New York, April 10 – How do you value an NFT? Last month, Jack Dorsey sold his first Tweet as an NFT for almost three million dollars. Elon Musk followed, selling a Tweet about NFT’s as an NFT. Another less-followed billionaire, former Disney head Michael Eisner, announced plans to take his company, Topps, the baseball trading card outfit, public via SPAC, with valuations tied to the collectables branching out into NFTs.
As Jack and Elon go, so does the rest of the smart money. And smart artists.
An artist’s ability to exploit their music, images or other creations in all forms across the universe has always been severely hindered by middle-people. Distributors, lawyers, universal international copyright law. Proving you own something means establishing a chain of title and other business headaches likely to be put off until later.
So to avoid getting put into a conservatorship, or not owning your own name, work, likeness, rights and all the other ways grubby people have developed to make sure an artist’s work makes more for just about everyone except for the artist, why wouldn’t you NFT everything you make?
Do you want to be the person who paid for a $25 sushi dinner in 2011 with ten Bitcoin? These days if there’s a tech bandwagon to hop on, FOMO isn’t the only reason. Musk’s Tweets have been market movers for years despite the FTC (or rather, thanks to.)
Everyone’s talking about Tina, the new HBO doc. Hard to imagine that the only thing she got out of the divorce to Ike was the name, “Tina.” If only NFT's existed then. It would be all right there on the blockchain.
Learning from the Tinas and Brittanys, artists like Shontelle, Platinum Recording Artist and Grammy Nominated songwriter, are using NFT’s to put their IP to work, exploiting it the way a distributor might, but without having to forgo most of the profits to agents, fees, lawyers, retailers. She is not simply selling NFT IP, she is creating NFT experiences that are based on exploiting her Intellectual Properties.
In this way, Shontelle, as one of the first Black women musicians to issue her own high-tech collectibles, is paving the way for more diverse artists, entertainers and athletes to creatively use NFT's to connect directly with fans through her House Party NFT Auction (this week April 8-11, at owens.market, an NFT hub). Not only is she now in more control of her art, she is in more control of her monetary gains. It's having her own creative control, as any artist now can, that typically only the billionaires previously had and creates her more money than just the intrinsic monetary value of the underlying IP.
So how much is an NFT really worth? We’re learning a lot about value models this year. Economists don’t know if the global recording breaking debt governments issued during the pandemic will lead to inflation or not (Come on! -- This used to be in the Macro-Economics quiz!!!). GameStop and AMC stock detached from the Price to Earnings ratios for so long now the only answer to what anything is worth is, what the market says it is worth.
And right now, the market is using a very powerful, forward-looking imagination to value NFTs in the millions. And why not?
We have an idea of the lifetime value of a Picasso, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Why would any creator leave so much money on the table? Talent is a rare commodity in this world, but money is not. Money can be created easily, in a Federal Reserve Zoom meeting. But a hit song? A masterpiece? Or simply a song or picture that you like? That’s priceless.
So maybe the millions of dollars we’ve seen attached to recent NFT’s are way too low. Maybe we should be talking billions, to start.
NYU Professor, TV Producer, and Science Fiction Author
Contributed by Owens.Market