AP Doubles Down on NFTs and Launches Marketplace for Iconic Images

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The crypto market may be cratering but that hasn’t stopped the action in NFT land.

With volumes surging, the Associated Press will launch an NFT marketplace to showcase its library of historic photographs, and it will do so on a system built by blockchain provider Xooa. 

The move underscores the unflagging investment by mainstream media, entertainment, and sports interests in nonfungible tokens. Game publisher Konami, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, film director Quentin Tarantino, and K-Pop band BTS are making headlines with a raft of NFT moves. Trade volume on leading marketplace OpenSea setting new records in January even as ETH plunged more than 17%. 

NFTs Minted

The marketplace is set to launch on Jan. 31. AP’s initial collection will be released over several weeks, with NFTs minted on the Polygon blockchain to minimize transaction fees. Proceeds from NFTs sold will be used to fund AP journalism, with the photographers who created the images also receiving a share of the revenue. 

AP’s collection will host a selection of digitally enhanced images from across its 176-year history, including several photographs that have received the Pulitzer Prize. The NFTs tackle subjects ranging from war to space exploration to climate change, and highligh bodies of work from AP photographers.

“Pulitzer Drops” are expected to take place within fortnightly intervals.

The NFTs will feature unique metadata detailing the context surrounding each image, including time, date, and location information alongside the equipment and technical settings that were used to capture the photo.

Digital Artwork

The marketplace will allow collectors to both purchase NFTs and conduct secondary sales, supporting payments via credit card or third-party wallet providers including MetaMask, Fortmatic, and Coinbase. Reselling the NFTs will incur a 10% fee which is split between Xooa and AP.

AP is not the first journalism company to embrace NFTs, with Quartz claiming to have sold the first tokenized news article for $1,800 in March 2021. The New York Times and CNN similarly tested the NFT waters. 

AP sold its first nonfungible token in September for $180,000. The token is a one-of-a-kind and features a digital artwork depicting the electoral college result map from the 2020 U.S. presidential election. AP also published the election’s results to the Ethereum and EOS blockchains.

Chainlink also launched its own Chainlink oracle node in October 2021. The node makes AP’s economic, sports and race call data available to blockchain developers, “enabling smart contracts on any blockchain to securely interact with the AP’s real-world data.”

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