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The Associated Press unveils NFT marketplace to celebrate photojournalism

The Associated Press unveils NFT marketplace to celebrate photojournalism

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The Associated Press (AP) plans to roll out an NFT marketplace built by blockchain technology provider Xooa, where collectors can purchase the news agency’s award-winning contemporary and historic photojournalism. The marketplace and first NFTs are set to debut on 31 January.

The initial collection will feature photography by current and former AP photojournalists and a selection of digitally enhanced depictions of their work. Pulitzer Prize-winning AP images will be included, such as the one below of a Jewish settler challenging Israeli security officers in the West Bank settlement of Amona on 1 February 2006 by Oded Balilty.nft2

Meanwhile, this image of a home covered in ash from a volcano erupting on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, taken by Emilio Morenatti on 1 November 2021 will also be one of the first few NFTs made available on the marketplace. Each NFT will include a rich set of original metadata offering collectors awareness of the time, date, location, equipment and technical settings used for the shot.

The initial collection will be released over a period of weeks and the NFTs will range from space, climate, war and other images to spotlights on the work of specific AP photographers. According to AP, NFT price points will vary. As a not-for-profit news cooperative, proceeds go back into funding factual, unbiased AP journalismnft2

Collectors of all levels will be able to buy, sell and trade official AP digital collectibles through the marketplace. Dwayne Desaulniers, AP director of blockchain and data licencing said that for 175 years, AP’s journalists have recorded the world’s biggest stories, including through gripping and poignant images that continue to resonate today. "With Xooa’s technology, we are proud to offer these tokenised pieces to a fast-growing global audience of photography NFT collectors," he added.

Zach Danker-Feldman, Xooa’s head of marketplaces, said the company is proud to work with AP to launch its NFT marketplace. "Xooa’s work with brands around NFTs and metaverse marketplaces provides inherent scarcity and utility for collectors as well as a powerful connection between the virtual world and the real world," he said.

While this announcement marks AP's foray into the NFT scene, neither the press statement nor the FAQ indicate that AP is trying to tie its NFT marketplace into a broader metaverse ambition. Nonetheless, AP is not the first media house to have expressed interest in NFTs. Media Publishares, publisher of Vogue, EsquireRobb Report and Buro. in Singapore, tied up with video tech company VIDY last year to launch and develop an NFT (or non-fungible tokens) platform catering to the fashion, arts and music industry.

Shortly after, Vogue Singapore launched its first NFT mystery box and created a unique print cover for its September 2021 issue featuring a QR code that acted as a portal to two digital-only covers created in partnership with local and international digital designers. Both covers were also available for purchase as one-of-one NFTs.

Meanwhile just yesterday, mm2 Asia entered the NFT scene with the launch of Metaviva, a new NFT marketplace for licenced digital entertainment tokens and collectibles focusing on popular entertainment and media content from the region. Metaviva will offer fans an opportunity to engage and participate in their favourite content in the form of NFTs. These include keyart, audio-visual footages, music, animation, merchandise and even actual props from movies, shows and events - not limited to mm2 Asia content alone. Content producers from the region will also be invited to promote their NFTs on the marketplace.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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