Entertainment’s Digital Transformation Dives Into 5G, New NFTs, Shoppable Streaming

Get ready for mobile ticketing, NFTickets, concerts in the metaverse (and don’t forget your vaccination ID when live) because the entertainment sector is ready for fun after two years of restrictions.

Giving an idea of what’s in store, on Monday (March 21) Verizon and Live Nation announced an updated partnership to offer the mobile provider’s customers presale tickets to concerts and other events, along with access to livestreamed concerts and interactive features that leverage 5G technology.

Customers at 5G-enabled venues where Live Nation handles ticket sales will be able to apply augmented reality filters to the experience and receive nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that are redeemable for in-venue perks. They’ll also have access to virtual venues that offer customers immersive 3D concert experiences.

Earlier this month, Verizon took the wraps off a new streaming platform called +play that gives subscribers easier access to content from Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Discovery and AMC+, as well as new partners like Netflix and Peloton.

Calling +play “a unique digital hub designed to centralize subscription services at no additional cost to Verizon customers” Verizon said +play trials begin in late March “with a select group of customers and brands, with an expected consumer launch later this year.”

Going Digital for Dollars

Venues that have been empty for most of the past two years need to get on the stick when it comes to offering post-pandemic experiences lest their customer relationships wither.

As reported in January by news site TheTicketingBusiness, for entertainment venues, “digital transformations increase EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) by a significant 21%. However, in 2021 only about 35% of companies said they achieved their digital transformation goals. We’re seeing a similar picture across the live event industry, where the opportunity to embrace modern technology is yet to reach its full potential.”

See also: Live Nation Moves Into Latin America With $444M OCESA Acquisition

Ticketmaster partnered early in the pandemic with mobile commerce firm VenueNext for contactless ordering and payment for ticketing, venue access concessions and other parts of the live experience on their mobile devices. This will be made available across Ticketmaster’s digital platforms with a special emphasis on the Ticketmaster app and clients’ mobile app experiences.

See also: Game On! Stadiums Dazzle Sports Fans With New Connected Experiences

Blockchain Blockbusters and Shoppable Streaming

While much of the world tries to decide whether NFTs are a fad or fixture, the events industry sees a new and better ticketing solution.

As reported by news site EventMB, NFTs for ticketing offer advantages like being “nearly impossible to counterfeit” as well as allowing ticket holders to transfer tickets on the blockchain with no chance for loss or theft, and adding that “NFT-based tickets for exclusive experiences can be integrated into gamification at hybrid events.” This class is termed “utility NFTs” (uNFTs).

The Lollapalooza concert festival is getting in on the NFT action in 2022, planning a slate of live events and enticing would-be concertgoers to play the “Legend of Lolla” game for its July 28-31 stint at Chicago’s Grant Park.

POAPs are coming into that digital mix. POAP (pronounced “po-ap”) stands for “Proof of Attendance Protocol” and is new type of NFT made to commemorate events digitally. Legend of Lolla players who unlock and collect three POAPs Lollapalooza will be invited to “celebrate our kickoff into the metaverse.”

Progress can be monitored at the Twitter account @LollaFrens.

See also: Will Amazon Make Streaming Shoppable?

On the streaming front, there’s more. With Amazon getting the go-ahead on its planned $6.5 billion purchase of MGM Studios, digital transformation may be shoppable streaming TV, as in, you’re watching a show on Amazon Prime when a click-to-buy message appears in the corner.

“Streaming is also a high-engagement activity for which there is currently low commerce penetration, outside of subscription fees, but a huge potential for expanding the GDP of the world’s digital transformation,” PYMNTS’ Karen Webster wrote. “Making the brands inside of the shows on those platforms shoppable — in the moment — creates new revenue streams for streaming platforms, show stars and brands that want those impulse buys.”

If theme parks are your thing, visit DisneyGenie to preplan your magical moments as most theme parks are requiring reservations in advance, as well as proof of vaccination.

See also: AMC Wants to Turn Its Movie Theaters Into Virtual Concert Venues


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