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Memorable covers featuring Drake, Grimes, Arcade Fire and Daniel Caesar are up for bidding via the platform Rarible
For decades, readers have come to love many of the covers of NOW Magazine and its sister publication, the Georgia Straight in Vancouver.
Now the company that owns NOW and the Straight, Media Central Corporation, is making digital versions of four NOW music covers and five Georgia Straight arts covers available as one-of-a-kind digital non-fungible tokens, aka NFTs.
Buyers who purchase NOW Magazine or Georgia Straight NFTs will have a record and a hashtag code proving their ownership of these unique assets. In the future, the owners can sell these NFTs if they choose to do so.
The NFTs of the nine covers are displayed and are open for bids at rarible.com/nowmagazine and rarible.com/georgiastraight. The NOW covers available feature Drake, Grimes, Daniel Caesar and Arcade Fire.
What are NFTs, you may ask? They are unique digital assets that are part of the Ethereum blockchain. And they are an extension of the types of investments that people have traditionally made in other collectibles, such as baseball cards, Beanie Babies and vintage comic books.
Everyone from filmmaker David Cronenberg to indie musicians and artists are using cryptocurrency to sell art works that don’t exist as physical objects. There’s already a booming market. According to DappRadar, sales reached $2.5 billion USD in the first half of 2021.
One of the largest sales came in March when Mike Winkelmann – the digital artist known as Beeple – sold an NFT through Christie’s for $69 million USD. This price was paid for Beeple’s purely digital work of art, Everydays: The First 5000 Days.
Media Central board chair Manos Pavlakis pointed out in a company news release that there’s a growing understanding of the investment value of NFTs and how they can become appreciating assets.
“As we track the rapid evolution of media, it is evident that crypto as a currency and the blockchain as a secure place to record and store transactions will play a role in the future of media and the purchasing habits of consumers,” Pavlakis said.
“The generational popularity of the Georgia Straight and NOW Magazine spanning nearly 100 years… is our first attempt to take advantage of the opportunity that NFTs provide for diversified revenue growth,” he added.
Media Central’s decision to market NFTs is part of an overall strategy to develop new digital revenue models while showcasing the quality of its print and digital publications.
Earlier this year, the company launched its Creatornews.com arts and entertainment aggregation site. It features articles from the Georgia Straight and NOW Magazine, as well as pieces from other publications and websites from around the world.
Media Central said its NFTs are stored in digital wallets, which can be found at MetaMask.io. There is no opening bid and the company will determine whether or not to accept bids on the collectible covers as they are placed.
“We have no illusions that future NFT sales, for us, will be akin to winning the lottery,” Media Central president Kirk MacDonald said in the company’s news release. “That said, we do have confidence that we have novel digital assets that will appeal to NFT buyers and allow them to own a slice of history in our communities.”
NOW’s Drake cover was published on August 2, 2012, as the Toronto hip-hop superstar was readying the third edition of his annual OVO Concert. The Grimes cover came out on November 12, 2015, when the Canadian pop star was releasing her Art Angels album. Daniel Caesar’s cover was published on August 17, 2017, right before the R&B star broke out with his debut album Freudian. The Arcade Fire cover came out on August 12, 2010, ahead of the Montreal band’s concert on the Toronto Island.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Straight is offering up five arts covers as NFTs: actor Seth Rogen, singer/songwriter k.d. lang, singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan, author Mordecai Richler and Toronto country rockers Blue Rodeo.