At the end of the month, news agency The Associated Press is launching an NFT marketplace where collectors will be able to buy, sell and trade the wire service’s contemporary and historical photojournalism. This move will give people the chance to take ownership of small pieces of photojournalism history using the environmentally-friendly Polygon blockchain.
But what is an NFT? In the most simple terms, an NFT is a non-fungible (i.e unique and can’t be replaced) token. NFTs can take the form of photos, digital drawing, gifs, music or video content. While NFTS don’t give you the copyright (that still belongs to the artist who created it) you will have ownership of that content. To find out more, check out How I sell my photographs as NFTs which explains more in-depth what they are, where they came from and how you can make money from them.
In the case of the Associated Press (AP for short), NFT’s will come with “a rich set of original metadata offering awareness of the time, date, location, equipment and technical settings used for the shot”. AP is collaborating with a company called Xooa to build the marketplace and will use the Polygon blockchain rather than the commonly-used Ethereum blockchain as it is much more planet-friendly.
AP first delved into the world of NFT’s in 2021 when it auctioned off 10 artistic representations of some of its famous images through the peer-to-peer marketplace, OpenSea. Images included a negative version of Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning image of US Marines raising the American flag at Iwo Jima.
OpenSea is the world’s first and largest NFT marketplace since you don’t have to be invited to use it. The NFTs were sold in a collection called AP ARTiFACTS: The 175 collection which featured some of the news agency’s most iconic photos from the agency's first 175 years.
If you're interested in buying an NFT through AP, you can sign up to be on the waitlist. The marketplace will open on 31 January with the initial collection being released over the following weeks.
It's said to include photojournalism work covering space, climate war and other work from specific AP photographers. As AP is a not-for-profit organization, all money generated from the sales will go back into funding the AP newsroom.
There's been no wording yet on how much an NFT from AP will cost however it's expected that Pulitzer Prize-winning photos will have a much higher price tag than standard images.