Unlockable Content Will Consolidate the NFT Domain in 2022

By Jake Fraser, head of Business Development at Mogul Productions

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) had a spectacular run in 2021, with the total trading volume surpassing $23 billion. This includes expensive digital artworks worth $92 million, collectible items valued at $12 million as well as in-game assets. However, most of these NFTs exist as static items on the blockchain available for buying and selling on digital marketplaces. It’s an underutilization of resources because the technology behind these NFTs enables them to do much more than existing as standalone pieces. 

To begin with, NFTs have enormous creative potential that artists and collectors can harness to diversify their functionalities. Unlockable content is one such crucial element that can add value and infuse creativity into NFTs, thus enhancing the overall trading experience. 

‘Unlocking’ the next innovation 

Unlockable NFTs are quite similar to bonus content that some companies offer their consumers. Suppose Bob buys a BluRay movie from the DVD store and opens it to find an extra CD with unedited shots. Similarly, unlockable content on NFTs can include high-resolution images, video clippings, redeemable coupons or links to exclusive websites. Sometimes unlockable content can also include physical items like signed merchandise, tickets or prints of digital artwork.

Such content contributes towards building a narrative around the digital asset, accessible exclusively to the owner of the NFT. Creators and developers can thus experiment with these assets to make them more creative using unlockable media files and links. Moreover, beside generating additional value in the secondary marketplace, unlockables also reward collectors with surprises. Therefore, with unlockable content, NFTs no longer remain static collectibles but emerge to become dynamic assets with mysterious rewards. 

Unlockable NFTs will help independent creators as well as mainstream corporations and brands to forge meaningful relationships with fans and consumers. As the audience will unravel new layers of an NFT, they will be able to viscerally connect with the NFT’s story. The unlockable features will thereby open up a hitherto unexplored terrain in harnessing the potential of NFTs.

Navigating new frontiers

Developers leverage advanced technological innovations in steganography to incorporate hidden or secret data into NFTs. Such data can include an image, audio and video files, in-game assets, links to certificates of authenticity, and more. Collectors can utilize the steganographically coded data in NFTs to acquire other NFTs, discover the backstory, and attend the creator’s masterclasses. Unlockable NFTs can thus, in fact, disrupt the digital assets industry in innumerable ways. 

For one, digital art collectors will benefit immensely from unlockable content NFTs. The artist can design a smart contract where a handful of buyers will get additional ownership rights of rare artworks. So instead of owning just one NFT, collectors will have the incentive of possibly owning more exclusive NFTs from their favorite artist. Unlockables can also include an email link with an authenticity certificate or a physical copy of the artwork. 

Unlockable NFTs can also include audio files, making them relevant for musicians. For example, while releasing an album through NFTs, they can steganographically incorporate some exclusive music tracks as unlockables. The mystery will bolster the craze around the album’s release, with every fan wanting access to those rare tracks. Musicians can further experiment with unlockables for releasing their practice tracks, rejected song versions, and more. 

Filmmakers, too, can include unlockable video clips in NFTs. When a cinema enthusiast buys a collector’s edition, for example, they can chance upon an unlockable NFT with exclusive rewards. Such rewards can include deleted movie scenes, special interviews with the film crew, footage from movie sets and alternative endings. It can also include photographs and signed merchandise from the cast and crew. 

Game developers can incorporate unlockable NFTs into the gaming ecosystem that players can unlock upon qualifying a particular level. Here the unlockables may include in-game assets like special characters, superfast racing cars and heavy ammunition weapons. Gamers will always be on the lookout for such unlockable NFTs within the gaming terrain to enhance their playability.  

Finally, big brands, multinational companies, startups and standalone entrepreneurs can also use unlockable NFTs to reach out to their customers. Their product offerings can come with unlockables carrying personalized messages and thank you notes for each consumer. Some unlockable NFTs also come with time capsules that unlock after a certain amount of time has elapsed. These different kinds of unlockables diversify the already existing use-cases of NFTs. 

Towards the future

The unlockable content feature in NFTs is a new development in this domain, with few marketplaces offering these services. One such NFT marketplace that supports unlockable NFTs is the Mogul Productions NFT marketplace. This community-oriented marketplace is specifically built for the film and entertainment industry, thus partnering with movies, content creators and intellectual property owners. Unlockable NFTs on Mogul’s marketplace mainly cater to the entertainment sector and reside on their server platform. In addition, the project’s developers have elaborate plans to augment and add features to unlockables on the platform in the near future. 

2021 was a foundational year for NFTs with experts choosing it as the Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year. But if the last year was about laying the foundations, this one (2022) will be about diversifying and consolidating NFT’s position as a digital asset. Unlockable NFTs will emerge as the next step in the sector’s onward march towards creating rare and value-intensive products. And as the year progresses, users will seek out NFT marketplaces supporting unlockable features in NFTs. It’s still only the beginning, and innovators are on track to ‘unlock’ the future.   

About the Author:

Jake Fraser

Jake Fraser is the head of Business Development at Mogul Productions, a DeFi and NFT marketplace platform for the film and entertainment industry. Jake possesses over 10 years of experience across a variety of industries such as sport, entertainment and crypto. He has helped build several successful businesses and specializes in sales, marketing, product development and strategy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.