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Beating the Scalpers: Royalty Splits & Price Ceilings vs Dynamic Pricing

Everyone agrees that the scalpers need to be stopped, but what's the best way to do it? Royalty splits and price ceilings? Or dynamic pricing?

Charlie Gardener
Charlie Gardener
August 5, 2022
min read
Bruce SpringsteenBruce Springsteen

An NFT event ticketing marketplace helping artists foster closer connections with fans, eliminating fraud and reducing the impact of scalping.

Another huge-name act announces a tour, and another whirlwind of discontent around ticket pricing kicks off.

Ticket pricing discontent is becoming more and more commonplace. Post-pandemic, with fans more hungry than ever before to see their favourite artists, ticketing platforms are doing everything they can to ensure that scalpers don't run riot on the overspill of demand from the available supply.

This time, it's rock legend Bruce Springsteen, whose latest tour has seen fans wince as they reach for their wallet to try and book tickets with prices reaching $5000 per seat.

Springsteen's manager has argued that these prices reflect demand for an artist that has defined a generation. Similarly, the dynamic pricing storm created by demand for the event has since calmed down. However, the more significant issue of how to beat scalpers while granting true fans equitable access remains unsolved.

Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing is a model used by Ticketmaster (the ticketing platform for Bruce Springsteen's tour) that changes ticket prices based on the event's demand. The theory is simple. If an event is underselling, ticket costs are slashed to incentivise purchases. Conversely, if demand for an event is high, prices will rise, ensuring that artists receive the maximum revenue from their work in selling out the event.

The system is also designed to eliminate scalpers from the equation. If demand is high, prices will rise. In theory, this means there is no opportunity for bad actors to purchase tickets with the intent to resell them at a higher price to those who missed out.

Of course, while this does work in theory, it also comes with some problems. Unless fans are one of the lucky few to get to the online box office the moment it opens, the only available tickets are likely to cost a small fortune if an event proves popular.

It's a situation we've witnessed repeatedly for megastars like Ed Sheeran, Adele, Harry Styles, and now Bruce Springsteen.

Understandably, artists who can fill arenas multiple times over can charge higher prices for their performances than when they first started out. It's also true that there will always be people trying to make a quick buck from buying tickets to high-demand events to resell.

However, while it is designed to eliminate scalping, dynamic pricing also comes at the expense of true fans, whose loyalty goes unrewarded as they miss out on tickets to see their favourite performers.

A Web3 Solution

Looking at the issues raised by scalping and the subsequent failure of dynamic pricing to address the knock-on effect for fans, it's time the ticketing industry looked elsewhere for a solution. Web3 can help in the fight against scalping.

Web3 has already begun to disrupt several different industries with its decentralised model of data storage, and the ticketing industry is no exception.

Issuing tickets as NFTs would allow smart contracts to set conditions around the resale of tickets. This would address the problems created by scalping to benefit fans, artists and event creators.

Price ceilings can be determined by smart contracts, which allows those creating NFT tickets to set a maximum price for their resale. This would mean fans who are unable to attend an event can resell their ticket without charging an excessive fee to someone who has missed out at the box office.

Similarly, smart contracts are also able to define royalty splits. This means that a defined percentage of any revenue generated from a secondary resale is automatically sent back to the royalty beneficiary. This would open up a new revenue stream for artists and event organisers and allow them to boost their income without the need for a dynamic pricing model that takes advantage of fans and their desire to see their favourite artists.

Our Vision

We've designed SeatlabNFT as an event ticketing platform that gives artists and event organisers control over the secondary market. For example, when creating NFT tickets on SeatlabNFT, it's possible to set price ceilings and royalty splits through the seller dashboard.

We also understand that there are legitimate reasons for not being able to attend an event. That's why SeatlabNFT features a secondary marketplace for tickets, allowing fans to resell their NFT tickets to those who missed out.

SeatlabNFT is an NFT ticketing platform built with fans, artists and event creators in mind. To see how we're redefining event ticketing or to see the latest product updates be sure to follow us via the links below.




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