From music to TV and film, the mainstream is quickly embracing blockchain. Will this be a help or a hindrance to the industry?
In just over a decade, blockchain technology has become ever-present in the lives of many. Millions of individual users and businesses, from startups to multinational corporations, utilize blockchain for various purposes across dozens of industries. Increased adoption has led to public awareness, leading to blockchain suddenly finding its way into pop culture. Examples appear across all media types, from TV shows to popular songs.
For many in blockchain, mass adoption is the end goal. Many factors can either accelerate or slow down the process. Though not as vital as creating more practical uses, like it or not, public opinion is crucial. In turn, very few factors impact the consensus as much as pop culture. References in popular media create conversations and can spark interest in a whole new audience that may have never been exposed to a particular topic.
Scroll down your timeline, and you’ll undoubtedly see at least one famous artist with an NFT pfp (profile picture). The music industry has quickly embraced non-fungible tokens. A notable recent example is Eminem and Snoop Dogg’s music video release featuring their respective BAYC NFTs. Both are heavily involved in the space alongside other global artists, including Steve Aoki, Justin Bieber, and Madonna.
Musicians are also using blockchain to distribute their music. NFTs allow artists to release music to their fans and incentivize purchases through continued utility. This is especially useful for independent artists who can fundraise using blockchain and remove the need for major label involvement. Considering the increasing demand for independent music, NFTs could transform how music is distributed and consumed, much like streaming platforms have in the last two decades. The rise of an NFT artist(s) to mainstream prominence could see entire global fanbases connected by careers built using blockchain.
Thanks to streaming services, we can binge-watch thousands of films and tv shows from the comfort of our homes. Millions of people view these shows daily, and most feature not-so-subtle product placement. Due to their global reach, companies will pay millions to feature their products in some programs.
The Simpsons is one of the most recognizable franchises on earth. The show has featured world leaders, global athletes, and superstar musical acts. In the past, plenty of companies have used not-so-subtle product placement to take advantage of the cartoon’s popularity.
Crypto has recently found its way into the program, with references in at least three episodes. One of these was centered entirely around blockchain and had guest characters explaining how the technology works. We were even treated to one of the show’s infamous predictions, with crypto being described as “the cash of the future.”
Athletes make up some of the most popular global figures outside the entertainment industry. In fact, two of the top three most followed accounts on Instagram belong to football players Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with over 800 million followers combined. Naturally, these athletes influence their huge fanbases, making them a target for advertisers.
There are currently countless examples of athlete involvement in crypto. Much like in the music industry NFTs are the most prominent examples. Scores of former and current athletes have endorsed collections, often with varying results. Several crypto companies have also formed partnerships with sports entities. From combats sports to F1 and every major American sports league, companies like crypto.com, Tezos, and Binance have all invested in sports collaborations to extend their brand reach.
Although mass adoption will require more than just endorsements from celebrities and shoutouts in TV shows, the impact that pop culture could have on the industry is invaluable. Considering the ways that people consume content like music and TV nowadays, blockchain has countless applications. These can range from fundraising in music to NFT-based cartoon series, like The Red Ape Family.
Blockchain references in mainstream media will likely become more common as more use cases emerge. While official collaborations and advertising will contribute heavily to public awareness, the general industry growth will cause writers and artists to mention blockchain in their work regardless. The relationship works both ways; the more people use the technology, the more we’ll see it in popular media and vice-versa.
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