[Dive #171] Rolling Loud's Bet with LoudPunx
PLUS: An Update on Feline Experiment
Whew, I got food poisoning a couple nights ago. Nothing like some projectile vomiting to get you going for the week 🤮
Web3 doesn’t stop though, so let’s get to it!
An update on The Feline Experiment
In my last piece earlier this week, I highlighted The Feline Experiment, a project that was incorporating on-chain data to determine trait rarity upon reveal. Unfortunately, it seems the team behind the project changed the timeline and dropped the second collection early.
The announcement was made directly in the description of the Opensea collection listing and was deleted after a short period of time.
As a result, the project crashed from its highs of 0.2 ETH (~$300) to less than 0.01 ETH ($15) currently. Having no social channels for relevant announcements didn’t help, as news of the update spread organically across Twitter and alpha groups.
Whether the project ended up being a rug pull (when the founders stop working on the project and abandon the project) or if the team actually consisted of data analysts, we may never know. Maybe this plot twist was intentionally designed for further data collection, that would be something 🤔
However, what’s clear to me is:
The concept of trait-reveal mechanics based on on-chain or holder behavior is intriguing to the current web3 audience as seen with the speculative interest in the project.
The full potential of the above has not been explored yet. Trait reveal mechanics can be tied to on-chain, off-chain, and hybrid mechanics that haven’t been popularized yet.
This concept is already being adopted by more established brands in the space.
A timely announcement and update from Cool Cats helps to emphasize the last point. If you want to read more about all the announcements from the Cool Cats Town Hall yesterday, go here. One notable piece stuck out to me: the Cool Score.
The dynamic score is based on your engagement with the Cool Cats brand:
Holding Cool Cats NFTs
Playing the Cooltopia game
Participating in IRL and digital experiences
The higher your Cool Score, the more perks you get. Using myself as an example, my Cool Score is a measly 701 out of 2500.
In addition to all these announcements, the Cool Cats team airdropped a Fracture NFT to each holder (wallet) of Cool Cats and Cool Pets. I have several Cats and Pets, but was only airdropped 1 Fracture.
These Fractures are confirmed to be the next PFP collection for Cool Cats, but the twist is how trait rarity is determined. Jarvis, Cool Cats Head of Product, revealed a nugget while answering questions from the community:
For anyone exploring web3 loyalty beyond traditional rewards, Cool Cats’ Cool Score will be a development worth following.
Rolling Loud and LoudPunx
Earlier this morning, I came across a large Twitter Spaces hosted by LoudPunx, the NFT project from Rolling Loud. Even Gary Vee (3.1M followers on Twitter) popped in to pledge his support for the project as he is friends with the founder Tariq.
Side note about Gary Vee’s appearance
When Gary Vee joined the Twitter Spaces, the listener count went from ~900 to ~1500.
One masterful thing that Gary Vee did was he called out the names of his Veefriends holders that followed him into the Twitter Spaces, as indicated by the listener’s PFP. In total he probably called out 20+ of his community members that were listening in while verbally expressing his support for LoudPunx.
Why is this notable?
Gary is expressing his gratitude for all of his supporters, regardless of where he is. Additionally, he didn’t do it in a way that was disruptive to the flow of conversation that was focused on the LoudPunx launch. You can tell that Gary is dedicated to his community and is serious about providing value to them, even if it’s a shoutout.
Founders take note, how can you thoughtfully show gratitude to your community? It doesn’t have to be in the form of another NFT airdrop. A shoutout (or retweeting a community member’s content — see what BAYC does) provides value that a floor price increase doesn’t.
Back to Rolling Loud
What’s Rolling Loud? It’s a music festival that started in 2015 and has established itself as one of the premier festivals for hip hop fans. For anyone into hip hop, a lineup like this is massive.
LoudPunx is priced at a hefty 1.5 ETH (~$2,500) with 5,555 supply. This is steep price, but what does the price tag entail?
Lifetime VIP access to all future Rolling Loud festivals in California, Miami, NYC, Toronto, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Thailand and more.
Access to an exclusive LoudPunx holders area within the VIP areas
Giveaways to associated acts and their events (eg: There will be a holders-only raffle for Lil Wayne tour tickets)
Exclusive insight to Rolling Loud content and future projects
Access to premium merchandise drops and collaboration
The first point is what gets interesting. This is a lifetime pass. How much does a VIP pass cost at a Rolling Loud event?
If I were a Rolling Loud superfan and purchased this NFT, the LoudPunx NFT would pay itself back by the third event and would be an absolute no-brainer. On top of that, Rolling Loud isn’t just a once a year event — There are 8 scheduled festivals in various locations around the world in 2023 alone.
So it’s clear from a value perspective that a LoudPunx NFT is a steal. However, the reality of the situation is that:
This is a web3 specific effort so the addressable audience is smaller than Rolling Loud’s total audience
The concept of ‘time to value’ warps the consumer’s perception of this opportunity
1.5 ETH/$2,500 upfront is steep. No payment plans or BNPL
5,555 supply is a lot considering the sticker price
When thinking of ‘time to value’, I think back to my 24 Hour Fitness gym membership when I first graduated college.
If I recall correctly, I paid $59 per month for Super Sport access. I knew that Costco sold a 2-year All-Club Super Sport membership for $700 flat. If I purchased the 2-year membership, I could have achieved ‘breakeven’ value in a year.
Well, for some silly reason, TPan never took advantage of the obvious Costco deal despite knowing that it was worth it. Thinking back on the indecision, one of the reasons was I didn’t know if I would end up moving (unreasonable since this was all-club access). The other reason was I didn’t want to pay $700 upfront regardless of the value.
The same could happen with LoudPunx, but that’s where the beauty of web3 and tokenization of the NFT provides liquidity for those that want in or out on the lifetime membership.
With the LoudPunx launch, we’re starting to see a larger sample size of live-event collections testing out a pass model.
Note: This is not comprehensive, but illustrative to the different models that are being rolled out.
Some notes on the other comps:
The Carton: The Lyrical Lemonade team decided on a 3 years of access which shows perpetual utility for a longer length of time, not forever.
The Tick3t: This effort was not built off an existing owned & operated business model. The Tick3t essentially pools together capital from the memberships to season tickets to venues around the world. They incorporate a waiver (waitlist) system to holders. When holder redeem their NFT for access to an event, they move to the bottom of the waiver.
Below is an example of their upcoming calendar, and the past events calendar is here.
As enticing as the seats and events are, the primary disadvantage of a this model is that the company doesn’t manage the events themselves. This limits the capacity for each event and results in the reliance of a waiver system for ticket redemption.
The value for a holder can still be worth it, but is dependent how the team strategically allocates funds to purchasing seats and season tickets.
It seems the that community hasn’t seen the value they expected as the price for these passes has dipped down to .09 ETH (~$150). Additionally, the waiver system may encourage selling the pass once it has been redeemed, adding to the volatility in the secondary market.
Superf3st: The Superf3st Superpass provides free access to the 2023 Superf3st and allows for active participation for the direction of the event. 1 Pass = 1 Vote.
Putting it all Together
As mentioned earlier, the ‘right’ model around NFTs functioning as an access pass to IRL events is still unclear. As more event pass NFT program rise, we’ll begin to identify which ones work, and which ones don’t.
I would also consider the following themes:
What’s the business goal?
I have to assume that the Rolling Loud team understands that LoudPunx functioning as a lifetime pass is a losing proposition from a ROI standpoint. I think they’re betting on LoudPunx being the VIP of VIP status for all their events. Status matters.
Because LoudPunx holders get treated as royalty at physical events, other attendees will notice and want in.
It’s important to note that Rolling Loud can probably eat the cost if the effort is unsuccessful. They’ve held festivals with over 200,000 attendees. Lifetime passes or NFTs with evergreen are a long-term bet, not an ephemeral one.
When viewing this effort from a longer term perspective, an effort like LoudPunx becomes advantageous. LoudPunx allows Rolling Loud to roll out web3 enablement in a thoughtful manner and test out integrations with a smaller audience before large-scale deployment. LoudPunx holders will also be more familiar with using web3-enabled tech, so they’d be perfect for QA vs. a clueless user.
If successful, what would Rolling Loud consider?
Creating lifetime GA passes and/or test different structures by length (eg: 3-year pass) or region (Asia pass)
Rolling out tech integrations to all events
NFT ticketing with partners like Tokenproof
Paying for food/drinks via tokens. What if Rolling Loud created their own digital currency based on brand engagement and loyalty similar to the Cool Score mentioned earlier?
Rolling Loud specific marketplaces for ticket purchase and sale and take a cut of secondary sales
Perks vs. Participation
In the coming months and years in the there will be more distinction between perks and participation.
One of the themes of web3 consumer brands is that there is a deeper relationship between the community member and the company/team. However, the reality is not everyone wants that. Most people want the front row seat to the sporting match. They don’t want to be the coach determining the plays.
As always, there’s a data play 😉
With LoudPunx, the Rolling Loud team can add another dimension to understanding their attendees, especially if they work with a web3 ticketing partner.
With a large enough of a sample size, I’d want to understand:
Are LoudPunx holders previous attendees? How many events did they attend before vs. after? Did they attend international events before vs after?
How often are passes being redeemed at Rolling Loud events?
What are the spending habits of holders ex-tickets before vs. after? If they’re spending more because they don’t have to pay for tickets, where are they spending it?
How would these insights impact attendee behavior if this effort rolled out to a larger subset of the Rolling Loud audience?
On a related note, if Rolling Loud were to expand their web3 onboarding efforts, they could airdrop every attendee a free food ticket, while also understanding food vendor preferences.
On another related note (uh oh, TPan is going off the rails), Rolling Loud could airdrop specific promotions with sponsors or event participants:
Get 50% off if you buy a Bud Light
Get 20% off Travis Scott merch on the day he headlines
If you arrive before 2pm, get 25% off food
Live events are going to get interesting with web3. I can’t wait to attend my first web3 enabled music festival if my old creaky bones cooperate 👴🏻
See you next week!