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Spotify has announced plans to launch a new ticketing service so people can buy tickets on their platform, but what impact will this have on the industry?
The music industry titan Spotify has just announced plans to diversify its revenue streams by selling event tickets.
Since 2011, the platform has steadily climbed to become one of the biggest names in music and podcasting, with around 433 million users, 188 million of whom pay some form of subscription to the service.
Spotify has already made moves toward becoming a one-stop shop for music fans. Currently, it has partnerships with Ticketmaster, Eventbrite and See Tickets, allowing users to buy tickets to live events through third parties on the platform. The new venture, Spotify Tickets, will let fans purchase event tickets through Spotify itself, likely ending the partnership with other ticketing platforms.
Given that it's already possible to buy tickets on Spotify, we've yet to learn exactly how the process works and how different it will look from the current procedure. A spokesperson for Spotify said, "At Spotify, we routinely test new products and ideas to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the way for our broader user experience, and others serve only as important learnings. Spotify Tickets is our latest test. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time."
While the official announcement doesn't give much away, the merger of live events with the music streaming service could boost visibility for artists and musicians, particularly those who are up-and-coming.
Selling tickets to events directly through Spotify opens up several possibilities, depending on how Spotify Tickets will work.
Most importantly, the amount of time fans spend on Spotify means that the platform can operate as a marketing tool for some artists, particularly those who lack a big budget to advertise their live shows. As a result, the music streaming service has the potential to connect artists to fan bases they didn't know existed and gives fans a bigger window of opportunity to go and see performances.
The live events industry has seen a massive rebound post-pandemic, with most ticketing agents reporting sales that eclipse the levels seen before the pandemic hit. These sales figures demonstrate what most in the industry already know; fans are more hungry for live event experiences than ever before.
The most pressing question remains about how to connect fans with these experiences they crave. As demonstrated by Spotify's move, the answer most likely lies in technology.
Technology is already being used to augment the live experience during shows. Still, increasingly it's offering greater accessibility to performances through live streams and is also beginning to transform fan engagement.
In this case, Spotify is looking to use the time its users already spend on the platform to partner with artists and sell tickets for their shows. While it's early days still, there is currently a fair amount of dissatisfaction with the way event ticketing operates. As such, it's yet to be seen how the Spotify event ticketing platform will be an improvement over existing Web2 solutions, which have their problems.
The move from Spotify is almost certain to galvanise rivals and other brands in the live events space into action, meaning fans can look forward to increased opportunities generated by this competition.
Outside of Spotify, Web2 is slowing down in terms of the innovation it offers, with Web3 arrivals looking more likely to change the status quo for the events industry, as is the case with NFT ticketing.
NFT tickets have several advantages over traditional ticketing both in terms of the level of secondary market control they provide and the platform they offer to enhance the fan experience. With smart contracts setting royalty splits and price ceilings to combat scalping and the potential of airdrops, Web3 allows artists and event organisers to think about event ticketing in a whole new way.
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