DNN — The Dragon News Network
Free shows. Free NFTs. Doing the blockchain differently.
DNN started as a bit of cheeky banter between friends. Our pals had started a news broadcast to talk about things happening in our community, and we realized that the opportunity was ripe to become their sassy counterpoint. The Fox to their CNN. We said nothing of any value and had a lovely time doing it. It was put on pause for a while and resurfaced again in January among a new group of friends in New Zealand. Hanover Bucketbucket arrived on the scene along with more snark and more slander. It was a blast.
Enter NFTs — what a perfect new forum! We quickly realized we wanted to make more of this nonsense news show but our target was no longer our friends — it was Rarible, the platform we got our start on. We made quick work of it and entered the scene, declaring ourselves the Official News Broadcast of Rarible. And so it was.
And when people started buying episodes, we didn’t really … know what to do. How is it possible that our ridiculous 1-minute program was earning us some real money? Is this viable? Can we make this work? And just like that our vision got bigger and the possibility of making meme-y news sketches for a living started sounding amazing, and we fell in love with NFTs.
Really though, we never wanted to sell them. We just wanted to make them, and we also wanted to play with NFTs. And so, as we’ve developed through Season 1 of Hanover Fist (the inaugural program), we have played around a lot with the delivery and the sale of the NFTs, always wondering “How can we show this to the most people fairly and cheaply?” We played with a few pricing models. Initially, we had 1000 copies at something like $0.04 each. Well, that failed when ONE person purchased 999 copies… what the hell?
Okay, new approach: 200 copies at maybe $0.4. Surely that will sto — aaannnd they bought them all again. Who is this person?
Third times a charm. This time, we’ll do a tiered pricing structure of increasing rarity, culminating at a 1/1, 1 ETH top-tier. People can watch for free or support if they want to at these different levels, like Patreon. For these rare ones, we also threw in some fun extras. For 1 ETH you could become a character on the show.
This person bought the 1 ETH copy…
We honestly didn’t know what to do. Someone just spent $450 on a 1.5-minute episode of news anchor Hanover Bucketbucket reporting on the inside jokes of a Telegram group chat (feat. Simon Wan). This is insane. Crypto is insane. What is happening?
Obviously, this didn’t last forever, but we did get a good friend and a new character out of it. And honestly, that was the best part. We’ve been starting to realize that we just want to make art with people and that having a massive pay hurdle so that only whales can play with us is not the point. Despite the tiered system offering people lots of ways to support us, we just don’t feel like asking for money at all.
So we’ve started moving to fully free (or nearly free — .0000000001 ETH), and honestly, it feels great. For Season 2, each episode will have 1–3 unique 1/1 NFTs, each with different kinds of engagement with us and the programs, but they will be free. First come first serve. If you want to be a character on the show and you’re there when it comes out, it’s yours. We want to build a community of fun-having folks bonding over several different wacky shows and stories. Most dedicated followers get to participate the most. And we hope that our larger vision in the coming paragraphs will inspire our audience as much as it does us.
Of course, we still have to work to pay our bills, and so we began to think about ways to support ourselves with crypto while still delivering DNN as a free to watch platform. It wasn’t long before we were learning about the new proof-of-stake mechanisms being used by blockchains such as NEAR and Polkadot, as well as ETH 2.0 in the coming years. The returns on staking are pretty wonderful, better than any bank we’ve been to. And so we began to imagine: what if we were able to raise enough money in our other art, donations, working other jobs, finishing crypto bounties, etc? What if we could just make a big enough stake to sort of chill out on a couple hundred bucks a month. That would be amazing. Just chillin and making films.
Well, what if it kept going well, or if we did something crazy before we even got there like giving out an art grant.
So a plan developed. We’ll give a $500 -$1000 art grant to a new creator who makes the best pilot episode of a show that might work well on DNN. Winner gets 10 episodes and the grant. Now we have more content makers and more reasons for people to support us. What if somehow, we could wiggle our way into enough stake money to support this third person? Crazy goal, probably difficult to do, but imagine. We now just get to give this artist a basic living wage. Well, let’s bring someone else in. 3 shows, 4 shows, 5 shows, all free, all interactive, all artists supported by a stake or several stakes that protect the network simultaneously.
I mean we really have imagined it all the way out to new channels for education, drama, lifestyle, etc. 12 artists per channel, 12 channels. Mega-decentralized-broadcast-conglomerate of free blockchain entertainment.
It’s a big dream, and we’re taking it one step at a time, but it’s got me thinking about how many small nodes could support micro-communities like this. I’ll be writing more about the intricacies of UBI and LBI later, but there is so much potential for this technology. And what about when the price of NEAR goes up?
Anyway, that’s our big dream. I’m sure some of you think it’s a little silly or perhaps unrealistic, but either way, the Season Finale of Hanover Fist is coming soon, and Season 2 is coming to NEAR. If you feel like joining the creative process, the door is always open.
Watch the latest episode, S1E9 (WHALES BE WARNED): https://app.rarible.com/token/0x1629cce8dfff953bd78033bccd769531ff35026c:44:0xacda2babfb23f495f7cc0688f15134fb3129898f
Rarible: app.rarible.com/dnn-ltd OR app.rarible.com/dnn/