You can now collect NFTs while you watch Netflix, in the new series of anthology animation Love, Death + Robots. That's right, there are hidden NFTs inside the Netflix show, if you spot one you collect it. This has left me wondering what else the streaming platform is hiding in its shows: does this mean there are NFTs lurking in Stranger Things Series 4?
Maybe not, that I've yet to spot anyway, but the rise of new uses of NFTs – non-fungible tokens used to create scarcity in digital art – is what this tech needs. It's what Bilali Mack explained to me when I interviewed him for the future of digital art. It's why there's life after the NFT crash that happened a few weeks ago.
There's no better show than Love, Death + Robots for Netflix to experiment with NFTs. It's a sci-fi series of animated and mixed media shorts that experiment with how we watch TV, as well as promoting experimental animation and VFX. Here's the thing, hidden inside each episode are collectible NFTs, accessed by scanning QR codes, which will then appear in your OpenSea account. While these are free, you need to pay the gas fees and have either a MetaMask or Coinbase Wallet.
In total there are nine QR codes secreted into Love, Death + Robots' episodes and social media. Currently only US viewers can access the NFTs, but according to the associated OpenSea account (opens in new tab) the cost of one of these non-fungible tokens is around 0.003 ETH, or $6 / £4. To date there has been $36,000 in trading volume with around 27,000 NFT owners taking up the challenge to hunt down each one.
As more mainstream companies look to get into NFTs and Web 3 at least Netflix is tying new and creative ways to use the tech. Love, Death + Robots is a playful series and NFT use here perfectly represents the ethos of the show, by asking its viewers to actively chase down the embedded collectible art. It will be interesting to see where the streaming platform goes with its adoption of NFTs – maybe there is something squirrelled away in Stranger Things?
There are interesting uses of NFTs being promoted all the time. Art curator Tina Ziegler explained to me recently how NFTs and Web 3 technology can enable new artists to find their voice and promote diversity. It's going to be interesting to see how NFTs can be used creatively to reach new, or encourage established, audiences.