NFTs are dead, right? Avenged Sevenfold hasn’t gotten the memo, despite fan complaints after their first NFT drop in 2021. Now they’ve minted one million more NFTs with Ticketmaster and Berify. But do their fans have an appetite for these things?
The band announced the one-million mint for its alternate reality game, ‘Life is But A Dream…” which coincides with their album announcement and single release. As part of the NFT minting, over 335,000 Ticketmaster digital collectibles were part of the rewards program for the band’s fanbase. But this 2023 NFT initiative isn’t the first time Avenged Sevenfold went hard on NFTs and blockchain technology only to be met with harsh criticism from its super fans.
In 2021, the band announced it was mimicking the Bored Ape Yacht Club DAO with a collection of 10,000 Deathbats NFTs for its fan club. Holding a Deathbat was supposed to grant access to an exclusive community, giving those members other ways to connect with the band. Rare Deathbats supposedly allowed meet-and-greets at shows, free tickets for life, merch airdrops, and more. Frontman Matt ‘M. Shadows’ Sanders led that initiative, which was not well received.
“Seeing Shadows going on a thousand podcasts/radio shows pushing NFTs, explaining what they are, and trying to convince the audience that they’re worth purchasing has been sad,” writes one fan on reddit in a thread titled, ‘NFTs are a scam and A7X should be ashamed for pushing them.’
“My recollection of Shadows and more importantly the band is they shy away from media appearances and it feels like the only reason they’re showing their faces is to promote a ponzi scheme, because that’s what NFTs are—a ponzi scheme.”
Getting fans to embrace the technology has proven more difficult than expected, probably because the speculative market collapsed. The band has offered education about its NFTs through its Discord and has created videos on why NFTs are the future of interactions for superfans. So where do Ticketmaster and Berify come into all of this?
Berify’s technology authenticates and rewards fans for their various purchases. Token-gated ticketing is provided by Ticketmaster, giving fans access to the best tickets first and access to scannable merchandise for authentication. It’s worth noting that Avenged Sevenfold went hard on The Sandbox game, which featured NFT-based land purchases. The Sandbox CEO Sebastien Borget shared in September 2023 that roughly 50% of tis business comes from countries in Asia.
“If you don’t focus on Asia, you will think the metaverse is dead from the North American and Western side,” Borget told CoinTelegraph. “But it’s so hot in Asia. Hong Kong and Korea are the top two markets, followed by Japan.”