In the world of blockchain music-streaming startups, there’s always been the suspicion that if the technology is to have an impact, it’ll be when the big streaming players do something with it. Perhaps it’s the same for ticketing.
There are a number of blockchain-ticketing startups touting their tech and angling for ICOs, but now Ticketmaster has bought one of them. The company is Upgraded, which “converts traditional tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by blockchain, providing event creators with more control and visibility over ticket distribution, and protecting fans against fraudulent tickets”. Ticketmaster says that Upgraded will slot in to its suite of tools including Verified Fan and facial-recognition startup Blink Identity (which it invested in earlier this year: so that was a partnership rather than an acquisition).
“Ticketmaster is constantly exploring emerging technologies, and there aren’t many that have the unique possibilities of blockchain,” said Ticketmaster’s chief product officer in North America, Justin Burleigh. As a chance to marry blockchain technology with a large-scale ticketing business, this has plenty of potential, although we’ll see how boldly or cautiously Ticketmaster pushes on with Upgraded’s technology in the coming months.