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Photographs from Associated Press photographers, including Pulitzer Prize winners, will soon be available as digital collectibles. On Monday, January 10, the Associated Press announced the upcoming launch of a marketplace for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, where images from the non-profit news organization will be minted for digital collectors. The Associated Press NFT Marketplace is set to launch on Jan. 31.
The Associated Press NFT Marketplace, which was built with blockchain company Xooa, will drop the first NFT sets over the course of a few weeks, with the first on January 31. The AP says the initial launch includes work by current and former AP photographers including what they call “digitally enhanced depictions.” The organization says that Pulitzer Prize-winning images will also launch as NFTs, with “Pulitzer Drops” scheduled every two weeks.
Collections will launch at a scheduled time, and collectors will receive a random edition number of the image as an NFT, minted on the Polygon blockchain. The NFTs, which are digital collectibles that are authenticated using blockchain technology, will include the original metadata, including the time, location, exposure settings and equipment used to take the shot. The marketplace will include secondary sales, where collectors can sell these NFTs. Unlike in the original drop, buyers will be able to choose the edition in the secondary marketplace, with lower numbers expected to sell for more than higher editions.
While most NFTs require cryptocurrency, the Associated Press NFT Marketplace will accept Ethereum or credit and debit cards. The AP says the proceeds will “go back into funding factual, unbiased AP journalism.” If the NFT venture is successful, it could be a boost to an industry that has seen 25 percent of U.S. newspapers close between 2004 and 2019.
NFTs have seen rapid growth in recent years, particularly after a Banksy NFT brought $69.3 million last spring. While NFTs also include anything from CryptoPunks to sports collectibles, a growing number of photographers have launched work as NFTs.
The Associated Press NFT Marketplace will bring a collection of photojournalism into the mix from an organization that reaches more than half the world’s population. The organization says that the NFTs will include a variety of different subjects, including space, climate and war. The marketplace is also expected to spotlight specific photographers. The AP hasn’t shared how far back in the archives the NFT marketplace will reach. Conceivably, it could go back as far as 1846, when the news organization was founded.