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Ticketmaster Doubles Down on NFTs in Effort to Boost ‘IRL Experiences’ at Events

Event organizers can now offer unique event experiences using NFTs before, during and after major events through Ticketmaster and blockchain platform Flow.

Despite a cooling crypto market, Ticketmaster is going all in on NFTs. The world’s largest ticketing website will extend its NFT offering in partnership with blockchain platform Flow, allowing event goers to unlock unique experiences before, during and after major events.

Ticketmaster has already issued more than 5 million NFTs to attendees of live sports games and concerts. So far, these NFTs have mostly been limited to commemorative NFTs after an event, akin to a digital ticket stub.

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For example, Ticketmaster issued 700,000 NFTs to attendees of Super Bowl LVI, immortalized with the ticket holder’s unique seat number. In other cases, Ticketmaster NFTs have unlocked rewards and VIP fan extras after an event.

The new rollout, however, will give event organizers even more flexibility to create an enhanced experience before, during and after an event through NFTs. A Ticketmaster spokesperson says this could include access to exclusive discounts and food during the event, as well as merchandise and meet-and-greets.

Ticketmaster, which is part of Live Nation, believes this will bring a more powerful fan experience to live sports and concerts. “Event organizers who choose to offer fans an NFT with their ticket have a real opportunity to make this new technology relevant and relatable at scale,” said Brendan Lynch, Ticketmaster executive vp of enterprise & revenue in a statement.

All Ticketmaster NFTs will be minted on an eco-friendly blockchain called Flow which is best-known as the home of NBA TopShots — an NFT collection that generated more than $700 million in sales in 2021. Flow, created by Dapper Labs, has since become the go-to blockchain for major sporting organizations and entertainment companies including the NFL, UFC and Spain’s soccer league LaLiga.

Minting an NFT on Flow consumes less energy than posting on social media, according to a study by Deloitte, and fees are much lower than larger blockchains like Ethereum. Dapper Labs claims this makes it an optimal solution for consumer-facing experiences such as live events. “Our partnership with Ticketmaster will enable millions of live event fans to immortalize, share and enhance their IRL experiences through digital collectibles,” said Mickey Maher, svp of partnerships at Dapper Labs.

Live events have already proved a powerful, non-speculative use-case for NFTs. For example, many in the crypto community already collect POAPs — proof of attendance badges powered by NFTs — that act as a digital memento of a live event or experience. More than 5 million POAPS have been minted in the last 18 months. Meanwhile, NFT ticketing has the ability to reduce fraud and capture secondary sale royalties for the event organizer.