On this episode of the Office Hours podcast, Afterparty co-founder and CEO David Fields joins host Spencer Rascoff to discuss how Web3 has transformed content ownership, what Afterparty offers artists and the future of blockchain-based technology.
Launched in 2021, Afterparty is a Web3 platform that connects creators with their fans through NFTs and live events. Artists including Lauv and Yung Gravy have used the platform for exclusive events and NFT ticketing. Fields said Afterparty can provide artists with new ways to own the relationship with their fans and build sustainable careers.
“What we’re looking to be is the template for how artists and creators should really think about Web3 and NFTs,” Fields said.
Prior to launching Afterparty, Fields was an analyst for Disney and worked at former Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s investment firm, The Tornante Company. His time at Disney—a company known for its enthusiastic fans—showed Fields what a vibrant community can look like. Fields said learning about Etherium revealed the potential for the blockchain to transform the internet. Afterparty is seeking to be part of that transformation by fostering a network of artists looking to build their online fanbase.
“Afterparty is a platform built for creators and artists to take ownership over their content and their fan communities and bring them on chain,” Fields said.
But many fans did not initially have a crypto wallet and did not know how to build up their NFT collections. Fields said Afterparty addressed this with the Utopian Collection, which houses 1,500 generative works of art in one space—a setup he compared to an exclusive members club, like the Soho House.
‘Fundamentally, what we think fans really crave is access,” Fields said. “We've been building technology to enable fans to get that deeper level of access to the creators that are in our community and beyond.”
Despite the recent downturn in crypto valuations, Fields is hopeful. He said he believes this is just the initial speculative boom settling down. He believes that the community element Afterparty focuses on is one of the clear use cases for NFTs, which he said sets their work apart from other blockchain endeavors. The NFT serves both as a kind of status symbol, a piece of art and a ticket that grants the owner admission to an online and in-person community, even to clubs and specific events.
“We do events on a fairly regular basis,” Fields said. A lot of them take place in Los Angeles. It's such a creator hub. But we've done events in Las Vegas, in New York and Miami, and really bringing together this community and showcasing what is possible with NFTs.”
Fields said NFTs are just one way for digital artists to take ownership of their work—an issue that will continue to be a topic of conversation as the blockchain evolves.
“You're seeing a separation of the groups that are actually building for the long term versus some of the stuff that was more short-sighted and short-term,” Fields said.
Note: Office Hours Host and dot.LA Chairman Spencer Rascoff is an investor in Afterparty.
dot.la Social and Engagement Editor Andria Moore contributed to this post.
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