Afterparty, a decentralized offering that aims to strengthen ties between fans and creators, has launched a beta version of its events platform.
The startup’s co-founder and CEO is David Fields, a former Disney executive who worked in the company’s strategic planning unit in the 2000s. Among the deals he helped execute was the acquisition of Pixar. He later headed investments for former Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company. Eisner has focused on the digital arena since leaving the Disney corporate suite. Tornante has backed streaming series like Bojack Horseman and recently acquired sports memorabilia firm Topps in a deal driven in part by the rising popularity of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
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Afterparty uses a “Web3” platform, a decentralized venue built with blockchain technology and designed to handle cryptocurrency, NFTs and social tokens. Fields said the advent of Web3 is as “as significant as the impact of broadband internet on Web 2.0.”
The music industry — where streaming has disrupted the economic model and forced artists to rely on revenue sources beyond sales of recordings — is Afterparty’s initial focus. The company hosts live events, in which artists and creators can set their own pricing terms and take advantage of fan fervor to create revenue.
After the events platform launch, Afterparty will introduce an Ethereum-based NFT marketplace. NFTs have gained wider acceptance in recent months, with the artist Beeple earning headlines earlier this year with a $69 million NFT sale.
Along with the event platform launch, Afterparty also announced that Eytan Elbaz, co-founder of LA-based mobile gaming company Scopely has joined as co-founder and an investor.
Using Afterparty’s tools, creators can launch NFT projects, with those tokens woven into the event platform, as fans increasingly look for exclusive experiences and merchandise tied to artists they love.
“NFTs and social tokens have hit an incredible inflection point. The question is, what happens after the sale of the NFT or token? Nobody has been addressing that,” Fields said. “We believe the true value for creator NFTs is going to be built through ongoing engagement between creators and fans. … We are giving creators the tools to build deep connections and giving fans the ability to participate in the creator’s success.”
Afterparty launched and tested its event platform on BitClout and has won backing from several creators of note. Among them are Clay Perry, Tropix, Echosmith, Madds, Robert Graham, Jon Youshaei and Vale Genta.
“Releasing NFT collections to show fan appreciation unlocks a new medium and more meaning to artistic expression,” said Dutch artist Nick van Hofwegen, who created NFT music and art project Young & Sick. “As an artist, I’ve seen the value NFTs can have on the music industry but more importantly on individual artists looking to create something different and unique for their fans. By combining digital art with live events and providing the marketplace to connect digital artists with creators, Afterparty is making it easy to manage the entire process.”
Other key members of the Afterparty management team include Dan Rahmel, senior technology executive at Music Audience Exchange. Robert Graham, a creator and Influencer agency founder, is head of talent with musician Conner Frey as front-end developer.
“Web3 is enabling high-value digital assets like NFTs, and I am incredibly passionate about their future role,” Elbaz said. “NFTs are at a critical inflection point where the merging of music and art with digital assets will take the industry in whole new directions.”
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