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Getty Images Taps Candy Digital In its NFTs Initiative as More Brands Hop In

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The emergence of new marketplaces and increased participation by native as well as non-native brands making strides in the industry this year have inspired a recovery of sorts in NFT trade activity.

Depicting this resuscitation of the niche, NFT sales grew by nearly 48% from $678.217 million in December 2022 to $1.003 billion by the end of January. CryptoSlam data also shows that the total monthly transactions accounting for NFT global sales have increased steadily in the last four months from 4,267,547 in November 2022 to 7,039,609 last month. These improving NFTs figures have reasonably led some to conclude that a reversal of last year's downtrend could be on the cards. Meanwhile, outside firms have continued seeking entry into the space, most recently media company Getty Images. Details and more below:

Getty Images launches 70's music photography-inspired NFTs project

Still imagery, video, and music distributor Getty Images today announced it is exploring photography NFTs in partnership with digital collectibles company Candy Digital. The stock images supplier said it would convert photographs from its 1970s music and culture archives into NFTs to be made accessible to private collectors. The project entails the works of six famous photographers, including David Redfern, Peter Keegan, Richard Creamer, Steve Morley and Fin Costello who captured influential musicians in the decade like Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen and John Lennon.

The collectibles are not limited in number and will have a months-long mint availability window. They will sell for anywhere between $25 and $200 in select regions, including Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, the UK and the US through Candy Digital's website. The digital asset content company will distribute introductory NFTs to volunteers until Mar 15. Other items in the collection from the editorial photography, video and music media firm then be available via an open-edition mint on Mar 21, according to the release.

Targeting a different audience

Last May 2022, the two firms revealed a partnership with Candy Digital CEO Scott Lawin teasing that the collaboration would bring life to “iconic and rare photographs from the last two centuries” by transforming them to “a digital format” that resonates with the modern-day experience. Unlike most NFTs that can be traded in other marketplaces, Candy Digital's collectibles are restricted to the marketplace built on an EVM-compatible sidechain Palm which dedicated to NFT minting.

This limitation has prevented NFTs on its platform from taking off. Lawin acknowledged the challenge, adding that the sports and culture digital asset platform intends to address the issue with time as part of its roadmap. Though neither party confirmed if other similar initiatives will follow, it is likely the case. Candy Digital intends to maintain the partnership with Getty Images, whose archive has accumulated millions of photos covering different subjects. Candy Digital's initial focus on sports wasn't untested. Past and recent surveys have indicated that sports enthusiasts are likely to be holders of non-fungible tokens and other digital assets compared to those with no interest. The NFT startup earlier this year raised funds to extend its businesses outside the entertainment and sports spheres, having narrowed its focus to Major League Baseball collectibles when it was founded in June 2021.

Candy Digital raised $38.5 million in early January, SEC filing shows

Candy Digital announced on Jan 5 that it had raised an undisclosed amount of money in a Series A extension funding round. The major funding entities involved were Galaxy Digital and ConsenSys Mesh (co-leaders of the round), while 10T Holdings and ConsenSys also participated. A subsequent  SEC filing revealed the fine print, detailing that the NFT creator raised $38,449,997 from 14 investors through an equity offering on Jan 3. The filing, however, did not provide any information regarding the context of the offering, and as such, it remains unclear whether the amounts specified in the filing pertain to the entirety or a segment of the sale of Fanatics stake and the funding round. This offering targeted to raise north of $68 million in the sale, having begun on Jan 3, the day before it was reported that sports merchandising company Fanatics was selling 60% of its stake to a group led by Galaxy Digital.

Fanatics was one of the earlier backing firms of the NFT startup before its exit, which it explained was down to an “imploding NFT market.” According to a press release that had initially revealed the round, Lawin conveyed that the funds procured in the round would augment the scalability of the company's proprietary platform and strikes strategic deals with various brands and institutions. The money raised was also reportedly used to help buy out the 60% stake that Fanatics owned. Fanatics did not, however, relinquish its ownership entirely, as it still has a small ownership stake in the sports-focused NFT firm left. Fanatics founder and Chairman Michael Rubin explained that the decision has helped facilitate a positive outcome for investors, specifically in recouping a significant portion of their initial investment. He termed it a particularly noteworthy outcome in light of the bear conditions where NFT transaction volumes and standalone valuations have plunged significantly.

Sam is a financial content specialist with a keen interest in the blockchain space. He has worked with several firms and media outlets in the Finance and Cybersecurity fields.