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Ticketmaster's NFT-Gated Ticket Access is Nice ... but so is Advanced AMEX Ticket Access

The new feature, pioneered by the band Avenged Sevenfold, brings a nice feature to the platform, but is it a slap in the face to fans?

In 2021 Ticketmaster partnered with Polygon to issue commemorative NFTs through the end of the NFL season, launching the start of their web3 dabbling. The "virtual commemorative tickets" were issued to attendees via the Ticketmaster Digital Wallet and are verifiable on the Polygon network.

Ticketmaster continued its web3 exploration in 2022 by partnering with the eco-friendly blockchain Flow; first in February to issue 70,000 digital collectibles to Super Bowl LVI ticket owners and again in November to event organizers across the platform.

Today the ticketing giant announced their latest step into web3 with NFT-gated ticket sales, starting with the band Avenged Sevenfold. Owners of the 10,000 Deathbats Club NFTs were offered early access to buy tickets to the band’s upcoming New York City and Los Angeles shows in June.

Basically, if you own the NFT you had early ticket access ... just like confirmed Verified Fan Access, AMEX card holders, Credit One card holders, Chase card holders, and various other partnerships that Ticketmaster has.

Some pretty unique utility, however, included preferred seating in the 100s, exclusive merch, and exclusive discounts, but nothing that hasn't been offered to communities before.

These baby steps in web3 that event organizers and attendees are demanding immediately are a slap in the face and show resistance to change from the monopoly.

Here's how the NFT-gated tickets work with Ticketmaster:

  1. Anyone is able to connect their Metamask wallet to the official ticketing website.

  2. From here, users are able to select the package they want to request to purchase. Fees for these packages range from 23% to 33%.

  3. Once selected, users can submit their request for the tickets. This is not a guaranteed sale for the tickets.

  4. When approved, tickets will be issued to the individual's Ticketmaster account.

If approved, attendees will be charged for and issued their tickets alongside their virtual commemorative tickets, which can be viewed at If a requestee does not own one of the NFTs, they will not be issued their tickets.

Meaning it's not true NFT-gating. At no point is there transparent verification, purchasing, or issuing of the tickets.

Over the past several years, Ticketmaster has been infamous for several platform issues, the most notorious being the immense platform fees associated with ticket purchases, and a very close second being the lack of transparency around those fees. The technology exists to rectify these issues, as Ticketmaster knows following its acquisition of the blockchain ticketing platform UPGRADED in 2018.

Canadian-American singer and songwriter Neil Young has spoken out about the exorbitant fees, writing in his blog "It’s over. The old days are gone. I get letters blaming me for $3,000.00 tickets for a benefit I am doing. That money does not go to me or the benefit. Artists have to worry about ripped-off fans blaming them for Ticketmaster add-ons and scalpers."

Thankfully many blockchain ticketing platforms have emerged over the past few years, including Blockchain ticketing not only rectifies the platform issues but provides additional benefits for each ticket holder:

  1. NFT-gated tickets are truly NFT-gated, utilizing wallets containing specific smart contracts ownership for verification, purchase, ticket distribution, and utility distribution.

  2. Tickets are secured on-chain and can be verified including the original owner and price sold for

  3. Operational fees are considerably cheaper, resulting in platforms like having service fees of 3% or less

  4. Ticket fraud & scalping is eliminated with QR code rotation and wallet-to-mobile-to-attendee verification

Event organizers and attendees need platforms that implement full-scale digital transformation while integrating into 360 engagement strategies. The focus must be on ease of use for the consumer while enforcing new behaviors through technology that benefits all ends. By focusing on an ongoing engagement strategy, event organizers can leverage blockchain technology to directly provide:

📸 Exclusive content including footage, highlights, AI personalized videos, etc into attendees' web3 wallets

👕 Limited edition merchandise for the most engaged fans

🏷 Special deals, discounts, and packages that can be activated via NFT/Token gating

🎟️ Tickets to future events, side events, parties, etc. throughout the year

🖼️ Special memorabilia like proof of attendance NFTs

In the end, stay clear-headed when navigating the current ticketing landscape. What we're seeing is the use of clickbait from a monopolistic entity that wants consumers and event organizers to believe they are making the necessary strides, but if you look closely under the hood, there is almost zero blockchain connectivity at all.

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