If you’ve been around in the NFT sphere, I’m sure you’ve come across the term ‘unlockable content’. If you’re someone who is new to the field, you may be a little puzzled as to what this term means. To understand what unlockable content is, and how it relates to you as a collector or creator, we’ll need to do a little bit of recap into what NFTs are. After which, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of the unlockable content world – what it is, how you can use it, and the value it holds for you.
Basically, NFTs are non-fungible tokens that exist on the blockchain, meaning they are not interchangeable with any other NFT. Each NFT is a unique code and exists via authentication keys linked to a smart contract; essentially working as proof of ownership. They typically come in the form of a digital item like an artwork, with unlockable content holding the key to adding value and creative dimension to that artwork.
What is unlockable content?
You can think of unlockable content like bonus content e.g. when you buy a DVD as compared to when you stream it, you get bonus content like director’s commentary or bonus scenes, all in one neat package. Unlockable content is available as an option on certain marketplaces like Opensea, Cargo.build, and Mintable when you set up your NFT. It can be turned on or off before you mint an item. Once you add unlockable content to your NFT, it will be linked to your NFT for collectors when they purchase your item. They cannot be edited or replaced once the NFT is minted.
There are no limits to what you want your unlockable content to be, only the limitation of the platform you’re on. Most commonly, creators attach high-res images, full-length videos, a physical copy or print of the artwork, or an off-chain link to a google drive, dropbox, etc. There are creators who also offer an email, mail, or link to a certificate of authenticity, and other creators who offer discounts and coupons to purchase other items in their store. Some more unique unlockable content that have been linked to NFTs include maps to find other pieces of artwork, offers to tell the buyer a story, and a coupon to spend a day with the creator, or have a one-on-one masterclass with the artist. It is all down to your creativity to harness the potential of a tool like unlockable content like unlockable files or listings.
The advantages of unlockable content
The value of an artwork extends far beyond just the visual, and the same goes for NFTs. Unlockable content is one of the most useful tools for adding value to your NFTs and a wonderful way to create appeal for your secondary market. It is also a way of honoring the collectors of your work, by offering them something that has a little bit more resonance in the real world.
NFTs can be resold on-chain, whereas unlockable content are items that live off-chain, and therefore cannot carry on to future owners on the blockchain. This is the uniqueness of unlockable content that layers on top of the artistic merit of your NFT, creating in effect, more rarity and demand for your work. Imagine a buyer who has just bought your NFT, and got your print along with it as the content they unlocked. That buyer now has a digital commodity that they can resell at a later time, while also owning artwork in a tangible fashion. When collectors see that they can get more out of an NFT than just the NFT, it works to the benefit of increasing buyer’s satisfaction, which inevitably works to the advantage of you, the creator.