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The Complete Guide to NFT Tickets

August 16, 2022 - 16 min read

From Preventing Fraud to Creating NFT Collectibles, NFTs Are Set to Revolutionize The Ticketing Industry 

Despite fluctuations in the crypto market, the NFT sector is still incredibly popular, growing to a $41 billion market in 2021 alone, according to a report from Chainalysis. While most people think of NFTs, they solely think of generative art projects like the explosively popular Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). However, NFTs present an incredible value proposition in a wide variety of industries, including ticketing. NFTs can help transform the ticketing industry in a wide variety of ways, including preventing fraud, improving efficiency, and allowing for the creation of collectible NFT tickets. 

While physical tickets were once collectible items, the digitization of tickets into QR codes sent to users’ email addresses has effectively derailed this trend– but NFT tickets could help revive it. Therefore, in addition to providing additional functionality, NFT tickets can become valued collectibles. They are also more durable than paper tickets, since paper tickets can be lost and destroyed, however, NFT tickets will always remain in the user’s wallet, as long as they still have access to it. 

How NFT Ticketing Works

Just like other NFTs, NFT tickets are one-of-a-kind tokens stored on a specific blockchain, which can be transferred from the issuer to the buyer’s wallet. The organizers of the event can mint as many tickets as they need, including using batch minting protocols (as we’ll dive into more later). These NFTs can be coded to sell at a set price, or can be auctioned off using a proprietary platform, or using an existing NFT marketplace such as OpenSea. In addition, NFT tickets allow owners to resell their tickets on NFT marketplaces.

NFT Tickets Prevent Fraud and Unethical Scalping 

Right now, the ticketing industry is rife with fraud, with countless unethical individuals selling fake tickets, and others buying tickets en masse only to sell them back to customers at unfair, sky-high prices. In fact, a recent poll indicated that 12% of all concert tickets are counterfeit. This is because, right now, there is no effective way to track the history of ticket transactions from the original issuer to the end user. 

With the advent of NFT tickets, the issuer of the NFT can track exactly how and when the ticket is transferred from wallet to wallet, and can potentially create stopgaps that prevent both mass scalping and excessive trading. 

For instance, if many tickets are traded from the same wallet in a short period of time, or if a ticket changes hands more than a certain number of times, these tickets could potentially be deactivated by the issuer. In situations where the issuer wants the ticket to be non-transferrable, this can also be built into the NFT ticket. These technologies are especially important in the fight against ticket bots, automated pieces of software that buy up hundreds or thousands of tickets in just seconds with the intent to sell them later for a higher price. 

NFT Ticketing Creates a Fairer Secondary Market for Tickets 

While NFT tickets can prevent mass scalping, not all ticket sales in the secondary market are unethical, and if someone cannot attend an event, it’s only fair that they should be able to resell their tickets to another party at an agreed upon (and hopefully reasonable) price. The problem is that many tickets are pre-set with the specific buyer’s name, which can sometimes make these tickets difficult or impossible to use by the secondary market buyer. Since NFT tickets are virtually impossible to fake, a secondary market buyer can rest assured that they are not purchasing a fake or expired ticket. 

NFT Ticketing Can Be Cheaper, Faster, and More Lucrative Than Traditional Methods

While NFT tickets can prevent mass scalping, not all ticket sales in the secondary market are unethical, and if someone cannot attend an event, it’s only fair that they should be able to resell their tickets to another party at an agreed upon (and hopefully reasonable) price. The problem is that many tickets are pre-set with the specific buyer’s name, which can sometimes make these tickets difficult or impossible to use by the secondary market buyer. Since NFT tickets are virtually impossible to fake, a secondary market buyer can rest assured that they are not purchasing a fake or expired ticket. 

Instead of using legacy software to create digital tickets, NFT tickets can be minted in only minutes. This makes the entire process easier and more efficient for all users. However, this is not the only financial benefit for NFT ticket issuers. 

Since NFTs are fully programmable, NFT tickets can send a certain royalty/revenue split to the initial issuer each time the NFT is sold or transferred. NFT tickets also allow ticket issuers to gather significantly more accurate data on ticket usage, which they can use for business purposes and future marketing efforts. NFT tickets can also be used for co-promotions, such as food and drink deals, discounts for future NFT tickets, or even rewarding repeat fans who have purchased many NFT tickets using the same wallet. 

NFT Ticketing and Dynamic NFTs 

Most NFTs are minted on the Ethereum blockchain, using the popular ERC-721 standard. However, many NFT tickets instead use the newer ERC-1155 standard, which was developed by Enjin Games in June 2018. The ERC-1155 has a variety of advantages when compared to the legacy ERC-721 standard. Primary among these is the ability to mint dynamic NFTs– NFTs that change over time due to various conditions programmed into the NFT’s smart contract. 

ERC-1155 dynamic NFTs have the ability to transition from a fungible token (like ERC-20 NFTs), which can be traded on a 1:1 basis for other tokens at the market price, to a one-of-a-kind NFT. This is particularly relevant to NFT ticketing, as an NFT ticket can be programmed to be a fungible token before the event occurs, and after the event, transition to a collectible NFT which can no longer be traded on 1:1 basis for other identical tokens, helping to prevent fraudsters from selling expired tickets as if they were new ones. 

Another benefit for ERC-1155 NFTs is that these tokens can be minted and transferred in massive batches, which exponentially reduces gas fees, particularly for NFTs using the Ethereum Layer-1 mainnet, instead of a Layer-2 like Polygon or Arbitrum. 

ERC-1155 dynamic NFTs can also have a variety of other properties which are relevant to the ticketing and entertainment space. For example, a specialized ticket NFT could be programmed to share a specific portion of a concert’s revenue with the NFT holder. By selling an NFT upfront and sharing part of an event’s profits later, smaller organizations (such as regional bands) can fund upcoming concert tours in a unique way. 

In addition, dynamic NFTs inside video games can be utilized to provide ticket access to real-world events. This can even depend on the NFTs specific usage inside the game. For example, if an NFT holder wins a specific in-game challenge, their NFT could gain in-game value over time. These NFTs could also automatically give access to additional perks, such as access to real-world events, perhaps by sending a new (airdropped) NFT to the holder’s address. The ticket could also be integrated with the original NFT, which would effectively limit event access to the original holder, making it impossible to trade without selling the NFT, but potentially making the event in question more exclusive. 

NFT Concert Tickets and Sports Tickets Turn Tickets Into Collectibles 

Another major benefit of NFT tickets is the ability to turn these tickets into valuable collectibles. Real-world tickets for famous events have become incredibly expensive collectors’ items. For example, a ticket from Michael Jordan’s first NBA game recently sold for $468,000. Unfortunately, just like the general ticket industry, the collectible ticket industry is rife with fraud. However, NFT tickets can remedy this. 

Beacuse each NFT can be verified on the blockchain, there is immutable, on-chain proof that an NFT is exactly what it claims to be. The NFTs history can also easily be checked using a blockchain explorer. 

In addition to simple NFT tickets, NFT tickets can be combined with original video, personalized audio recordings, and even original digital signatures of the event presenters, such as band members, athletes, or well-known speakers.

While the collectible aspect of NFT tickets can certainly provide new revenue streams for the ticket issuer, it can also be a powerful way to raise money for charity. NFT tickets can be auctioned online, with all or part of the revenues going to a specific charity. In addition, a certain percentage of royalties from each sale can also be sent to the organization, allowing the NFT’s re-sales to support the charity over time. 

NFT Tickets for Digital Events In The Metaverse

While NFT ticketing is already having a major impact on real-world events, it’s also already having a major impact on digital events– particularly events in the metaverse. 

Metaverse events are growing in popularity, with a recent fashion show in Decentraland attracting some of the world’s largest fashion houses, including Tommy Hilfiger, Perry Ellis, and Dolce and Gabbana and selling thousands of dollars of in-game NFT wearables. And, in 2020, a virtual Travis Scott concert hosted in Fortnite attracted more than 27 million players, ranking it as the largest concert in human history. 

While NFT tickets were not required to attend these specific events, future events like this will likely have VIP NFT tickets that provide exclusive access or exclusive perks. Warner Media recently purchased a large concert venue as an NFT in the Sandbox metaverse, and Universal Music Group recently brought artist Jamiroquai into The Sandbox with immersive games and live concerts. 

NFT Tickets for Events Allow Organizations To Gather Data on Customers 

With current ticket solutions, it can be difficult for ticket issuers to track exactly how, and by who, their tickets are being used. This issue is exacerbated by the high amount of secondary market ticket sales, making it hard to track who attended the event. NFTs can help solve this problem by tracking ownership of the NFT over time. 

This allows them to gather better data on customers/attendees to better market to them in the future. It also allows organizations to directly market to ticket holders by airdropping informational NFTs about future events. For example, if an NFT holder attended one event, they could get airdropped an NFT giving them a discount on tickets for a new event, as well as potentially free NFT merchandise to reward them for attending the original event and encouraging them to participate in future events. 

NFT Tickets Can Increase Community Engagement 

Online music and celebrity fan communities are incredibly engaged– and so are crypto and NFT communities. By issuing NFT tickets, organizations can effectively merge these two communities, and spur on the creation of new communities, both on legacy platforms like Twitter and Reddit, and on newer, faster-growing platforms like Discord. This increases overall fan engagement and makes future ticket sales even more likely. 

Major Organizations Using NFT Tickets

A variety of major organizations and groups have already started to use NFT tickets. Some of these include: 

Coachella: Coachella recently developed its own NFT marketplace, selling 10 lifetime pass ticket NFTs for a staggering $1.5 million, with one ticket selling for more than $250,000. 

Coinbase: Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace recently started selling NFTs for the famed Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City, which also provided buyers a free NFT which gave them access to a VIP lounge. 

South by South West (SXSW): The organizers of the most recent SXSW festival sold a variety of NFTs, including collectible NFT merchandise which allowed specialized event access. 

Wimbledon: Wimbledon recently sold an NFT of Andy Murray’s 2013 win. The NFT included two VIP tour experiences, which included exclusive tickets to the Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Final 2022 and a 30-minute personal game of tennis with Andy Murray. 

WarnerMedia: While selling tickets to their DC FanDome event, WarnerMedia’s DC Comics recently gave out comic book NFTs to accompany the tickets. 

The NFL: The NFL recently partnered with Ticketmaster to offer limited edition NFT commemorative tickets. These NFL NFT tickets will be offered at 100 games during the 2022 season. 

The Top NFT Ticketing Companies 

When it comes to NFT tickets, there are a variety of companies innovating in the space. As of 2022, some of the top NFT ticketing companies include: 

1. Oveit

Oveit is a company that allows customers to create, mint, and sell NFT tickets. The company focuses on helping its clients bundle NFT tickets with additional perks. Tickets use Enjin’s increasingly popular ERC-1155 NFT standard, which allows for the creation of dynamic NFTs. 

The company allows NFT tickets to be purchased with both fiat currencies and crypto through the company’s platform. The process is made significantly easier through Oviet’s partnerships with companies like PayPal, Stripe and Crypto.com, which allows for near-instantaneous payments. Due to this, money from ticket sales immediately lands in a customer’s account. Customers can either directly use the Oveit marketplace or embed the marketplace widget on their own website. 

Oveit also focuses on easy customer data collection, and allows its data to be exported to programs like Mailchimp. The company’s mobile app also allows clients to observe live check-ins and ticket statuses. 

Oveit’s NFT ticket platform is built on the popular Ethereum Layer-2 blockchain Polygon, which provides many of the game security and liveness guarantees of the Ethereum mainnet, but with significantly faster transaction times, with an effective average 1,000 TPS (transactions per second) compared to Ethereum’s average TPS of 10-15. Polygon gas fees are also exponentially lower than Ethereum gas fees, with average gas fees between $0.0005 to $0.2, compared to Ethereum’s average gas fees of around $40 (though they have fallen to around $1.50 as of the writing of this article). 

The company’s starter plan is free, while their professional plan starts at just $49 per month. 

2. GET Protocol

GET Protocol is another emerging NFT ticketing company. Get Protocol provides ticket issuers a white label set of products, including allowing customers to create their own custom ticket wallet app and their own real-time ticket sales and ticket status dashboard. The company offers a developer hub to allow further customization of their platform. 

According to the company, they provide ticketing services for over 200 events per month and have helped companies create NFT tickets in 121 countries. GET Protocol also focuses on providing ticket issuers royalties from secondary market sales. 

In addition to its ticketing services, the protocol has a real-time NFT ticket explorer, where users and the public can enter a wallet address, NFT ID, or index to determine the status of a ticket. Just like Oveit, GET protocol operates on the Etheruem Level-2 blockchain Polygon. The company is also in the process of launching a DeFi-oriented event financing platform. 

3. B.A.M.

B.A.M. offers both off-of-shelf and white label NFT ticketing solutions. Like other NFT ticketing companies, they focus on preventing fraud through verified NFT tickets, as well as allowing ticket issuers to gain royalties through secondary market sales. Unlike other platforms, however, B.A.M. allows issuers to cap maximum NFT products to prevent unfair scalping. The company also focuses on helping clients gather in-depth data about their ticket sales. 

Also unlike many other NFT ticketing services, B.A.M. operates on its own custom Layer-1 blockchain. Benefits of their Layer-1 protocol include advanced ticketing smart contracts​, easy integration with payment services like PayPal and Stripe, and extremely high speeds, clocking in at over 2,000 TPS. Another interesting service is the ability to integrate health passes into individual tickets, which has become important in recent years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. B.A.M.’s ticketing service supports integration with major ticket providers like Expedia, Ticketmaster, Eventbrite, Airbnb, Lufthansa, StubHub, and Starbucks, among many others. The company also offers its own digital wallet. 

4. YellowHeart

YellowHeart is perhaps the largest NFT ticket market for major music celebrities and brand-name events, including nationwide and international concert tours. The company has provided NFT ticketing services to various major acts, including XXXtentacion, Kings of Leon, and Maroon 5, among many others. 

Like other NFT ticketing providers, YellowHeart focuses on secondary market royalties to ensure that the original artist continues to profit from ticket resales. It also allows for NFT ticket holders to gain specialized memberships enabling access to special venues, and allowing them to get exclusive VIP perks. The company also focuses on digital/physical NFT pairings, including issuing NFTs representing physical items and merchandise such as vinyl and cassettes. 

YellowHeart also has Community DAO that helps to govern its continually innovating NFT ecosystem. Like several other companies in the space, YellowHeart has its own wallet app, which also offers live and recorded music streaming. Unlike other providers, however, it does not focus on providing white-label solutions. 

5. NFT TiX 

NFT TiX is a decentralized NFT ticketing platform. It focuses on a wide array of industries, with a particular emphasis on sports, games, and music events. 

The platform is fully non-custodial and is built on the Ethereum blockchain. However, it can integrate with other EMV-compatible chains, such as Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain (now BNB Smart Chain), Polygon, Arbitrum, or Fantom. 

6. WICKET

WICKET is an Italian company that has created a mobile-first NFT ticket marketplace designed for ticket issuers  Scalping is a major problem worldwide but is a particularly serious issue in Italy, where many scalpers sell tickets for more than 1,000% of the original price. The company also uses unique QR codes to make the ticketing process easier for ticket holders. 

WICKET allows issuers to utilize some of the most specific pricing controls in the industry via dynamic pricing. Dynamic pricing allows for ticket issuers to create more advanced pricing methods, such as pricing early-bird tickets at less than tickets that are sold closer to the event. It can also reduce the price of NFTs sold after the event as collectibles. It can also be used to reduce pricing for certain groups, perhaps those with exclusive NFTs such as VIP access passes. WICKET is itself built on the GET Protocol. 

7. GUTS

GUTS is an NFT ticket platform focusing on events including museum exhibitions, concerts, and other unique cultural events, including live streams. Like many other NFT ticketing platforms, GUTS focuses on providing controlled resale prices, resale royalties, scalping prevention tools, and providing detailed data to ticket issuers. It also emphasizes real-time communication and updates for ticket holders. 

Like WICKET, GUTS also runs on the GET Protocol. GUTS makes use of GET’s utility token which helps govern and power the marketplace but is not necessary for customers or ticket holders to use. The GET token is currently available for sale on the decentralized exchange SushiSwap and the centralized exchange Bittrex. The company has reportedly sold over 600,000 NFT tickets. 

8. SeatlabNFT/Seatlab 

SeatlabNFT is one of the newest NFT ticketing marketplaces in the industry. Unlike other platforms, it uses the increasingly popular NEAR protocol blockchain. Ticket holders owning tickets issued on the SeatlabNFT platform are rewarded with collectible airdrops that they can resell later. In addition, ticket holders themselves– not just the original issuer, are paid royalties from the future resale of the ticket. 

Like other blockchain ticket platforms, price caps can also be issued to prevent scalping. Instead of QR codes, Seatlab utilizes NFC (near-field communication) technology to verify tickets, preventing fraud and counterfeiting. And, like GET Protocol, SeatlabNFT has a unique governance token, the $SEAT token, which allows users to claim exclusive rewards. 

SeatlabNFT also has a sister platform, Seatlab (formerly Seatedly), which provides white label NFT ticket services and software implementation for ticket issuers. Unlike SeatlabNFT, Seatlab uses the Solana blockchain, but also utilizes NFC technology for ticket verification. 

In Conclusion: NFT Tickets Represent The Future of Live and Digital Entertainment 

NFT tickets are just in their beginning phase, but they’re catching up fast. Blockchain-based tickets offer many benefits over their traditional counterparts, and more benefits are being discovered as the technology begins to mature. Perhaps most importantly, NFT tickets prevent fraud, counterfeiting, and scalping via verifiable tickets and built-in price controls. They can also provide royalties to the original ticket issuer each time it is sold. 

NFT tickets also can become valuable collectibles that can be traded on the secondary market. In addition, these tickets also represent the future for in-metaverse events in games like The Sandbox and Decentraland, which are only growing more popular over time. With the advent of dynamic NFTs, it is possible to convert an asset from a fungible to a non-fungible token, and their characteristics can change and develop over time. 

For smaller organizations, pre-sales of NFT tickets, particularly those with royalty splits, can help raise money for upcoming events, such as concert tours. Plus, they can be a great way to raise money for charity. Finally, NFT tickets help create more actively engaged communities, improving the marketability and sales of future tickets and merchandise. 

NFT tickets are already being used by some of the world’s largest and most influential sports and entertainment organizations, including the NFL, WarnerMedia, and Wimbledon. As NFT technology evolves, and crypto and blockchain technology becomes more mainstream, NFT tickets may even become more popular than their traditional counterparts. 

References: 

  1. Dailey, N. (Jan. 2022) NFTs ballooned to a $41 billion market in 2021 and are catching up to the total size of the global fine art market. Business Insider. 
  2. Takyar, A. How can NFT Ticketing disrupt the ticketing industry?. LeewayHertz.  
  3. Leonhardt, M. (Sept. 2018) About 12 percent of people buying concert tickets get scammed. CNBC. 
  4. (Mar. 2022) ERC-1155 Multi-Token Standard. Ethereum.org
  5. McCaskill, S. (Jul. 2022)NFL will offer free commemorative ticket NFTs at 100 games during 2022 season. SportsPro. 
  6. Oveit: Create, mint, and sell NFT tickets. Oveit. 
  7. GET Protocol: Find out what your tickets can do. GET Protocol. 
  8. B.A.M.: The NFT Ticketing Company. B.A.M. 
  9. YellowHeart. YellowHeart. 
  10. NFT TiX: NFT Tickets for Music, Sports, Games, and More. NFT TiX. 
  11. WICKET digital tickets free from frauds. WICKET. 
  12. GUTS: honest ticketing. GUTS. 
  13. SeatLabNFT:  NFTs — New, Fairer Ticketing. SeatLabNFT
  14. Seatlab: Take control of your ticketing. Seatlab. 

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