One of my best friends is best friends with Garth Brooks.
It’s true. One day, years ago, she asked him to invest a huge sum of money into one of my music business ideas ($300k to be exact). I was a songwriter in Nashville – no hits or anything, but I was played on the radio a lot and I had written songs with Grammy winners, Dove award winners, several #1 songwriters, and even a couple of songwriters in the Songwriter Hall of Fame. He also had a song of mine ‘on hold’ (the term for a potential cut) for around 7 years (it never was).
He liked the idea, but declined – instead saying he would totally fund the back-end out of the property he owned (office space, fax machines, tables, desk, computers, and chairs) if we could use that. Without the funds, that business went south (would still be a great business – maybe worth a few mil a year).
I thought about Garth while listening to the NFT Heat Podcast with hosts Justin Skinkerow and John Kraski. Their guest was Preston Johnson – founder of Punks Comic – one of the most successful people in the NFT space with over $120 million in sales.
Garth came to mind because Preston mentioned the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, owned by Mark Cuban, are going to release a ticketing NFT to all their games, possibly as soon as next year.
Jonn Kraski’s company is funded by Mark Cuban, and ironically, Mark is a person I used to talk to at least once a week back on the old Pho message board days. (a list-serve for tech and music geeks). John may have been one of the founders, or maybe just a member, but his name seems more than familiar – and if he is, I sure hope I’m forgiven now (I was a little rough around the edges those days, but remained friends with several members like Michael Robertson, founder of MP3 dot com). The podcast is stellar and definitely worth listening to.
I know, I know – there’s a lot of name dropping here – but there’s a point and I’m getting to it.
The Nightclub Days
I used to be a partner in a 17,500 sq. ft. nightclub. It was actually two clubs back to back. The larger 10,000 sq. ft. one was a Country music bar. The smaller 7,500 sq. ft. club was more hip-hop.
At the larger country club we hosted around 20 major star concerts a year. We had everyone from Blake Shelton to FloRida to Quiet Riot to Vanilla Ice perform. Even had Bone Thugs a few times. We used the smaller club as VIP and overflow.
HAD WE KNOWN ABOUT NFTs THEN!
Preston talked about how in the concert and entertainment business, NFT Tickets simply make sense because scalping is a problem.
The fact is, scalping is a HUGE drain on revenue – as any ticket we sold became the property of the person who bought it – who could then scalp it, and we would lose revenue left and right.
Maybe that was a little our fault. We always wanted to keep ticket prices between the ‘low’ and ‘reasonable’ amount – but many times, we simply didn’t charge enough.
NFTs solve this.
With NFTs we could have a ‘low dough’ show, and still make money on the scalp.
As Preston explains, and Mark brilliantly figured out – NFTs allow for the original seller to extract a royalty for each item sold.
Someone buys an NFT, can’t make the show, sells the NFT as a scalp, we would have still made revenue! Tell me again why you don’t like NFTs and how you can just “right click, save as”?
Back to Garth
In addition to NFT Creative Group, PFP Daily and EAT. SLEEP. NFT. (three places solely dedicated to NFTs) I also own FREE ALL ARTISTS.
Having spent a lot of time in the music industry, and discovered some of the bands you know and still listen to on the radio, I know how insidious the record industry can be. It was my job to help discover artists and help them get signed to record labels, managers, publishers, etc.
The music industry is a mess, and always has been.
This is why Garth, once he got to a certain spot in his career – took his career and turned it ‘in-house’. He controls everything. Everything.
He was one of the first artists to take on scalpers with his partner Ticketmaster.
Now, there’s no shortage of disdain for Ticketmaster in the industry – but Garth wanted to work with them to ease the burden of high ticket price scalping, and so Ticketmaster came up with a screening process to fight scalpers at his shows.
Problem is, it didn’t really work. Scalpers scalp. Everyone lost revenue. And the little guy got screwed again. End of story. That’s the ‘entertainment’ business.
But that could all change because NFT Tickets are coming to the blockchain – and NFTs are immutable. The owner is the owner, the seller the seller, and the blockchain doesn’t know how to lie or cheat.
An artist like Garth could release his own NFT tickets.
Ticketmaster could release tickets only as an NFT.
And my little club could have, had NFTs been available back in the day, released NFT tickets to each and every concert we had.
And not only – there’s ALL KINDS of ‘un-lockable’ content that be merged within an NFT. Shirts, albums, stickers – something down the line even. Think ‘drops’ if the NFT that you’re holding is scanned at the door – 4 months later, free something! It’s all very exciting!
Garth and Me
Yes. I have a message into my friend asking her to talk to Garth for me. Wish if I could call him myself, but I’ve never met or spoken with him (despite the song hold, it was his wife Trisha’s ex-husband along with a local music publisher that hooked that up – still a great duet song, and still wish if that duet album had happened and it had been cut – not that “In Another’s Eyes” is a bad song either! But I digress).
If someone has gotten to him first, well, that just happens in a hot arena like NFTs. But whether it’s me, or someone else, there’s no stopping NFT tickets to shows and entertainment events.
The cat is out of the bag. And as I always point out – this is only the beginning! NFTs are going to change everything about everything we do and how we do it.
(hmmm … maybe I should call my old roommate who spent 5 years as Taylor Swift’s guitar player?)