by Ryan Kenny, CEO at SeatlabNFT
Since Bitcoin introduced the world to decentralised networks in 2012, Web3 has featured in the headlines for one reason or another pretty consistently. Whether it’s crazy prices being paid for digital art, or dodgy projects that result in huge market crashes, NFTs and blockchain have not always had the best publicity.
Fortunately, things are becoming a lot more stable now, as blockchain networks are more scalable and environmentally friendly. With the rush of excitement about the novelty of NFTs over, we’re beginning to see more genuine use cases for the technology.
NFTs give us a way of proving ownership and authenticity of digital assets through the transparent ledger that blockchain provides. Having worked in the live events industry for over a decade, it was immediately apparent that this transparency and proof of authenticity would be perfect for event ticketing. That’s where NFT ticketing comes in.
NFTs – New, Fairer Ticketing
Currently, the event ticketing industry is unable to offer much secondary market control. While this might not seem like a massive problem, it dramatically impacts the experience for fans and artists alike.
Everyone is familiar with how things work when tickets to popular shows go on sale. Within minutes they are snapped up by scalpers, only to quickly reappear on a secondary market at a considerable markup. Sadly, it’s become an accepted part of live events.
While various ideas have been trialed to beat scalpers, Web2 lacks the tools required to provide genuine control over the secondary market.
The result, in many cases, is that fans are unable to see the performers they love without paying extortionate amounts of money. And, with the profit falling into the hands of scalpers, artists miss out on any revenue generated by secondary sales.
With the arrival of Web3, there is a huge opportunity to change this dynamic by issuing tickets as NFTs. NFT technology is a natural fit for ticketing, as it solves many main problems plaguing the event ticketing industry.
Because the blockchain allows us to track the journey of an NFT ticket, it’s possible to identify the people holding tickets to certain events. Identifying ticket holders unlocks the possibility of airdrop rewards to enhance the fan experience.
NFT airdrops are already changing the fan experience in the entertainment industry at large and are increasingly being utilised by more household names. Airdrop rewards elevate NFT ticketing beyond simple access control and mean that event ticketing can help fans feel closer to the artists they love. Imagine a situation when a group of friends are recounting stories from a concert the night before when they suddenly receive a rare NFT collectable in the form of a live audio recording of the previous night’s show. NFT ticketing extends the show beyond the venue and allows artists to engage with their fans more meaningfully and reward them with something of genuine value for their attendance.
Immersive Fan Passes and NFT membership cards are another way we can use this new technology to give fans access to exclusive benefits while opening up new commercial opportunities for artists and event organisers. These passes can grant holders access to perks such as presale tickets, digital collectables, merchandise, video calls, meet-and-greets, prize draws and much more. Artists can sell them to generate new revenue streams outside of touring and connecting with fans in unique ways, only possible thanks to NFT ticketing.
NFT tickets are guaranteed to be legitimate because of the way that blockchain networks prove authenticity. With ticketing fraud still a problem for many live events, this peace of mind greatly improves the fan experience.
Where NFT tickets really shine, though, is in the traceability that blockchains offer. The ability to track the journey of an NFT ticket, set conditions using smart contracts and identify the wallet that holds it will transform the way artists, fans and event organisers think about event ticketing.
Smart contracts can set price ceilings, which limit resale prices, reducing the ability to make big profits from selling tickets on a secondary market but still giving fans the flexibility to resell tickets if their plans change.
Royalty splits take this one step further and allow artists to earn revenue every time an NFT ticket is resold. Royalty splits for other NFT assets are nothing new, but applying the technology to NFT tickets would mean artists and event organisers will earn a percentage of all ticket resale revenue in a similar way to how they earn royalties whenever their songs are streamed online.
We’re creating SeatlabNFT as an NFT ticketing platform that offers primary sales and a secondary marketplace for fans to sell their tickets on, all governed by smart contracts. Built on the climate-neutral NEAR Protocol blockchain, we’re creating a platform that gives artists and event creators greater control of their tickets and allows them to reward fans with NFT airdrops.
Issuing tickets as NFTs is the next logical step for the events industry, as it not only solves problems the industry is facing but enhances the experience for fans, artists and event creators.
It’s exciting to see where Web3 can take the live events space, with plenty of opportunities for ticketing platforms to serve the community better.