In an earnings call this morning, Andy Bird, the CEO of learning company Pearson, said he was considering non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a way to earn additional revenue from the sale of books. ‘opportunity. A Pearson textbook can be resold up to seven times.
“Technology like blockchain and NFTs allow us to go through every sale of that particular item over its lifetime,” Bird said. He mentions the possibility of participating in downstream revenues.
Indeed, many creators of artistic and sports NFTs take a small reduction in the resale price, often around 5%. While NBA Top Shot sales of NFTs may have topped $1 billion, the vast majority of that money went to individual NFT holders through resales. But Dapper Labs, the rights holder of NBA Top Shot, made money on initial NFT sales and on every resale.
However, reselling NFTs in a purpose-built app differs from locally sold physical manuals. The transfer cost is built into the smart contract of NFT in the digital world, so it is almost impossible to avoid it. In real life, you can sell a book without a barcode scanner with the built-in NFT. And students are naturally picky, so they might want to avoid a 5% tax.
But recurring textbook revenue isn’t Pearson’s only interest in blockchain. The other perspective is to organize courses in virtual worlds.
“We have a whole team working on the implications of the metaverse,” Bird said.
Animoca Brands, the most prolific blockchain investor, recently took over TinyTap, the user-generated educational content company. The main focus of Animoca is games and the metaverse. So, if he is exploring a particular niche, he has significant clout. Given the nature of blockchain and its ability to decentralize, sourcing content in a decentralized way might be an avenue unlikely to compete with Pearson in the early days. But who knows in the future?
Meanwhile, one of the main applications of blockchain in education is to provide students with credentials. Be it Indian public schools, US universities, or post-graduate career learning, there are plenty of blockchain-based credential solutions out there.