A recent discovery was made in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that drew the attention of anyone in the vicinity: a hill was found to contain 98% gold in its soil. As can be expected after such a find, anyone within travelling distance with a shovel or fingernails has feverishly been digging away at the mountain, trying to extract its riches.
It’s not too difficult to draw a comparison between this mountain and the recent NFT hype.
If you have been consuming any type of media, social or other, chances are you will have heard the term ‘NFT’ several dozen times over the last few weeks. From Kings of Leon releasing their album as an NFT to sports mogul Ted Leonsis naming the benefits of NFTs in sports to digital artist Beeple auctioning off an NFT artwork for $69 million through esteemed auction house Christie’s.
Needless to say, there is a lot of hype around those three letters right now, as everyone begins sticking their shovels into this newly discovered mountain of gold. There seems to be no end to what it can provide; common dirt clusters are suddenly invaluable gems.
“NFT ticketing is a use case worth taking very seriously”
The obvious counter-response to a new trend that seems to be making everyone and their mother ridiculous amounts of money without any significant friction is to question its legitimacy.
However, simply dismissing NFTs as a fad or a money-grab would be a wasted opportunity. There is indeed merit to it, especially as its application and use cases are developed and fine-tuned.
For everyone in the entertainment industry, and especially the ticketing business, reading up on the possibilities and potential implementations of NFTs should be required homework.
I’ll explain why we’ve been working on an NFT ticketing approach over the past year at GET Protocol, and how we see it shaping the future of events.
But first, some basics. What is an NFT?
“The term is short for non-fungible token and, in plain English, refers to a small digital file – such as a drawing, a short video clip or even a tweet – that has been registered as one of a kind, or one of a limited batch, using blockchain software.” — Decrypt
Over the past few months NFTs have proven themselves useful in allowing digital content creators to take ownership over their craft and content. An artist now no longer relies on intermediaries such as agents, galleries or publishers to get their work in the hands of their (potential) fans.
While the headlines are filled with astronomical bidding wars and overnight millionaires, there’s a lot more to it than hot shot auctions and digital art, where most of the hype has originated from thus far.
“Dismissing NFTs as a fad or a money-grab would be a wasted opportunity”
NFT ticketing is a use case worth taking very seriously. When applied correctly, it enables ticket issuers a variety of benefits that impact and drastically improve the ticketing experience. Both for the fan and the organizer or artist.
Here are three benefits of NFT tickets we are embracing and will be offering to the ticketing companies using GET Protocol. Feel free to copy, tweak or critique them at your own discretion.
A. Perpetual revenue
Since NFT tickets are programmable, it is possible to introduce a built-in ‘royalty split’ for any resale on the secondary market. Profit sharing can be tweaked to the liking of the ticket issuer and written into the smart contract code.
Finally, those who actually deliver the value can profit from secondary ticket sales, instead of greedy touts or resale platforms. All without any need for complicated accounting or external parties.
B. Tickets as collectibles
This might seem gimmicky, but the sentimental experience of fandom should not be overlooked. Think of a digitised version of sticking the ticket to an unforgettable night on your refrigerator, only with way more possibilities to maximise the memories and cultivate a longstanding connection with a fan.
As NFTs, tickets can turn into proof-of-attendance badges (we are partnering with POAP for this purpose) which can be shown off online and even traded. It can also allow you to find and reward your diehard fans who go to every show, for example by sending exclusive content to those fans in possession of a previously issued ticket. The possibilities and variations here are limitless.
C. Pre-financing of future events
We are working on a ‘DeFi’ (decentralised finance – don’t worry, we’ll save that for another blog) approach that will allow event organisers to use their ticket inventory as collateral. This will enable organisers to offer up their (NFT) tickets for investment prior to making any organisational costs.
This type of crowdfund investing can help organisers mitigate (part of) the risk of setting up a new event. Especially in a post-Covid world, this can be a welcome change. Read more about this functionality here.
If you want to know more about the technical workings of our NFT ticketing approach, I highly recommend this blog: Tokenizing the right of entry — Using NFTs to solve ticket scalping.
Of course, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. As with all new developments there are certain doubts and downsides being propagated which are worth mentioning briefly.
The two major counter-arguments heard right now are:
- “It’s a bubble.” Certainly not every artwork is going to be sold for 69m dollars, nor is every initiative currently being founded and funded going to make a difference in the world. If you are looking to make a quick buck by speculating on NFT artworks, there is an ever-increasing chance that you might be too late and will end up taking a loss. However, if you approach the innovations that are taking place with a curious perspective, you will uncover ‘game-changer’ elements in many shapes and sizes.
- “It’s bad for the environment.” The most (loud) opposing voices use this argument to disqualify NFTs outright. While excessive energy consumption certainly is a factor worth monitoring and combating, there seems to be a lot of misinformation and confusion fuelling this particular train of thought. On top of that, there are several eco-friendly NFT initiatives already out there, and many more on the way. If you want to get a somewhat balanced sense of what this discussion entails, here are two recommendations: #1, #2.
Humble advice: Be critical – but don’t miss out by being a boomer. 😉
As NFT applications mature we will begin to see where the longevity lies and how impactful the newly uncovered innovations are going to be. There will undoubtedly be growing pains and challenges along the way, but all signs indicate that the road ahead is worth the trouble.
As long as you look close enough, there’s gold to be found for everyone.
Olivier Biggs is a marketeer at GET Protocol and GUTS Tickets. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to get in touch via the GET Protocol website or follow the company’s developments on Twitter.