Blockparty takes on $57 billion live events industry with blockchain-powered event ticketing, app available now
Blockparty is a new app in the race to be first mover in a blockchain-based world. The team has chosen to take on live event ticketing with a new ticketing platform/app which is now available in the iOS App Store. Founded by a team of execs from the live events and blockchain industries, Blockparty is trying to eliminate common frustrations with the current ticket purchasing experience such as ticket fraud, lengthy event check-in protocols, and predatory secondary market resellers.
Shiv Madan, CEO of Blockparty, said in a statement:
“We want to rid the world of ticket bots and scalpers. We also want people to be able to easily transfer event tickets and safely purchase secondary tickets. We’re proud to be able to offer a blockchain platform that can do that, and we are incredibly excited for festival goers, music lovers, sports fans, and all live event attendees alike to experience what we’ve built as we roll out marquee event partnerships over the coming months.”
To improve the ticket purchasing process, Blockparty’s smart contracts eliminate bulk buying by bots and unfair re-pricing on secondary markets by restricting the resale to the proprietary platform. Then by using encrypted facial recognition and fingerprinting technology, Blockparty in theory also eliminates the possibility of fraud and counterfeit tickets, ensuring that only the true owner of a ticket can access it (while allowing user identity to remain completely anonymized.) Blockparty also presents benefits for live event organizers, ticketing companies, venues, and performers by allowing event operators to easily deliver tickets directly to customers, set prices, rewards, and discounts, as well as earn a share of secondary ticket sales revenues.
The real question is whether the multi-sided market is ready to embrace something like this, and whether upstarts like Blockparty can take on some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world. It’s hard to imagine LiveNation or Ticketmaster giving up their insanely high ticketing fees without a fight. Blockparty’s attempt is a valiant one, but without a slew of events for users to choose from at launch, it’s hard to imagine the app getting much traction in the early days. The key will be for the company to find a big festival that’s willing to take a chance on them and run their entire ticketing sale through Blockparty. Or maybe they should just throw their own festival. With the amount of money pouring into blockchain startups these days, it’s not hard to imagine this being a possibility.
Blockparty’s public launch follows its first use at Elements Lakewood Music Festival, which drew more than five thousand attendees over Memorial Day weekend. Blockparty was used for ticketing of an exclusive event for hundreds of festival goers, which featured DJ sets and other special performances.
Dancing Astronaut sat with with Blockparty CEO Shiv Madan for some follow-up questions:
What is the breakdown of events?
Blockparty has just launched on iOS and we have an exciting lineup of events that we will be announcing over the course of June and July. These events will be progressively added to the platform. During 2018, we’ll mainly be hosting music festivals and concerts as well as technology events and conferences. We’ll initially be in 5-6 major cities across the United States.
Can Blockparty work with established venues that have deals with hard ticket companies, or is this just for independents?
The platform can work in partnership with existing ticketing companies and venues, as well as with independents. The technology is modular and can be partially or wholly integrated, even where there are existing ticketing relationships. For example, we can provide an enclosed secondary ticketing market for a venue, event promoter or primary ticketing company, where they can earn a share of secondary ticket revenue.
When I signed up, I didn’t have to create a password, and the blockchain tech isn’t readily apparent. Am I missing the tech integration?
Our blockchain tech operates seamlessly in the background. This is deliberate so that ticket buyers can comfortably jump onto the platform and use it in the way that they would with other ticketing apps.
The only thing you will notice is you wont need to create a password. We anonymize and encrypt your “digital identity” (your Touch ID, facial recognition data or pin code) which is stored on the blockchain. This acts as your password to access your ticket. This technology enables fraud proof ticket transfers in the secondary market, that is, by attaching digital identity to the ticket, we ensure that the ticket owner is the user of the ticket at the gate.
What payments processing is used? Is there a fee?
We use Stripe for first payment processing, and they have their own processing fee. Events to date on the Blockparty platform have not had a fee.