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Netflix’s NFT experiment with “Love, Death + Robots” could be the future of TV ratings

A scene from Netflix's top selling NFT from its Love, Death, + Robots series 
  • Adario Strange
By Adario Strange

Media & entertainment reporter based in New York


Netflix’s status as a streaming innovator has been under assault in recent years, but the company’s recent non-fungible token (NFT) experiment proves it’s still in the digital disruption game. The company released a series of nine NFTs on Opensea’s NFT marketplace in May, each representing a scene from the third season of its popular science fiction anthology series Love, Death + Robots.

Along with cutting-edge animation, the series features the talents of actors such as Michael B. Jordan, Mackenzie Davis, Rosario Dawson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel McHale, Topher Grace, and Samira Wiley, as well as adaptions of classic science fiction stories from Bruce Sterling, Harlan Ellison, John Scalzi, J. G. Ballard, and others. Without much fanfare other than a tweet and a subtle prompt in the closing credits of the season’s last episode, Netflix announced that it had hidden QR codes to some of the scenes in billboards and on social media, so only the most hardcore fans participated in the initial offering.

A scene from the <i>Love, Death, + Robots</i> episode “Exit Strategies”

Netflix’s NFT event is more about viewer data than blockchain profits

Netflix isn’t likely to make much money from the promotion, a somewhat unique approach that veers away from the gold rush mentality that has typified much of the activity in the NFT space.

Even the most popular Love, Death + Robots NFT—on “Exit Strategies,” an episode about three robots examining the aftermath of humankind’s demise—is available for the floor price of 0.002 Eth ($3.36).

But a byproduct of the blockchain promotion, which draws to a close on Sept. 24, has been an unofficial ranking of season three’s episodes, with sales revealing which one fans loved the most. This has inadvertently offered the television industry a new way to gauge the true ratings of a show in the future.

These are the NFTs that sold the most: 

On Aug. 12, Netflix announced that it was moving forward with a fourth season of Love, Death + Robots—this time armed with a new kind of audience data that could inform future programming decisions related to the series, and possibly its other original productions.

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