The APNFT: Associated Press Launches Photojournalism NFT Marketplace

Some NFT enthusiasts may be marking their calendars for January 31, when The Associated Press (AP) will debut its non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. There, collectors can purchase NFTs based on the news organization's current and historic award-winning photojournalism. 

In Monday's announcement, the Associated Press said the marketplace is built by blockchain technology provider Xooa. The NFTs themselves will be minted on the Polygon blockchain, an environmentally friendly framework that is compatible with Ethereum.  

Dwayne Desaulniers, AP director of blockchain and data licensing, evoked AP’s 175-year history and said that using Xooa’s technology, AP will "offer these tokenized pieces to a fast-growing global audience of photography NFT collectors.”

The NFTs –– which AP said are based on subjects including outer space, climate and war -- will each offer a “rich set of original metadata,” including the time, date, location, equipment, and the technical setting that the original photographer used to capture the shot. 

Along with first-round buying, selling, and trading, the marketplace will support secondary transactions and purchases using credit-card payments as well as crypto wallets.

Zach Danker-Feldman, Xooa’s head of marketplaces, says the focus with the new marketplace will be on "accessibility for all types of collectors to empower them to join a community" with a shared interest in high-quality photojournalism. 

Ultimately, prices will determine how accessible these NFTs really are.

One of the most interesting aspects of this move is monetization. AP says the prices of each NFT will vary, but all proceeds will go directly back into its not-for-profit new coop, to fund "factual, unbiased AP journalism.”

This raises the question of whether NFTs will be a viable survival tactic for the news industry as publications –– especially print –– continue to fail. 

The initial collection is set to release over a period of weeks starting on January 31.

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