2020 has certainly been a lonely year for many people around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in almost all social events and gatherings being canceled. As a result, online events have become the new normal for almost every industry. While some see this as an innovative development, many industries are struggling to exist due to the lack of ticket sales for events.
For example, the billion-dollar concert and event promotion industry saw sales declined 11.5% on an annualized basis, reaching $ 17.1 billion in 2021. Data continues to show that this decline is a direct result of the coronavirus. Despite the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination, some important live events are still being canceled.
Blockchain for the ticketing industry
Given the current circumstances, ticketing platforms are looking for new ways to ensure revenue growth and customer satisfaction while adapting to today’s digital economy. Blockchain technology in particular is used by large ticket platforms as a solution for providing digital tickets, special offers, updates and more for event visitors.
For example, Live Nation Entertainment – one of the world’s leading live entertainment companies consisting of Ticketmaster, Live Nation concerts and Live Nation sponsorship – will use a blockchain network to attract, communicate and reward ticket holders for the future.
In particular, Live Nation SAS (France) will use TixTo.Me, a digital entertainment wallet created by the ticketing company FanDragon Technologies and Aventus Network, a layer two blockchain protocol.
Alan Rakov, CEO of FanDragon, told Cointelegraph that Live Nation France is looking to find a way to keep its ticket holders, noting that the biggest problem facing the ticketing industry in 2020 will be reimbursing ticket holders for concerts that canceled due to the coronavirus:
“We use blockchain to make sure we know who a ticket holder is and then deliver engaging messages that will help them keep their ticket. We can even send new tickets to ticket holders via the blockchain if an event is postponed. ”
Rakov stated that TixTo.Me ensures that all tickets and vouchers are secured on a single platform, regardless of where they were purchased. “Blockchain is used as a verification tool between ticketing and fans. Fans just enter a barcode and then we check that information to issue a ticket for the blockchain, ”said Rakov.
The Aventus network then processes every transaction. Live Nation France is expected to deliver hundreds of thousands of tickets per year via the TixTo.Me digital wallet.
Contacting ticket holders via a blockchain network
While innovative, it is important to note that using a blockchain network to issue secure, verifiable tickets is not a new development. For example, in December 2019, Ticketmasters vice president of blockchain products explained how the company has been using blockchain for pilot use cases.
The Union of European Football Associations, or better known as UEFA, also announced in February 2020 that 1 million football game cards would be distributed to fans via a blockchain-enabled mobile application.
Although the concept of issuing tickets via a blockchain network has been implemented earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in customers having to keep their tickets. So innovations like TixTo.Me go one step further by allowing organizations and artists to send ticket holders special offers, updates, and engaging content direct to ensure retention. Rakov mentioned:
“Live Nation France can connect with its customers through branding and advertising, which is a big leap for the industry. We now have a complete system for delivering content via a streaming ticket in a mobile app. “
In addition to Live Nation France, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) plans to use blockchain to improve ticket delivery later this year. The BSO recently partnered with True Tickets, a blockchain-based ticketing platform powered by Hyperledger Fabric, to create a ticket buying experience that meets COVID-19 requirements.
Matt Zarracina, co-founder and CEO of True Tickets, told Cointelegraph that the solution will allow the BSO to better know who is holding a ticket from the point of sale to the time the tickets are scanned:
“This enables the BSO to efficiently understand who is actually attending a performance. This solves some of the common challenges venues face today, including regaining control of tickets from the secondary market and better understanding who a venue’s customers are. “
While True Tickets’ blockchain platform ultimately enables BSO customers to bypass calls and physical ticket transactions, digital ticketing also enables BSO to communicate with ticket holders before, after, and during events. Ticket holders will be informed directly of updated policies and procedures regarding pandemic logs. The True Tickets platform will also notify individuals of plans for a reopening, expected to take place this summer in Tanglewood, home of the BSO since 1937.
Consumer Privacy Concerns
Although a number of major ticketing platforms have started using blockchain, privacy concerns remain. This should come as no surprise, however, as privacy laws continue to be fragmented while new technologies like blockchain networks continue to be attacked by sophisticated hackers.
Alan Vey, Co-Founder and CEO of Aventus Network, told Cointelegraph that FanDragon ensures that there is a cryptographic link with every digital ticket, along with proof of association with every user in the FanDragon system. However, no personal data is available in the public area of the blockchain.
Rakov further noted that FanDragon is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union and that the platform itself does not sell tickets. “Different companies sell their own tickets. We only deliver these. We don’t have any transaction-level data. “Following Rakov, Zarracina noted that True Tickets does not collect or store any personal data from event partners or customers.
In addition, platforms such as TixTo.Me and True Tickets can usher in a new era of digital ticketing. Rakov says Live Nation France is currently using TixTo.Me, and the company plans to incorporate new features to meet Live Nation’s current needs.
Zarracina also announced that the event partners of True Tickets no longer viewed the company’s service as “nice to have” due to the pandemic, but rather to a requirement:
“While the doors have closed at most live events, the technological and digital transformation has accelerated behind the scenes. We have a number of new partners that we will be announcing this year. They complement the list of venues that work with True Tickets. “