We are looking at digital asset collaborations and the utility they offer to artists, brands and entertainers. It is time to look at digital assets as wrappers that offer customisation, membership and fan/audience engagement. We think of digital assets as token-gated solutions to common pain points that customers, fans or audiences experience when trying to buy tickets or earn rewards. With this in mind let’s look at ways these can be used to supercharge membership and ticketing.
Membership & Engagement
First, by token-gated we mean using NFT technology to create a token that fans/consumers can keep in their digital wallet. However, these consumer tokens are not financial in nature but rather designed to be ‘all-access’ entry or membership into an artist-curated ecosystem built for fans and consumers. These ecosystems not only provide consumers with unique experiences or rewards, but also create pathways for digital communities to flourish.
Digital asset-based memberships vary in structure and execution across brands and platforms – whether it grants holders access to a ‘fan’ club, an event or membership. Tokenised memberships can make fans feel more connected to artists or brands they love, and it can also offer ways to earn rewards through products, social media interactions or being an ‘evangelist’ to their network. These ‘dynamic’ digital memberships can enhance already existing loyalty infrastructure without scaring away mainstream users with Web3 jargon.
Most importantly they provide a robust framework for artists and brands to build a community around their events and experiences to connect with and reward their most loyal fans for long-term engagements that create value-add as well as enabling them to learn more about their audience.
The fiasco surrounding pop star Taylor Swift’s Eras USA Tour ticket sales in 2022 highlighted many obstacles that Swifties and other fans faced obtaining tickets via Live Nation, the world’s largest live entertainment company. Their platforms struggled to cope with high volume, high demand signature concert tour ticket sales and even pre-registration. Ticketmaster, a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment, is the largest ticketing company in the world, handling the majority of ticket sales for live events in North America. Their vast network of partners includes venues and promoters offering a variety of services such as ticketing, marketing, and fan engagement tools.
However, the lack of competition in the mainstream ticketing industry has resulted in a system controlled by incumbents. From faulty websites that crash to duplicate tickets, the system is failing fans and audiences alike. In many instances, tickets appeared for exorbitant resale prices on secondary ticket sites such as StubHub and Viagogo, while fans were unable to purchase tickets directly.
Token-gated ticketing is a better way to control how tickets are sold and, more importantly, ‘how’ they get to fans. There are many innovative platforms that demonstrate what is possible when it comes to delivering a better solution for event ticketing. For example, TheTicketFairy, hailed as Tech’s best hope against Ticketmaster, gives fans ways to earn tickets for referring their friends by offering a technologically advanced ticketing platform that not only handles sales and check-ins but acts as a full-stack Salesforce for concerts that can analyse buyers and run ad campaigns while thwarting scalpers. TicketFairy also helps artists understand their audience at a granular level with CRM-level data analytics all-in-one place and allows verification of NFT ownership in real-time, and gives token holders exclusive access.
TIXNGO, from Secutix, is a complete SaaS ticketing platform and mobile ticket wallet used by sports stadiums and teams for live events and by artists like Ed Sheeran. TIXNGO prevents fraud using moving QR-code elements and removes counterfeit tickets by verifying customers using their phones. Their platform upgrades security using unique, encrypted, traceable tickets using blockchain technology and is an agnostic solution that easily integrates with ticketing systems and access control, adding new digital and smart delivery methods for tickets.
Token-gated solutions such as TIXNGO can be used to match token holders with premier seats, pre-show experiences or to simply give ‘fans’ first access to all available tickets for upcoming tours. These ‘token-gated’ tickets can also be used to commemorate and relive live experiences through embedded videos, clips and footage direct from the artist.
By creating token-gated tickets, artists can provide fans with greater options for buying and selling tickets while avoiding the current ‘pain points’ experienced by large numbers of fans. Using token-gated tickets instead of a ‘physical ticket’ allows fans to transfer or sell their tickets easily and would prevent scalpers and bots from ‘stealing’ tickets meant for ‘real’ fans.
Token-gated tickets provide on-chain verification of ownership, rewards for attendance, artist royalties for secondary resale and even benefits from sponsors of events/merchandise etc. The possibilities for creative engagement are endless. While Web3 token-gated ticketing is still in its infancy, several big names have launched specific platforms aimed at this market.
Sports Illustrated, in partnership with ConsenSys, the blockchain-software company, launched SI Box Office, a self-service event management and blockchain ticketing platform that helps events create and sell token-gated tickets. The tickets are all minted on Polygon.
As David Lane, CEO of SI Tickets said:
“This is the opportunity for that consumer – when they come across it tomorrow – to see something that's on-chain and experience a token-gated opportunity, crypto, or anything that the Web3 community is really trying to say. It’s that first entry point, that first NFT experience to check that box.”
These solutions will enable artists and entertainers to control how their tickets are distributed and reward their fans for engagement. At Faculty Entertainment, we believe Artists and Brands can use this technology as another tool to enhance existing programs, inviting mainstream users into the Web3 fold in a meaningful and sustainable way that adds value, most importantly for their fans and customers.