If you’re losing track of the latest and greatest things that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) can be used for, you wouldn’t be alone. Outside of the viral profile picture artwork you have probably seen on social media and in profile avatars, there are a number of industries now pioneering and experimenting with emerging NFT technology, including health, real estate, and academia. But while the logistics of integrating NFTs into these industries still remains elusive to consumers, one area where we might start to see a very real, tangible increase in NFT usage is in ticketing.
NFTs Are Changing
The most powerful concept in the industry is that there will be a rapid decline of NFTs as simple images created in a JPEG format. When NFTs started to enter onto people’s radar, they were pegged as a new technology that would allow people to own the first and original version of a particular digital asset, be it a piece of artwork or even a song. To this latter point, just last year, Kings of Leon became the first band to release an album as an NFT.
Now, however, NFT usage is a lot more diverse in the blockchain and crypto space. NFTs on the blockchain can be used like water-tight contracts sent across networks, which can allow the secure trade of physical assets across digital platforms. Total sales with NFT marketplaces amounted to more than $40 billion by the end of 2021, according to 101 Blockchains.
“NFT ticketing is on track to fully disrupt the ticketing industry, because it solves so many problems that organizers currently face,” NFT Investor Journal said. NFT ticketing may still be an emerging technology, but, “for the right solution, the ceiling is as high as the industry itself,” according to Coin News, which projects a market volume of $94.27 billion by 2026.
The Market is Ripe For Disruption
Logistical problems have plagued the ticketing industry for years — inefficient systems, temperamental apps, automated scalping bots, unregulated resale networks, fakes, and fraud. In 2018, singer Ed Sheeran attempted to combat ticket touting — whereby people purchase tickets with the intention of reselling them for a much higher price — by denying access to fans who had bought tickets through secondary resale site Viagogo. On the first night of his UK stadium tour, more than 10,000 tickets were canceled. In this instance, the solution that NFTs could provide is the removal of any opportunistic middlemen, instead allowing organizers to retain control over resales by establishing a price limit.
Ticketing is on course for change, and the power of shifting it to the blockchain reduces scalping and fraud to almost impossible straight out the gate — and this is just the beginning. While ticketing has no doubt increasingly become more digital over the past few years, especially post-pandemic, scalping remains a huge problem, where there is no way to authenticate tickets before new buyers make the purchase. With various experts predicting that 2022 might finally be the year Web 3.0 — the newest iteration of the internet that is striving for decentralization — starts to manifest, NFT ticketing will likely become more widespread.
What Would NFT Ticketing Look Like?
Thankfully, we’re long past the days of needing to order our tickets in the mail, or print them off at home, which meant there was always the risk of loss or damage. Not to mention the fact that we’ve all experienced that wave of panic when we’re already en route to the event, only to realize our tickets are still sitting on the table by the front door. The process of NFT ticketing, in contrast, would essentially be the same as when your ticket gets scanned on the door before an event, but the fan ends up with an NFT in their Ethereum-based digital wallet.
Not only this, but members of generations Z and older will probably still have sentimental ticket stubs from various concerts they have attended over the years. NFT tickets allow organizers, or even singers, to create artwork so that there is a collectible from the event. Katy Perry started dabbling in something similar last year, releasing NFTs to celebrate her Las Vegas residency, featuring collectibles from the shows in collaboration with ThetaDrop, powered by the Theta protocol and a native blockchain that was built for media and entertainment.
The commemorative collectible is only the start of the potential possibilities we can see with post-event engagement utilizing NFT tickets. The ability to create community with these ticket holders post-event around their NFT by adding value, creating loyalty programs, and giving exclusive content and merchandise is just the beginning of where we are going.
The benefits of making the shift to NFT ticketing are enormous. So, now, we need only ask: How much more engagement, experience, and community can be built around a single ticket post-event and in the future?
Hunter Abramson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Relic Tickets, where they envision disrupting the ticketing industry on all fronts with NFT tickets.