NFTs Are Being Used to Give TikTok Dancers Credit score, Revenue

Three black creators are offering NFTs, tied to holograms of themselves, performing the iconic dance moves they developed, which spread through social media and sparked discussions about how to compensate digital performers.

The “Renegade” took social media by storm in 2020. TikTok’s biggest stars and millions of others have uploaded videos of them performing the dance. But the then 14-year-old routine creator, Jalaiah Harmon, told the New York Times that she had neither the dance nor the income to come from it. Her viral dance later became a Fortnite emote that players could purchase for their characters, but any licensing agreement made with Harmon was not made public.

To date, Harmon’s Dance, along with Cookie Kawaii’s “Throw it Back” and Blanco Brown’s “The Git Up,” have collectively been viewed over 10 billion times on TikTok, but monetizing their creations has been a challenge.

In collaboration with the La Cañada-based AR production house Jadu and their studio partner Metastage based in Culver City, the three creators each created a hologram of themselves that performs their dances. These will be auctioned as NFTs on Juneteenth on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.

An NFT was embossed for each of the three holograms. The creators get a majority of the auction sales along with a percentage of all secondary sales. Jadu receives minority shares.

Black creators who are not adequately compensated has sparked controversy over how to properly pay tribute in the fragmented copycat world of user-generated media. NFTs represent a way forward, and that was a big motive for Jadu.

NFTs allow creators to keep an ongoing stake in a digital asset. Smart contracts can automatically redirect a percentage of each secondary sale to a builder’s account.

“We were really looking for artists who were either overlooked or who didn’t receive adequate cultural and financial compensation,” said Jadus Chief Operating Officer Jake Sally. “Everyone should know who Jalaiah, Blanco Brown and Cookie Kawaii are.”

The three holograms will be available for use in the Jadu app, which will allow users to interact with holographic celebrities and create free videos that can be shared on social media. Owners of the three NFTs are displayed in the app.

Sally said that being able to use these holograms should help the value of their associated NFTs increase over time – a value the creators can achieve through their perpetual involvement in secondary sales.

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