Netgear Joins SuperRare DAO to Develop NFT Art Licensing Model

Collaboration includes showcasing curated SuperRare collections on Meural smart frames


blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Meural’s WiFi-connected digital canvases connect to MetaMask and Coinbase wallets
  • Teams will submit a proposal to the SuperRare DAO to vote on licensing and royalty model

Netgear, widely known for its WiFi routers, first expanded into smart home products. Now, the Web2 standby is making a play to gain Web3 market share. 

The company first diversified into smart home products with a 2018 acquisition of Meural canvases and smart frames. The latest plan: to use the Meural digital displays to exhibit NFTs in partnership with digital art marketplace SuperRare collections and artists. 

The collaboration entailed joining the SuperRare DAO and buying its governance token, RARE, in order to have a say in the direction of digital art on the platform. The company declined to disclose how many tokens it purchased and at what cost. 

The goal is to co-develop a licensing and royalty model for displaying non-fungible tokens of curated SuperRare collections on the Meural smart frames. 

The first step is for the Netgear and Meural team to submit a governance proposal to the RARE community. 

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John Crain, chief executive officer at SuperRare, told Blockworks the transition of the traditional art world in response to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) makes for an ideal entry point for the firm.

“There’s roughly 10,000 serious traditional art collectors in the world,” Crain said, referring to art collector database Larry’s List. “ It’s like a $60 billion market.” 

SuperRare has a 10% artist royalty stipulation baked into the smart contracts to ensure their compensation from secondary sales, but, as Crain said, “We don’t really have a standard for how to do this with NFTs in the context of streaming.”

Meural has an integration with crypto wallets Coinbase and MetaMask, and a selection of dynamic, programmable NFTs in the Meural library which encompasses over 30,000 licensed artworks. 

In the case of its subscription offering, Crain questioned how they can accurately measure what members are currently displaying on their home or office walls and then have the smart contract “do the math and distribute funds where appropriate.”

He likes to envision a set of Legos, where the most basic Lego is the collectible or a piece of fine art, and that media asset has a base license that makes the NFT collectable. 

Poppy Simpson, senior product and content manager for Netgear’s Meural product line, told Blockworks there’s a parallel to be drawn with Spotify’s real-time streaming royalty system, saying most involved artists have been licensed through third parties like publishers and record labels.

“This is a model, which not only does it try and align the artists and the collectors incentives, but it cuts out a lot of the middlemen, which is essentially skimming off the profit of the creator,” Simpson said.

She added that “artists are always on the forefront of technology,” and that NFTs increase the possibilities in terms of the number of people that can get involved, mainly collectors

The current overall market capitalization for the entire NFT market is up to $24.57 billion — a 3.4% increase from the start of the year — according to data from NFTGo at the time of publication, and it’s a very new market compared to that of traditional fine art. 

“These two worlds are coming together, so we’re gonna see the user numbers dramatically increase,” said Crain.

In order to capitalize on the cultural collision, SuperRare has opened up a pop-up gallery in downtown New York through August 28, featuring a rotating program of five NFT exhibitions using Meural frames. 

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