Earlier this year, mm2 Asia — one of the region’s leading film and online content producers — launched its very own NFT marketplace, Metaviva. Capitalising on a trend that has taken the world by storm, the company aimed to create a dedicated space for collectibles from the realm of Asian entertainment.
“The recent evolution of the Internet has led to a considerable shift in user behaviour,” explains Angelin Ong, mm2 Asia’s general manager for North Asia. “Metaviva was envisioned to be a space where fans can transact directly with their favourite Asian content producers, and interact as a community.”
Although there are a number of NFT marketplaces up and running, most of them aren’t curated. For example, OpenSea — the largest NFT marketplace by trading volume — allows just about anyone to list their projects on the platform.
With new NFT collections being launched everyday, it’s incredibly tough for projects to stand out.
“Regional content often gets lost in the sea of global content. It made sense to have a platform that is dedicated to promoting and developing it,” says Ong.
Traditional brands and NFTs
Initially, NFTs gained notoriety through independent artists and developers looking to monetise their work. There are various reasons for creating NFT projects — from offering collectibles to sharing business revenues — however, most of them tend to operate like startups.
The founders lay out a roadmap, on the basis of which, buyers decide whether or not to ‘mint’ an NFT. The funds generated through the minting process are subsequently used to fulfil the roadmap.
Metaviva demonstrates how a similar model can be used by existing brands as well.
Currently, the website has listed a collection inspired by mm2 Asia’s movie ‘Ah Girls Go Army’. Upon purchasing two tickets for the movie from Cathay Cineplexes, viewers will receive a code, with which they can redeem an NFT from the collection.
Instead of building a new brand, these NFTs serve as an extension of an existing IP. They’re preferable to physical collectibles as they can be used to award holders with future utilities as well.
For traditional brands adapting to blockchain technology, NFTs can be a way to expand marketing efforts and bring more value to their base offerings.
Speaking about Metaviva’s NFT collections, Ong says, “They will be project specific and each will have its own roadmap based on the vision of its producers. As a general indication, they are supposed to serve more than just as collectibles.”
“NFTs are not just a picture file on a blockchain,” says Ong. “They have the potential to offer utilities such as special access to content, community perks, trading on the blockchain, and more.”
This isn’t possible with physical collectibles as they aren’t readily verifiable in the way NFTs are. Due to their unique existence on the blockchain, NFTs make for an ideal alternative to traditional tickets as well.
Festivals such as Coachella and sporting events hosted by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) have been exploring such a model. The latter two have used NFTs as raffle entries which grant a limited number of holders VIP seats and meet-and-greet opportunities.
“mm2 has businesses in concerts and events so we are looking at NFTs as access passes and collectibles,” explains Ong. “In addition to being a digital souvenir of the event, NFTs have the added advantage of being a smart contract which can offer enhanced digital security. They also act as a conduit for future utilities for the fans.”
Finding mainstream appeal
‘NFT’ was Collins Dictionary’s word of the year in 2021. Despite the mainstream attention, it can still be fairly tricky for new users to buy one for themselves.
From setting up a crypto wallet to accounting for gas fees, there’s a lot of research to be done when starting your NFT journey. With Metaviva, mm2 Asia hopes to make this process less complicated.
“We want to make collecting NFTs more accessible for the general public. A lot of thought has been put into making the process easier and more mainstream,” says Ong.
Since Metaviva was built with a focus on the entertainment and media space, its target audience isn’t necessarily current crypto users. The platform could pave the way for crypto adoption in Asia by bringing its mainstream IPs and content to the blockchain.
In the future, this could allow fans to have a greater say in the development of films and other media projects.
“We hope that Metaviva will be a place where fans are able to interact with their favourite content meaningfully. Potentially, NFT holders will be able to take part in the creations of projects and eventually be rewarded with exclusive entitlements and experiences.”
Featured Image Credit: mm2 Asia