Problems around live music ticketing mean that both artists and fans often lose out. This could change if the industry widely adopts NFT tickets, allowing for a much more level playing field.
There are a number of advantages to using NFT tickets for live events like concerts and shows. If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of saving up to see your favourite artist, only to discover the tickets are sold out and now double the price on a secondary market, then keep on reading.
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The Trouble with Touts
Touting is the reselling of tickets, be it for a music concert or a sports game. Usually, people or companies will buy a number of tickets, and resell them for their own price.
It’s not uncommon to see ticket prices grow exorbitantly at resale. In 2016, tickets for a Beyoncé show at Wembley Arena went on sale for £50. There were reports of these tickets on secondary sale for as much as £825!
Most obviously, this hurts the fans. You can often gauge how much a ticket is going to be for an event, and save up to aim for that figure. Sadly, money can’t be magicked out of thin air, so when ticket prices shoot up, people aren’t prepared for it. As a result, dedicated and loyal fans end up missing out on events they had their heart set on. It’s a sad but all too common tale.
In terms of music, it isn’t great for the artist either. Yes, artists make a lot of their money from live shows, and touting means all the tickets are being bought up at face value. But, it has other negative impacts that many musicians care more about.
If there aren’t enough fans able or willing to purchase overpriced tickets for shows, it means less audience members. This can really make a dent in the number in attendance, affecting the overall atmosphere. It can also give the artist a bad reputation. Of course, it’s not their fault that tickets to their show are touted, but it could put people off even trying to see them perform again.
There are some sites that have been set up to promote fan-to-fan ticket resale at face value or fair prices, like Twickets or TicketSwap. However, it doesn’t stop touting altogether.
Why NFT Tickets?
An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a unique token that exists on the blockchain. It acts as authentication of ownership, and is secure, transparent, and immutable. If you’re wondering what NFTs have to do with ticketing, the two things have plenty in common.
- Non-fungible means it cannot be swapped. Both NFTs and tickets have this in common (for seated events), since a ticket only allows one person to sit in a particular seat.
- The supply of tickets and NFTs is limited, with the number set by whoever creates the event or mints the NFT.
- You can resell both NFTs and tickets, with the value increasing based on demand and popularity.
- NFTs and tickets tend to be linked to industries or areas with fanbases and collectibles.
If you ever went to see your favourite band live, you may have kept your paper ticket as memorabilia. The same idea can be applied to NFTs.
How Do NFT Tickets Work?
Digital tickets are nothing new. Normally, a copy of a digital ticket, featuring a QR code, will be emailed to buyers a couple of days before an event. This is to limit the time available to resell tickets – a measure to minimise touting that often causes problems for honest fans who can no longer attend events.
Whilst this is more convenient and reliable than having a paper ticket posted to you, it does reduce the collectible aspect. Nobody is going to print off a QR code and stick it on a collage, surely?
When you purchase an NFT ticket, it lives on the blockchain for all to see, as well as in your wallet. This makes it easier for venues and organisers to collect data, and keep track of exactly who is attending an event. It doesn’t sound much more collectible than a QR code though. But, exciting perks and collectibles can easily be attached to NFT tickets. For example, digital merch like videos, artwork, and exclusive music can be attached to NFTs.
As with some ticket resale sites, caps can be put in place to stop NFT tickets being resold for too high a price. Further to this, smart contracts make it easy to set it up so that a percentage of the resale revenue goes to the original seller. This helps to ensure money goes to the venue and artist, rather than solely into the pockets of ticket touts.
The transparent nature of blockchain-based tickets also means there is a reduced chance of fraud. Lots of NFT marketplaces already feature built-in fraud detection systems. Some even implement human-led moderation to catch any fraudulent activity.
Create an Engaged Fanbase
We love to feel like we’re part of something, don’t we? Whether it’s part of your local football team, or a member of an excitable gang of music fans. NFT tickets can help to foster this sense of belonging and togetherness.
Being able to attach extras to tickets encourages fans to be more involved. For instance, artists could offer lifetime invite-only access to future ticket sales when purchasing an NFT ticket. Or, a rewards-based system could be created, by giving away videos or similar. This would allow artists to show gratitude and appreciation for their fans’ support, encouraging fans to stick with them.
Are NFT Tickets the Future?
There are clearly numerous advantages to tickets that exist on the blockchain. From the perspectives of both fan and artist, NFTs create a more secure and fair way to gain access to concerts and events. Although a blockchain-based solution would open up revenue opportunities for artists, and offer more perks to fans, it could be a while before it widely catches on.
The major stumbling block is usability. Most music fans and concert goers simply haven’t adopted NFTs or blockchain solutions yet. Though we are seeing more cases of NFT integration, a large portion of people don’t have wallets or understand how the blockchain works.
Currently, NFT tickets only really appear more attractive to NFT enthusiasts. To a music-lover, the perks of NFT ticketing isn’t enough to outweigh the ease and simplicity of standard digital tickets. However, it’s possible that, as more music NFT projects gain traction, average music lovers will take an interest in the NFT space. This normalisation could very well lead to a mass adoption of NFT tickets in the future.