Resale Renegade: Will Ticketmaster’s new decisions combat touts or cause more web rebellion?
“That’s right, we’ve listened and we hear you: secondary sites just don’t cut it anymore and you’re tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit. All we want is you, the fan, to be able to safely buy tickets to the events you love” (Ticketmaster, 2018).
One door closes and another opens as Ticketmaster UK shuts down its controversial ticket resale websites Get Me In! and Seatwave for a updated and more regulated site. Drastic actions have taken place, one namely being a stricter ticket pricing regime, including a 15% commission rate, all in order to reduce ticket-touting on its web page. Perhaps restricting the resale value could do the trick?
Some hold faith with this outlined plan by Ticketmaster; Mark Savage, BBC Music Reporter has since welcomed the disposing of such websites being “excellent news”. Furthermore, they believe that the reduced number of outlets will serve the updated site well and will inevitably provide ticket buyers with “another safe and trusted place to resell their tickets”.
The FanFair campaign also share a similar opinion about Ticketmaster’s unprecedented decision. As an organization of unified promoters, managers, primary ticket sellers and agents their collective purpose is to eliminate large-scale ticket-touting and therefore any action that benefits their goal is seen as a success. They believe it has brought “a genuine transformation of the secondary market… much closer”. In response to such widespread approval, Ticketmaster has since removed all listings of events from both Seatwave and Get Me In! from August 13th, 2018.
On the other hand, others believe that such action taken by Ticketmaster is “futile”. The chief executive of The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, Jonathan Brown, states despite this change, reselling for a profit will still continue in other marketplaces, “including those based overseas”. Although the process of two of these outlets being shut down is positive, critics could argue that ticket resellers may move onto other sites such as Viagogo and Stubhub.
Personally I believe that this was a clever move on behalf of Ticketmaster. Despite this change being in its early stages, its impact so far suggests that a permanent change to industry isn’t far off. Furthermore not only are Ticketmaster financially improving their company’s sustainability in the industry, but they’re supporting concert ticket consumers by making all of their associated ticket sales fair and left untampered. Arguably this also has the potential to benefit touring artists in the music industry, as tickets are sold to dedicated fans as opposed to secondary retailers, which often price real fans out of seeing their favourite artists.
More importantly, what are your thoughts on this?