Event ticketing is as good a fit as any other industry for blockchain technology. The blockchain’s solution to the double-spend problem can trivially be applied to ticket issues to eliminate fraudulent ticket duplication, for example. And its inherent transparency could eliminate over-pricing to boot.
As a result, a number of event ticketing ICOs have come to market over the course of 2017 and 2018, most notably Aventus, Blockparty and EventChain, in a bid to disrupt the strangle-hold of current ticketing monoliths.
One such monolith is Ticketmaster which has come in for severe criticism over the years, particularly in relation to surcharges on the face value of ticket prices as well as its allocation policies. It seems, however, that Ticketmaster has finally anticipated what may be arriving on the blockchain horizon, and has set out to undercut future challenges from distributed ledger technology by acquiring blockchain startup UPGRADED.
“UPGRADED leverages Blockchain to maximize trust for ticket holders, to give control and flexibility to content owners, and data to teams and performers. We’re proud of what we’ve built and are looking forward to working with the incredible team at Ticketmaster to help us scale,” indicated UPGRADED CEO in its official press release on the takeover.
The development points to yet another risk faced by ICOs looking to disrupt existing industries. Whilst blockchain technology can often offer the promise of improvement for a range of industries, the Ticketmaster episode demonstrates that projects that have already achieved scale can simply undermine blockchain-based competitors by going blockchain themselves.
But it may not all be doom and gloom for Ticketmaster’s own blockchain challengers, however, with some observers indicating that Ticketmaster may have too many vested interests to offer the same level of transparency as its DLT challengers.