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Are NFTs the future of music and sport events ticketing?

Are NFTs the future of music and sport events ticketing?

Those lucky enough to grab a ticket for the 2023 edition ofPBW will be getting an NFT ticket packed with an exciting assortment of extras! We’re so excited about the business and entertainment opportunities of NFT ticketing, we did some research and wrote about it.

Ticketing is a $72 billion dollar industry that has digitised like no other. But with that digitalisation has come centralization, touts, fake tickets, bots and fan exploitation. 12% of ticket buyers get scammed on a regular basis, dynamic pricing has pushed prices beyond the reach of regular fans and new musicians and small clubs scramble for the pocket change that’s leftover. As the demand for events - both virtual and IRL - grows, can event organisers use NFTs to solve the challenges facing the industry and create a smoother, safer, cheaper and more entertaining ticketing experience?

Ticketmaster - the world’s largest ticket marketplace - is acting as if it might.From commemorative NFT tickets for the SuperBowl to a partnership with the Flow blockchain that allows artists and event organisers to issue NFTtickets, the industry giant is experimenting with the tech. And this isn’t new, they bought blockchain smart ticketing app Upgraded as long ago as 2018.Let’s look at why they - and an array of web3 startups and ticketing solutions aiming to replace the legacy system - think NFTs are the future of ticketing.

Fake tickets and touts

Dynamic pricing - automatically raising and lowering the price of tickets inline with demand - in an attempt to beat ticket touts and bots (an improbable 60% of tickets are bought by automated bots) is great in theory, but a nonsense for fans of Harry Styles and Bruce Springsteen. When theBoss used dynamic pricing on a recent tour, prices exploded to over$5,000. The backlash was immediate and strong. NFT tickets remove the need for dynamic pricing, eliminate fake tickets and give artists new channels for marketing, community engagement and avenues for additional revenue.

NFT smart contracts are customisable before mint and immutable afterwards. This means they can be ‘programmed’ with a secondary price that the most advanced ticket tout in the world can’t change. With NFT ticketing, artists and event organisers don’t have to beat the bots and the touts, instead they can use a technology that makes them ineffective and unprofitable. Even if bots buy the whole supply, they can’t sell them for more than face value - or the price set by the organiser. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s better than the alternatives right now.

That revamps unsustainable pricing, what about fake tickets? Each NFT is unique and verifiable (thank you blockchain). If 10,000 tickets go on sale, each one can be easily accounted for. Because smart contracts establish trust in a trustless world, buyers can be sure the tickets they are buying on the secondary market are legitimate and reasonably priced. Using QR codes, venues can smoothly authenticate tickets on the door.

Secondary NFT ticketing advantages

Not only can event organisers and artists use NFTs to remove fake tickets, overly-priced secondary markets and bots from the process, they can do so with a flourish, capitalising on an assortment of secondary advantages to make people feel special and add individuality to proceedings.

Building Community

In days gone by, fans would buy a ticket and then forget about it until the night of the concert. With tickets going on sale one, or even two years in advance, NFT tickets are an opportunity for artists and event organisers to ramp up their community, interacting with ticket holders in a new and immersive way.

As well as airdrops, competitions and stories from the road, further utility could include token-gated Discord channels (or whatever web3 solution supersedes it) with behind-the-scenes interviews and video footage, artist interviews or a ‘day-in-the-life’ mini-documentary. Experiences that are simple to create but have a lasting impact on fans.

What about B2B? Companies could add further utility to team building, training, conferences and exhibitions. Dynamic NFTs could be used to authenticate completion of training courses, opening further training material, bonuses or rewards. An enterprise business hosting or sponsoring a global exhibition could use NFT tickets to give access to meet-and-greets, exclusive seminars and networking events.

An NFT ticket plugs into web3; it’s a gateway to increased security, tracking, trading and the addition of life-changing experiences and fan-artist and B2B interaction. Customisation and increased utility can be achieved with existing ticketing systems, but using NFTs makes it quicker, more efficient and more entertaining - the power of the latter should not be underestimated. People love to be entertained. Emails and paper tickets simply can’t compete on the same stage.

Loyalty programs

NFTs are no longer just static Jpegs. Dynamic NFTs (dNFTs) can be programmed to update each time a fan attends a concert or match, buys merchandise or downloads an album. This loyalty could then be exchanged for cheaper tickets, exclusive merchandise, once-in-a-lifetime brand experiences or all manner of corporate, professional and business premiums. Starbucks are famously using Polygon to integrate NFTs into itsNorth American loyalty program, event organisers could do the same. With the spread of easy to implement Fiat onramps, they could do so without the on boarding obstacles that have afflicted web3 until now.

Collectibles & POAPs

Music and sport are synonymous with nostalgia and collectibles, collecting old ticket stubs a way to record the memories. POAPs (Proof of AttendanceProtocol) are the web3 equivalent of a ticket stub, a blockchain memory of your attendance at an event. They can be programmed to record details of the event, but they can also have their metadata changed after the event, adding to their collectability.

The NBA are good at experimenting with blockchain technology, let’s use them as an example. A fan goes to game four of the playoffs. It’s an iconic match, one that transcends the history of the game. The Chicago Bulls come from 10 points down with two minutes remaining, winning the game at the buzzer with a 40-yard 3-pointer. Fans receive a POAP, cementing their presence at the match to the blockchain. The POAP could be updated to include the game–winning moment.

Secondary revenue streams

What artist or sports team wouldn’t be interested in additional revenue streams? Although the NFT industry is moving away from guaranteed secondary market royalties - as platforms seek to give the buyer the choice - the option to add royalty payments for secondary sales will, in some format, likely remain.

NFT tickets and DeFi

Barring strange occurrences, Ariana Grande isn’t going to use decentralized finance on her next tour. But DeFi is an opportunity for artists and event organisers to pre-fund concerts, experiences and bank roadmaps. A new rock band riding a wave of media hype? They could collateralise future ticket sales to fund studio time or a world tour.Combining DeFi and NFT ticketing is an advanced and new concept, and whilst not for everyone, it’s one that’s gaining traction and a utility we may write more about.

The web3 startups leading the NFT ticketing business

The competition facing Ticketmaster and the web2 incumbents of the ticketing industry is fierce. Many have a growing presence online, offer tracking and event dashboards for bands and artists and the tools to create websites and custom made marketplaces. This list gives you an idea of the vast number of web3 startups offering NFT ticketing solutions. Is the result a tiered ticketing landscape with the rock dinosaurs using Ticketmaster and everyone else using a more curated experience? Or is it winner takes all?

Let’s start with the big guns. Coachella partnered with FTX to build a marketplace on Solana. Of particular interest was their collection of one-of-a-kind NFT keys that grant lifetime access to Coachella. Certainly an NFT use case festivals, conferences and exhibitions could leverage.

And it isn’t just music. Euro 2020 trialled an NFT ticket scheme. RealMadrid have experimented with NFT collectible tickets and the NBA have all manner of NFT experiments going on, including their VIP All Star Pass that highlighted the variety and ingenuity of NFTs. Basketball fans that bought the All Star Pass could also get once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as access to a practice or the opportunity to shoot hoops with their favourite players.

What about your business? What do the NFT ticketing resources look like for your next event? Yellow heart - quickly becoming one of the biggest names in web3 ticketing - is the ticket supplier for both NFT.London and DCentral Miami. They are also working with musicians Julian Lennon, Maroon5 and Brandi Carlie. Guts Tickets uses NFTs and QR codes to create an easy and ‘honest’ user experience. At the core of their offering is their Get Protocol that can be used to access the DeFi opportunities of NFT ticketing mentioned earlier. Oveit has partnered with PayPal, Stripe andCrypto.com to facilitate the FIAT ramps for payment. Finally, SeatlabNFT is focused on the fan-artist connection and building community links.

NFT ticketing: Final thoughts

NFT ticketing has the potential to change the status quo, to remove the centralised incumbents of the industry and create a more fan-driven, safe and secure system, a system that works similarly to current offerings but with a vastly improved experience for fans. Centralised entities are setting the prices, ticket touts are controlling the second hand market. Not the bands.Not the clubs. And not the fans. That might be about to change.

The NFT ticket for PBWS

PBWS will be using NFT tickets. We’re designing an easy-to-use and enjoyable collection of utility to make an entertaining ticketing experience for all visitors. What would you like to see from our tickets? What utility would you add? Get active on our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn channels with your ideas and demands. Be sure to use #NFTticketPBW so we can find and reply to your messages (and congratulate you if we use your idea.)

Become our ticket provider

Finally, we’ve had interest from a number of NFT ticketing startups but haveyet to commit to a partner. If you’re interested in supplying the infrastructurefor the biggest global blockchain event in Europe, our DMs are open.

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