Playboy is entering the NFT market with plans to create digital art from its own photography

A new partnership between Playboy and Nifty Gateway offers the iconic brand an initial foothold in the market for Non-fungible Tokens, or NFTs, the new art form that has risen in popularity in the past year, according to an analyst at Canaccord Genuity. .

The partnership will launch in the second quarter with two releases, original works by digital collage artist Slimesunday to be developed in cooperation with Playboy’s editorial and archival curators, and a Pride-themed curation in June with digital artist Blake Kathryn. , Playboy and Nifty. it said in a joint statement. Boston-based Slimesunday has become the sixth-highest-earning artist in the NFT space. Kathryn is a visual artist living in Los Angeles. Read: Opinion: I plan to retire early – and rich – thanks to NFTs In the long run, partners will focus on three areas: artist collaborations with the Playboy art and photography archive; an effort to incubate and commission new NFT works with grants that aim to support emerging and underrepresented artists; and curating and selling Playboy’s own art collection in NFT format. NFTs are intended to be unique and not to serve as a medium of exchange. Fungibility refers to the interchangeability of a unit of one thing for another. John Watkinson, one of the ancestors of what is widely seen as an early NFT, told MarketWatch in a recent interview that NFTs should be considered a “digital crypto token that represents something … a work of art or a collector’s item, rather than a generic coin. ” Read now: What is an NFT? A Beeple NFT just sold at Christie’s for nearly $ 70 million, highlighting the crypto craze Playboy launched its entry into the new space as a natural development given that it has long offered artists and writers a place to express themselves. , naming luminaries like Andy Warhol, Picasso, Keith Haring and Salvador Dalí as examples that have appeared in his flagship publication. The Playboy archives “contain an immense wealth of original artwork, photographs, cartoons, interviews and multimedia ready to be explored by digital audiences, art lovers and collectors,” the company said. “This should be just the initial step for PLBY in executing a long-term sustainable NFT strategy,” wrote Canaccord analyst Austin Moldow in a note to clients. “While there is a lot of buzz around non-fungible tokens right now, we think their actual contribution to 2021 profit and loss for PLBY will be minimal, but the unpredictable nature, particularly in asset pricing, makes it difficult to forecast. NFT sales have not been included in our 2021 estimates, but we will adjust accordingly throughout the year and NFTs may be able to generate profit. “Original works will be monetized at an 80% to 20% split between Playboy and Nifty, and Playboy will pay the artist a share of the revenue from his 80% stake, Moldow said. Subsequent sales to the market will include a 10% fee to Playboy for all future resales, also with a share of the revenue for the artist. “We believe that the Nifty Gateway partnership is just the first step in a much longer-term NFT strategy to accelerate the company’s move toward its five-year goal,” he wrote. “Over time, we hope that PLBY’s NFT operation is managed closer to the company’s growing portfolio of direct-to-consumer ownership and operations. ”

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Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have exploded on the digital art scene in the past year. Proponents say they are a way to make digital assets scarcer and therefore more valuable. WSJ explains how they work and why skeptics wonder if they are built to last. Jacob Reynolds / WSJ

The recent NFT boom, which began in 2017, has seen several prominent investors and celebrities try to profit from the craze. Recently, Jack Dorsey, who is the CEO of Square SQ, 4.33% and TwitterTWTR, 1.94%, auctioned his first tweet as an NFT. NBA Top Shot, an online-only marketplace where users can buy, sell, and trade digitized NBA highlights as they would sports trading cards and other memorabilia, has logged more than $ 200 million in transactions. in the five months since its launch. Read: ‘Obviously, we had no idea it was going to get here’ say the guys who made the first NFT Playboy has recently returned to the public markets after about 11 years as a private company, using the route of merger with acquisition special purpose. Mountain Crest Acquisition Corp. corporation, in a deal that closed earlier this year. The stock is traded on Nasdaq, under the new symbol “PLBY.” Don’t Miss: What is NBA Top Shot? Everything you need to know about the digital asset with more than $ 230 million in transactions Playboy is a very different company today than it was during the peak years of the 1960s and 1970s, and has closed most of its businesses legacy media. Currently, the company focuses on four categories: sexual wellness, including products such as condoms; style and dress; games and lifestyle; and beauty and grooming. For more information, don’t miss out: You’ll be able to buy back Playboy stock soon as the iconic brand returns to public markets using a favorite pandemic-era route. S&P 500 has gained 7%. Additional reporting by Mark DeCambre