Winamp is all set to put its media player’s original 90s skin back on the map as a highly collectible non-fungible token. This catapults the company to the top of a list of other corporations turning their nostalgic brand experiences into modern art in the form of NFTs. But while most of these NFTs exist to line pockets and strengthen bottom lines by leveraging the public’s obsession with 90s nostalgia and collectibles, Winamp seems to be taking a more nonprofit approach to its NFTs.
The auction is set to take place between May 16th and 22nd through OpenSea, with all the proceeds going to Winamp Foundation. From there, Winamp has promised to donate the proceeds to various charity projects, kicking off with a generous donation to the Belgian nonprofit Music Fund. After the auction, Winamp will facilitate a separate sale of exactly 1997 NFTs based on 20 independent artworks taking inspiration from Winamp’s original user interface.
To this end, Winamp has urged artists to submit their Winamp-based artworks for consideration as part of the publicity-cum-fundraising move. Submissions are valid between now and April 15th in preparation for the May auction and sale. In an attempt to sweeten the deal, Winamp is giving each accepted artist 20 percent of the proceeds derived from the sale of their images as NFTs. 19 of the 20 pieces will be sold in editions consisting of 100 copies each, and the remaining piece will have only 97. This clever nod to the 1997 era of Winamp’s music player means one of the 20 pieces will carry a higher numismatic value than the rest.
The pieces are set to go on sale for 0.08 Ethereum, which converts to around $200 at the current exchange rates. A pretty penny to pay for a piece of digital history.
The auction and subsequent sale, while excellent examples of corporate charitability, also serve a greater purpose within the structure of the company itself. The publicity from the NFTs could make a strong case for the success of Winamp’s return as a mobile audio app, staying true to its original purpose, although now owned by Radionomy after purchase from AOL in 1999.