Starting on March 21, 2023, Getty Images will release The ’70s Music & Culture Collection, a compilation of images of musicians and cultural icons, including Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, David Bowie, Stevie Nicks, The Rolling Stones, and several more.
To release their first-ever NFT drop, Getty partnered with Candy Digital, a digital collectibles platform and marketplace that has previously helped Major League Baseball, Netflix, The WWE, and more enter Web3.
Fans will be able to purchase the images, which will be minted on the Palm blockchain, on Candy.com with credit cards or USDC. Photographs in the collection will range in price from $25 to $200. Candy is also offering fans the ability to mint an introductory image for free for a limited time.
Getty Images is one of the world’s premier platforms for images. With several popular platforms under its umbrella, including iStock, Unsplash, and Photos.com, the Getty Images Archive contains over 80 million photographs. That archive presented Getty’s Curator of Print Sales and Exhibitions, Shawn Waldron, with the daunting task of assembling a collection for the company’s first digital collectibles release.
“We knew that we really wanted to feature the depth and breadth of Getty Images’ archives,” Waldron explained while speaking to nft now. “In a lot of ways, we really just scratched the surface. We kicked around different ideas for how to even approach the 70s. As we started digging [through the archives], we were finding different threads, and you let the content sort of guide you.”
Getty’s upcoming drop includes images from six well-known photographers: Don Paulsen, David Redfern, Fin Costello, Richard Creamer, Steve Morley, and Peter Keegan. Finding a through-line to capture certain aspects of these photographers’ work presented Waldron its own challenge.
“This first collection for Candy is interesting because we’re exploring different photographers [and] each had their own specialty.”
“The images stand alone, but they’re also part of a bigger, broader body of work,” Waldron elaborated. “So, you have to understand where things fit in the narrative and that chronology. This first collection for Candy is interesting because we’re exploring different photographers [and] each had their own specialty. They were all working within the broader idea of 70s music, which was such an incredibly dynamic period: you have the birth of punk, the birth of disco, Laurel Canyon, glam rock in the U.K., reggae, outlaw country. And you had this rise of music media, a real need for photographers to be out there, covering these growing scenes.”
Out of the thousands of photographs the Getty team sorted through, Waldron helped whittle the collection down to just 120 images. The first 100 photographs focus on the various music scenes of the 70s, with the remaining 20 devoted to Peter Keegan’s body of work of New York street scenes during the same time period.
“There was so much that was happening in New York that was really kind of the nexus for a lot of the broader cultural changes that were happening,” Waldron emphasized. “It all really came alive on the streets in New York, so [those 20 photos] make a really nice compliment with the others.”
Iggy Pop performs with the Stooges at the Whisky A Go Go in LA in 1973. On the right is guitarist James Williamson. Credit: Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Candy Digital’s partnership on this drop was a natural one, and the two have been in close contact since the platform’s inception. While creating digital collectible drops with Major League Baseball, for example, Getty has served as a licensing partner for the images used in those collections. And while Getty is largely a B2B business, The ’70s Music & Culture Collection represents one of its stronger pushes into the world of interacting with fanbases in a more direct way.
“With Getty as a partner, we’ll be connecting with some of our existing customers, people who are broadly fans of NFTs and the digital future,” Candy Digital CEO and co-founder Scott Lawin said to nft now. “But we’re also talking more directly to the traditional art market and to the traditional culture collector marketplace.”
Lawin explained that people who purchase the images will retain limited usage rights, being able to print the photographs on t-shirts and the like. However, Candy is working with Getty on potential future products that include different types of commercial rights for collectible holders to “empower the next generation of creators,” Lawin noted.
Andy Mackay and Brian Eno performing on stage on their first U.K. tour. Credit: Fin Costello/Redferns
Regarding potential utility, Lawin made it clear that The ’70s Music & Culture Collection will focus more on the historical significance and the artistic and personal value of the photographs that make up the collection while hinting at possible future utility experimentation in future collection releases.
“[These drops] aren’t just an opportunity to create a digital product, make some money, and move on.”
“Along with different types of products, there might be physical twins, physical utility, there might be experiences for collecting or unlocking a certain set that people have,” Lawin offered as a glimpse into future collection utility.
December 1975: Street vendors selling pretzels and hot dogs in New York. Credit: Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images
Candy Digital has been able to win over partners like Netflix and MLB through a steady and transparent introduction to the opportunities that Web3 can afford their fanbases. Another strategy they’ve employed has been to put the emphasis on their product rather than the format it comes in, hence the company’s lack of affection for using the term “NFT.” And partnering with Getty Images is a natural next step for the platform as it prepares to significantly accelerate its growth into the Web3 arena in 2023.
“[These drops] aren’t just an opportunity to create a digital product, make some money, and move on,” Lawin underlined of the platform’s approach to digital releases. “We enter into long-term agreements and long-term partnerships to really explore what this technology can do and how it can engage their customers in a different way.”
The ’70s Music & Culture Collection drops on Candy.com on March 21.
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