TIME Magazine releases NFTs: TIMEPieces
by Justin Perri
On September 22, TIME Magazine President Kieth Grossman sent a staff memo and a tweet revealing that the publication would be releasing an NFT collection called TIMEPieces. The website had over one million visitors in the day after the announcement, and the series of TIMEPieces, the name of the collection, sold out in just a few minutes on September 23.
The collection consists of 4,746 digital collectibles and were priced at .1 ETH each to mint. However, the demand for the series was unprecedented, which led to gas fees reaching far over the mint price — thousands of dollars to attain a TIME NFT. The TIMEPieces currently are available for purchase on OpenSea, after being revealed about eight hours after mint.
Each NFT gives access to the entirety of the magazine’s content through 2023, which is TIME’s centennial year, as well as additional ownership perks.
What are the TIMEPiece NFTs?
TIME is seeking to focus on the artists who produce the NFTs, asking the forty talented creators to create with the theme of ‘building a better future’ in mind for the first ever TIMEPieces.
In his article published the morning of September 22, creative director D.W. Pine detailed the artist selection process. Nineteen artists — some who had previously had work featured on the cover of the famed magazine — were asked not only to create one of the collectible variants, but also to invite another one of their peers to participate in the project.
The array of names include some familiar to the NFT space, such as photographers John Knopf and Justin Aversano, and digital artists Michah Johnson and Fvckrender. However, half of the artists in the TIME collection have never created or sold an NFT before. This collection promises to be a blend of exploration and modernism that all help to embody consciousness towards the future.
TIME has previously released NFTs, auctioning off some of some of its most iconic covers on Superrare back in March 2021, including a specially made iteration of “Is Fiat Dead?” playing off the famous “Is God Dead?” cover from 1966.
Utility for the TIMEPieces
This new project aims to expand upon the initial offering, this time around creating a community for those who hold the digital assets. Along with access to the magazine’s content, users will be invited to in-person events and many exclusive digital experiences. There is also a promise of opportunities to those who collect multiple NFTs from the TIMEPiece series.
It is without doubt that TIME is one of the first major institutional media companies to meaningfully dip its toes into NFTs. The magazine has already collaborated with Cool Cats and is now seeking to harness the power NFTs can bring to a community.
This new series represents the start of media powerhouses expanding into the world of digital assets. It’s a small window into what we can expect from powerhouse companies as they embrace this quickly growing world of blockchain collectibles.
What’s Next for TIMEPieces?
There was some backlash from collectors after the drop, as the low mint price caused many prospective buyers to attempt to grab one of the NFTs on the morning after the drop. With any high participation drop, it is normal for gas to rise as the Ethereum network is clogged with transactions.
TIME’s reputation proceeded itself and over 12,000 people attempted to mint a TIMEPiece. The final gas prices were so high that some accounts averaged paying over a full ethereum to secure an NFT.
This level of competition was unexpected by TIME and to make it up to the thousands of potential customers who failed to mint anything, the magazine airdropped an NFT to everyone who attempted to participate.
This new NFT from TIME features a cover from 1981 which reads, ‘Cats Love ‘em! Hate ‘em!’ This airdropped gift will be combined with a future POAP from a Twitter Space to create a mint pass for the next drop.
These tokens of gratitude are steps forward by TIME towards making future mints more available for collectors.