News Technology Media Telecoms

DC launches NFT collection to promote virtual event

dc comics batman

Entertainment production company DC Comics has partnered with non-fungible token (NFT) platform Palm Studio to launch its first NFT collection. The project is being used as a way to promote DC’s upcoming virtual event DC FanDome that features characters such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. 

The NFTs are digital versions of the covers of iconic comic books. Every fan who registers for the event will be rewarded with an NFT from the collection for free. A second NFT can be won by sharing the NFT and event information on social media, helping DC to promote the webcast.

FanDome is free to register and since it will be conducted online, there is no limit to the number of people that can attend. In 2020, over 22 million people in 220 countries logged in, and DC expects this year’s attendance will be even higher. 

This implies that DC will be giving out over 22 million NFTs in exchange for registration for a free event. While NFTs are not particularly expensive to mint and supply chain financial considerations are minimal, there are still costs involved, such as using Palm’s blockchain. 

Some might be pleasantly surprised that DC is choosing to launch the collection as a reward scheme because many of the company’s consumers are avid collectors of comic books. In 2020 Sotheby’s conducted a private auction of a DC comic, and in 2014 a comic from the brand sold for $3.2 million. DC’s target market of comic fanatics and avid collectors might be willing to pay good money for the tokens. But perhaps not if there are 22 million of them.

In March, DC Comics sent letters to its freelance artists warning they cannot issue non-fungible tokens as they don’t have rights to its characters. That’s after an artist collaboration pulled in $1.85 million on Wonder Woman NFTs.

The partnership with Palm mitigates the environmental impact of minting NFTs as its mechanism is 99% more energy efficient than proof of work systems. It operates a private permissioned blockchain as a sidechain on Ethereum. Hence transactions are instant and gas (transaction) costs are low. 

“It’s immensely rewarding to work with a partner like DC who understands that blockchain is more than a technology, it’s a sustainable storytelling tool that can reshape the relationship between creators and fans,” said Palm Co-Founder Dan Heyman. “What does it mean to be a fan? What does it mean to be a collector? These are age-old questions that we get to watch creators like DC answer in brand new ways every day.”

Sports digital asset platform Candy also uses Palm’s blockchain services to mint its NFTs. Palm was founded by Ethereum development house ConsenSys.

Meanwhile, many other companies in the entertainment industry are using NFTs to promote upcoming launches. MGM will launch a digital collection of the upcoming James Bond movie, Neopets has entered the industry in an effort to revamp the product, and Warner Bros launched an NFT collection ahead of the release of the movie Dune.