Friday, January 21

A Fad or the Future: Are We Prepared for the Rise of NFT TV Shows? | american television


IIf, like me, you spent the first week of the year enthusiastically aiming for the latest “Best Upcoming Shows of 2022” list online, I’m afraid I have some bad news. Neither list mentioned GenZeroes, and GenZeroes has the potential to be the most important television series ever made. Or, you know, it could be a steaming bag of poop that is observed by literally zero people on Earth. But hey, it’s always good to be positive.

Because, just as the television industry is beginning to adjust to the popularity of non-linear streaming viewing habits, GenZeroes represents the next incredible frontier of home entertainment. That’s right, GenZeroes is an NFT (non-fungible token) program.

Now, it is true that the success of GenZeroes seems to be somewhat hampered by the fact that no one seems to really know what an NFT is. According to a report in Term This week, to watch an episode of GenZeroes, viewers will need to purchase an NFT through a specific website, and depending on the level of NFT purchased, they will receive access to a variety of benefits or even ownership of the show itself. Which, in terms of barriers to entry, is a bit higher than “turning on the television.”

Still, direct pay for TV shows is nothing new. Louis CK tried something vaguely similar when he offered new episodes of Horace and Pete to his email subscribers for $ 5 each. The system didn’t take off for a number of reasons, including that the show was strange and meandering, that CK repeatedly complained about how much money it had lost doing so, and that it was quickly kicked out of the mainstream due to a spate of impropriety allegations. sexual.

Either way, with Horace and Pete I just needed to know his credit card number. For GenZeroes, you basically have to learn a completely new financial system. That might be worth it if GenZeroes has a must-see premise and a lot of buzz. But not. It’s a program called GenZeroes. It is a science fiction set 200 years after an alien invasion of Earth. It’s written by the people who made that Van Helsing show you never saw, and it stars Aleks Paunovic, whose biggest hit on IMDb is his role as Karate Dad in the 2012 film This Means War.

To be fair, GenZeroes can be awesome. But when Netflix started making original programming, it hired one of the world’s best directors and an Oscar-winning actor to make a remake of the beloved BBC political drama House of Cards. It felt unmissable. This, meanwhile, feels eminently strange. Sounds like a grade B Quibi program.

But who knows. There is always the danger, when you write about emerging technology, of getting caught on the wrong side of history. At first, people discarded television, talkies, and the Internet. Even if GenZeroes is more of an experiment than anything else, even if it is just a weather balloon to test a new distribution model, there is a possibility that 20 years from now we will all be consuming television that we have bought with NFT.

There is certainly a momentum behind the idea. Last year, Ashton Kutcher launched Stoner cats, an animated NFT comedy about some pot-smoking felines that featured the voices of Jane Fonda, Chris Rock, and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. Was Stoner Cats good? Sadly, the only way to look at it was to buy an NFT token that cost 0.35 ethereum coins, which, since it equates in real world terms to $ 1,130, seems a bit steep for a five-minute cartoon about some cats. Which is a polite way of saying that I’ll die a fiery, violent death before I find out.

GenZeroes is a bit more affordable than Stoner Cats – if I get it right, you can buy an Access NFT for around $ 100, but that’s still roughly the equivalent of a one-year Netflix subscription, which is a great bet for a show. where each character looks like the cover of a Björk album. Very few people are willing or able to spend that amount of money on a television series, which makes me doubt the viability of the model. But maybe that’s not the point. People don’t buy NFT in order to enjoy well-crafted content. They buy it so that they can eventually become incredibly rich. Maybe that’s the true fate of GenZeroes – no one will see it, but at some point it will make three cryptobros even richer. Do not count on me.


www.theguardian.com

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