The future of ticketing with SeatlabNFT

Tom Hudson, Principal Product Lead at Beyond, and Elissa Santamaria, former UX Designer at Beyond, share about their exploration of the NEAR protocol looking at how NFTs are reimagining the ticketing industry.

June 9, 2022
Tom, Senior Product Lead, merges design acumen and product strategy, drawing on projects from Google to SeatLab.
9 min read
9 min read
June 9, 2022
Tom, Senior Product Lead, merges design acumen and product strategy, drawing on projects from Google to SeatLab.

The next generation of ticketing

Beyond has partnered with the NEAR Foundation to provide market and user research services to companies within the NEAR Ecosystem. This article looks at SeatlabNFT, a UK based company focussed on creating a better future for the ticketing industry. To understand why SeatlabNFT is working within this space, it’s worth knowing more about the ticketing industry and how it functions.

A screen grab of the Seatlab website. The heading says "NFT's --New, Fairer Ticketing. An NFT event ticketing marketplace helping artists foster closer connections with fan, eliminating fraud and reducing the impact of scalping".

The current ticketing industry is far from perfect. Some of the issues within this industry, such as ticket scalping and ticket touts, are well known as many people have experienced this when booking tickets to events. What we didn’t know before this engagement was the scale of the issue. It is estimated that 40% of tickets are purchased by ticket touts or bots. Another issue is fake tickets; a fact that surprised us was that an estimated 12% of tickets are fraudulent.

How SeatlabNFT plan to improve the ticketing industry

SeatlabNFT aims to solve these issues by issuing tickets as NFTs. NFTs stands for ‘Non-Fungible Tokens’. In essence, NFTs allow you to represent anything, in this case tickets, as a unique asset and manage its ownership. By moving ticketing on-chain, they can stop fraudulent tickets and scalping by having an immutable record on the blockchain for each unique NFT ticket. You can find out more about NFTs and how they work by following the links at the end of the article.

We’ve all heard examples of events where tickets are resold at an astronomical markup. This is called the ‘secondary market’ and it's a big business, currently valued at over $15 billion. None of this revenue is split with the performers, their management, or staff at the venues hosting the events. In other words, the secondary market results in missed revenue that does not support the music industry, live performances or sports sectors in any way.

Artists and event organisers have until now had very little control over the secondary market, only receiving revenue when tickets are sold for the first time. The NFT technology that SeatlabNFT is using can change this. For the first time artists and event organisers can earn royalties from every ticket sale. This technology can also be used to limit the resale value of a ticket, allowing fans to get tickets at a fair price. The NEAR blockchain underpins SeatlabNFTs NFT ticketing process allowing NFT tickets to be minted quicker and at a lower transactional cost than previously possible.  

Beyonds approach to research

Over five days Beyond helped SeatlabNFT to better understand their users and the product functionality that would appeal to them. This was achieved by defining user types, identifying areas that would improve user adoption and looking at the broader ticketing ecosystem.

Identifying SeatlabNFTs user types  

We identified three types of users to help SeatlabNFT understand the nuances between these groups and how to cater to different individual needs. These findings are based on market research, conversations with SeatlabNFT and our own expertise, however, it would be beneficial to further validate the user types through additional research in the future.

Our first user group, ‘The Newbies’, have little-to-no experience in Web3. The term NFT is completely foreign to them and they are not interested in learning about the Web3 world. However, they are aware of ticket scalping and would appreciate a service that resolves this. The Newbies' main objective is to complete a ticker purchase in the simplest way. Based on the research we conducted our hunch tells us this is likely to be the largest group of users with the widest age range, covering both male and female users.

Next, we have our ‘Observers’ who are tech savvy individuals that may already own crypto and are open to buying NFTs. We found that the lack of awareness around NFTs prevents this group from owning NFTs. This group consists of both male and females predominantly under the age of 40.

Finally, we have our ‘Crypto Fans’ who are familiar with crypto wallets and already have investments. These users are mostly interested in new product functionality and technology rather than a good user experience. We found that Crypto Fans are more likely to be between the ages of 24 and 35.

Creating different user groups allows SeatlabNFT to map out how individuals will interact with the NFT ticketing industry. These insights will allow SeatlabNFT to tailor the user experience based on individual needs. For example, the user type can guide what level of education they receive throughout their journey or can be provided with different entry points based on their knowledge of Web3.

A look at SeatlabNFTs competitors

We looked at a wide range of SeatlabNFTs competitors to better understand the Web3 and NFT ticketing space. By understanding the competitor landscape, SeatlabNFT can determine how best to differentiate, promote or partner with others.  

The first competitor we looked at was an NFT ticketing platform that offers a launch pad; this acts as an incubator and fundraising platform that allows entrepreneurs and businesses to invest in specific events and other gatherings. Artists, venues, event organisers and other producers have been heavily impacted by COVID and this platform makes it easy to present their projects or events and get the necessary guidance and funding for it.

Another competitor we researched has a non-invasive blockchain technology that seamlessly sits on top of their clients existing ticketing tools. This competitor is most appealing to users not interested in investing in Web3 as they are bringing a Web2.5 experience to the table.

Lastly, we investigated a competitor that was highly appealing to artists and musicians worldwide as they are rewarded with a 2% reflection on every ticket sold. What sets this competitor apart from the rest is their NFT agency concept. This involves working with artists to offer a service of creating, listing and promoting bespoke NFTs. As more artists move into this space, we believe this kind of support will be increasingly valuable.

Our partnership with NEAR and SeatlabNFT continues

This was our first NEAR client and it has been a delight to work with SeatlabNFT. We found the ways in which SeatlabNFT operates, e.g. regular communication with fans on discord and frequent updates on progress to be inspiring. We can see how much potential there is for the NFT ticketing industry and we look forward to being a part of SeatlabNFTs evolving journey as we continue to communicate with them.

If you want to learn more about Web3 or SeatlabNFT we recommend the following links and videos.

Finder NFT statistics 2021

SeatlabNFT website

An overview of NFTs

NEAR Protocol website