Dapper Labs is shifting its focus to mobile and is aiming to help Apple and Google improve their approach to NFTs and Web3.
NBA Top Shot, the officially licensed basketball NFT platform that has produced over than $1 billion in sales to date, is going mobile with the release of smartphone apps on Apple’s iOS App Store and Google’s Android Play Store.
The native apps aim to provide NBA Top Shot users with an easier way to access and purchase digital collectibles on the move. Yet for founder Dapper Labs, which invented the Flow blockchain and also runs platforms like as NFL All Day and UFC Strike, this is the first stage in the company’s shift into a mobile-first Web3 business.
“The NBA Top Shot app will really be the start of our move to be a mobile-first company,” Dapper Labs Senior VP of Sports Partnerships Jennifer van Dijk told Decrypt. She added that the move will let Dapper “lead the way in what mobile looks like in Web3, and continue our path of wanting to bring everybody to Web3.”
Dapper Labs is releasing a limited version of their app that allows users to view their own collection of NBA Top Shot NFTs, see platform activity, be notified of drops, and purchase a starter pack of NFTs. Apple’s 30% fee makes primary sales more expensive for mobile users, but throws a wrench into secondary market sales between users.
Van Dijk stated that Dapper is keeping this in mind as it develops and expands the Top Shot app, in addition to working closely with its sports league partners, Apple, and Google to determine the best course of action. When consumers purchase an NBA Top Shot starter pack through one of the mobile apps, the displayed pricing will include any applicable Dapper fees.
“When we present a price, that will include everything that would be taken out or managed by us on the back end, and the consumer will have that price,” she explained. “We’re committed also to keeping prices reasonable for fans and making them accessible.”
She pointed to the 100,000 Top Shot starter packs that sold out last week. These packs were based on LeBron James breaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record, which James did. Each of these packs, which can be bought through the web interface, costs $9.
“We’re going to continue in that trend, as well, on the starter packs,” van Dijk added. “Maybe not $9, exactly, but reasonable and affordable.”
The idea is to expand the Top Shot mobile apps to allow peer-to-peer marketplace trades between users, notwithstanding Apple and Google’s in-app transaction fees. Apple and Google seem very interested in exploring this market with the proper partners and experiences, according to Van Dijk.
NBA Top Shot gets 75% of its traffic from mobile web, but buying and handling NFTs on a mobile browser is difficult.
Dapper Labs was one of the shining stars of the NFT boom in 2021 when Top Shot went popular, but it has struggled recently due to falling NFT sales. As NFT and cryptocurrency markets struggled, the Canadian firm laid off 22% of its employees in November.
As the Web3 market evolves, embracing mobile marks a new direction for the organization. The Top Shot app is the first step in “bridging the divide” between clunky Web3 experiences and a potentially much larger audience of smartphone users without simple access to NFT experiences.
She added that Dapper’s “hope for the future” is that the company and its partners can “over time, come together and figure out what evolves from here.”
“There’s no easy answers,” van Dijk said. “But I think that is also the ability for us to be good partners together, and come to those things together—instead of in any way trying to go around the rules or things like that. [We’ll] change together, evolve together, and I think we’ll get to a pretty good place.”
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