Ticketing and the industry’s biggest pain points can be eradicated using Web3 tech, says Josh Katz of YellowHeart, the first company to ever release an NFT album and tickets on the blockchain with Kings of Leon.
Web3 has already demonstrated palpable benefits to millions of web users and provided a testbed for evolving blockchain technology. As with any mention of new tech, NFTs are a facet that cannot be ignored.
The weird and wonderful world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has continued to etch their mark across Web3 and demonstrate wider everyday use cases. Now, more than ever, the potential for the crossover between various industries to forge mutually beneficial ecosystems is at the precipice of the future of Web3.
One of these, in fact, is the event industry – more specifically, event ticketing.
Online event ticketing is predicted to be worth $68 billion by 2025 and the industry is seeing unprecedented demand after COVID restrictions slowly begin to lift across the globe. With such a prodigious industry, there is the potential for significant growth and earning potential for projects that can address the key issues already associated with event ticketing.
Web3 can help eradicate a number of these problems, but first, we must understand what the existing issues are with the ticketing industry.
Ticketing Industry’s Biggest Pain Points
In February, last year, the UK’s national fraud reporting service Action Fraud reported a 62% increase from the previous month in complaints of ticketing fraud, with victims losing a combined total of nearly £300,000.
In addition to this, over 40% of all online ticket booking is executed through bots or automated software, which drastically increases the risk of fraud or ‘ticket scalping’ – the unauthorized resale of tickets.
The knock-on effect of this is a lack of consumer trust. As mentioned earlier, the demand for events is rapidly increasing, with 67% of industry professionals claiming that in-person events will return to pre-pandemic numbers within two years.
As more people are willing to return to in-person events and pay good money to do so, this could mean a significant pay-off for scammers if they successfully entice an innocent customer into purchasing illegitimate tickets. These scammers can be extremely convincing, making it difficult to identify the authenticity of the tickets.
Typically, these illicit ticket sales take place on secondary markets where regulatory control is limited. Often, the tickets sold on these markets are either fraudulent copies of existing tickets or are scalped tickets, whereby the resale value greatly exceeds the initial purchase price. Many eager event-goers may fall victim to these scams and splash out on tickets that fail to serve their best interests.
Where venues and artists are concerned, these secondary markets implement a middleman that blocks them from receiving their fair share of the ticket value. In essence, the profits from the tickets that would otherwise go to the venue and artist or sports team behind the event, are pocketed by malicious actors.
How can Web3 and NFTs Solve These Issues?
Web3 and non-fungible tokens both utilize blockchain technology, which ultimately supports them in creating a verifiable and transparent ecosystem for a plethora of industries.
Yet, where the ticketing industry is concerned, the key selling feature of blockchain is that the information stored in each of the digital wallets cannot be manipulated or falsified. With blockchain technology, everything is fully transparent and traceable, eliminating the possibility of fake tickets being sold to unsuspecting customers.
Built on top of blockchain technology, NFTs tickets are unique and verifiable digital assets that move far beyond traditional ticketing. When it comes to counterfeit tickets, since NFTs live on the blockchain, venues are able to quickly determine who the original IP owner of the ticket is and if it’s authentic or not. The cryptographic proofs that are utilized empower vendors and fans to confirm the authenticity of the ticket, meaning that counterfeits are no longer an issue.
Ticketing and NFTs
When looking at the value non-fungible tokens can specifically bring to the event ticketing industry, because data is saved on a blockchain, an NFT ticket can show proof of authenticity. This ensures not only that the ticket purchased is legitimate, but also that the vendor is tenable and not a scammer. NFTs also add value in the form of unique perks such as VIP access or upgrades, and loyalty rewards for returning event attendees.
After a fan purchases an NFT ticket, it’s transferred to a wallet controlled by the holder, accessible from a desktop or a mobile device. Often, an NFT ticket changes when it’s scanned at a venue. For example, if it’s sold in black and white, when it’s scanned, it can turn to color or become animated. This signifies that the ticket has been activated, which means that multiple people can’t attempt to use the same ticket. It also provides consistent engagement with fans. Traditional tickets usually become redundant strips of paper or unusable barcodes when venues scan them, but NFT tickets come to life to consolidate your attendance at an event.
An example where this has proved a success is this year’s Coachella festival, where users were encouraged to download or scan NFTs for chances to win access to a faster entry lane, VIP experiences, and food and drink credits. Personalized marketing initiatives centered around various events through the use of NFTs improve communication with audiences – bringing the event to more people.
On an even larger scale is the success of recent MGM Grand Resort shows in Las Vegas, which introduced NFT ticketing to its events. Owners of any of the tickets would have access to prime seating, added benefits such as food and drink credits, and even meet-and-greet opportunities – showcasing the utility of NFTs.
So What Does the Future Hold for Web3 Event Ticketing?
The Web3 world is still incredibly raw and more education is required so that event organizers can acknowledge just how beneficial Web3 is to the ticketing of events on both small and large scales.
While NFTs have seen stratospheric growth, especially in the last 18 months, being able to demonstrate their utilities and integrate them successfully onto a platform is still more arduous than it needs to be, but with further mainstream adoption, this does promise to become easier.
Integrating Web3 and NFTs to ticketing platforms allows for greater engagement with fans as the ticket itself goes beyond just permitting access to the event. But ultimately, the events industry needs to be receptive to this innovation and comprehend that existing methods of ticketing are not fit for purpose.
About the author:
Josh Katz is the chief executive officer and founder of YellowHeart, the premiere NFT marketplace for ticketing, music and community tokens. With upwards of 25 years of experience in the music industry, Katz began his career at Arista Records and Jive Records, working with breakthrough artists like the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. In 2004, Katz founded El Media Group, a company providing premiere music curations for hospitality and retail brands at exclusive venues like Nobu and Tao. In 2017, Katz decided to marry his love for music with a newfound passion for crypto, launching YellowHeart. The company was the first to ever release an NFT album and tickets on the blockchain with Kings of Leon, and has since partnered with major artists such as Maroon 5, Julian Lennon, Jerry Garcia, ZHU, among others.