool that makes crypto accessible to anyone.
“...but first a quick word from the sponsors who make this show possible… With over 10 million users Crypto.com is the easiest place to buy and sell over 90 cryptocurrencies download the crypto.com app now and get 25 with the code LAURA. If you're a holder crypto.com earn pays industry-leading interest rates on over 30 coins including bitcoin at up to 8.5 interest and up to 14 interest on your stable coins when it's time to spend your crypto nothing beats the crypto.com visa card which pays you up to eight percent back instantly and gives you 100 rebate for your Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime subscriptions there is no annual or monthly fees to worry about download the crypto.com app and get 25 when using the code laura the link is in the description...”
There are various ways brands can relate themselves to topics just like crypto or NFTs. This integration works because the brand that is sponsoring the content in one way or another has some relation to the topic being discussed: NFTs. This is exactly how sponsorship for such a niche topic should be addressed.
Another example of an up-and-coming crypto exchange sponsoring content appears on Thinking Crypto’s channel as he takes us through major events within crypto news.
“This video is brought to you by OKCoin Crypto Exchange where you can buy sell and trade your favorite cryptocurrencies and you don't have to high fees okay coin charges low fees you can also stake your crypto and keep 100 of the rewards you do not have to pay any fees”
Within this episode, they discuss the rumor that none other than Reddit will be entering the NFT market, following various other brands that have already done so. So they look at the future of the NFT market if Reddit intends to build a platform for buying and selling crypto collectibles.
“Reddit is readying an NFTplatform this is bullish now some of you may say dude I don't own NFTsI don't care about NFTs don't talk to me about NFTs I hold my crypto I get that but remember zoom outlook at the market macro-level under the umbrella of crypto you're going to have nfts Cbdc's cryptocurrencies digital assets you're going to have tokenized assets and securities on the blockchain”
This integration is extremely interesting because as a viewer we understand there are various differing decentralized platforms for holding cryptocurrency, it’s from our own personal experience/decision which platform we decide to use.
While no one can predict what the next big move for NFTs will be. However, NFT exchanges and marketplaces should consider getting involved in sponsorships. They can look at the way that Crypto exchanges have used content to reach new audiences and to some extent “normalize” the conversation around these new online economies. . Since people of all ages are becoming more and more interested in Crypto, brands that frequently sponsor content should take advantage of this opportunity and gain attention from a brand new audience, but supporting the content where these ideas are being discussed!