iHeartMedia first jumped into the growing world of Non-Fungible Tokens last fall when it created a series of NFTs for the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival. Then in February, the iHeart -syndicated “The Breakfast Club” radio show announced it would develop and market show-inspired NFTs. Now in a significant expansion of the NFT focus, iHeart is reportedly creating a new NFT-based podcast network.
Axios reports that iHeart is spending several hundred thousand dollars into buying the rights to about a dozen NFTs collections from creators such as CryptoPunks, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and World of Women as it sees NFTs as the latest iteration of content building that began with networks gobbling up the rights to existing shows. The intellectual property that iHeart gathers will then be combined into a content collection called the Non-Fun Podcast Network featuring IP, characters and stories gathered from what it is dubbing the Non-Fun Squad.
“We can world-build for them, creating narratives around them, and bring those stories to life via podcasts,” iHeartMedia's Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne told Axios. "This is really pushing the envelope to pressure test the assumptions we have around what is IP, what is a host, and what is talent.”
Axios says iHeart is also considering the acquisition of NFTs from creators including Qurkies, CrypToadz, and Loot for Adventurers.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are digital assets that link ownership to unique physical or digital items, such as works of art, real estate, music or videos. They are considered modern-day collectibles.
NFTs are built on blockchain technology similar to "fungible" tokens such as Bitcoin or Ethereum; however, each NFT is unique and can be a one-of-a-kind "edition" or part of a limited drop which can be used as a digital proof of ownership or "certificate of authenticity."
Bryne told Axios that in addition to NFTs, iHeart is also looking at using the intellectual property from five to ten of its podcasts for decentralized autonomous organizations or DAOs. The member-owned communities allow people to collaborate with internet strangers.