Banijay’s Bunim/Murray moves into NFT-funded shows with Virtual Arts

Julie Pizzi

The Real World creators Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) and Animoca-backed tech venture Virtual Arts have partnered on a new venture that aims to use Non Fungible Tokens (NFT)’s to fund programming.

Wonderfuel will roll out a slate of shows with NFTs “baked into” both the funding model and audience experience, with a view to airing the content on both traditional networks and streamers, as well as online platforms.

NFTs will be released alongside the shows, in the hope that fans will buy them in order to gain access to rewards, which include involvement in creative decisions to sharing in prizes and fan experiences.

Banijay-backed BMP and Virtual Arts said the sale of NFTs is expected to enable both partial and full funding of shows, with Wonderfuel exploring partnerships with traditional platforms.

BMP president, Julie Pizzi, said: “Bunim/Murray Productions has been creating unscripted content for three decades and we value innovation – entertainment consumption is evolving and engaging with the audience has never been more critical to a show’s success.

“The world of NFTs is a thrilling way to put power into the hands of the consumer, creating programming that the audience has a very real stake in, and taking some of the financial burden off the platforms. It’s an exciting way for unscripted content to converge with the power of tech.”

Virtual Arts co-founder, Ryan Jordan, added: “This is a moment like never before where the fans and audience can get involved and be part of the action. We’re excited to be enabling the shift that distributes more participation and more opportunity to the viewing audience.”

Bunim/Murray has behind unscripted series ranging from veteran MTV duo The Real World and Road Rules, to Challenge All-Stars for Paramount+ and Born This Way with A&E. It was acquired by Banijay in 2012 and is prepping Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls on Amazon Prime Video on 25 March.

Virtual Arts has been behind DanceFight, which claims to be the world’s first mobile competition platform for skill-based, head-to-head video competition.

Read Next