Ticketing industry giant Ticketmaster is entering the NFT space following a six-month pilot program. The company is set to issue NFT tickets for live events through the Flow blockchain.
According to a Wednesday press release, event organizers using Ticketmaster’s service can now issue NFTs before, during, and after live events. The company noted that its goal is to help organizers “unlock unique integrations throughout the fan journey.”
In 2021, Ticketmaster teamed up with Polygon to expand the NFL’s virtual ticket stub NFT initiative to as many as 100 live games in the 2022 season. However, the company decided to migrate to the Flow blockchain this year, piloting the partnership with a collection of over 70,000 digital tokens issued to holders of Super Bowl LV1 tickets.
While some of the NFTs will be simply digital collectibles, others will carry additional perks, such as loyalty rewards and celebrity meetings.
Ticketmaster has been quietly working on its NFT functionality over the last six months. The company has already minted more than 5 million NFTs on the Flowblockchain within the said period for acts and organizers like “the Apollo Theater, Sebastian Maniscalco, rock band the Black Crowes, and singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw.”
Is NFT ticketing the future?
NFT ticketing appears to be the answer to some of the problems plaguing the traditional ticket industry. For one, event organizers can create NFT tickets on the blockchain and forward them to customers digitally. Customers, in turn, can store these NFTs in a wallet that can be accessed on any device.
While there are a lot of things that go on in the background of NFT ticketing, the innovation offers benefits such as faster production time, lower costs, and mitigates against counterfeit bills and scams.
Built by Andreessen Horowitz-backed Dapper Labs, Flow blockchain gained traction in the NFT market by promoting sports and sports-themed memorabilia. Dapper Labs is behind successful NFT projects like NBA Top Shots, NFL All Day, and UFC Strike.
The collaboration with Ticketmaster points to how NFTs are transforming traditional markets. Ticketmaster is by far the largest player in the ticketing industry to embrace the NFT movement. It is one of the world’s leading players in the ticketing industry, dominating a major share of the American sports market. The company has inked deals with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), the United States Tennis Association, and National Hockey League (NHL), among others.
In general, the move signals a growing interest from both the NFL and Ticketmaster for Web3 technologies. For instance, the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, earlier this year, offered metaverse-themed virtual reality participation options for Oculus users.