The fabricated battle for secondary p̶r̶o̶f̶i̶t̶s̶ ticketing
The bad guys are all of a sudden good! Oh, wait…
This past month, Dutch divisions of Ticketmaster and Eventim released news that they will release (separate) reselling platforms where fans can sell tickets to other fans. For a friendly fee, of course.
This is an obvious attempt to grasp for market share in the secondary market from TicketSwap, the current market leader in secondary ticketing.
A press representative from Eventim claimed that TicketSwap is far from perfect, saying:
‘TicketSwap makes it easier and ostensibly safer to get second-hand tickets, but that’s also why con artists like to make use of the service. Their verification goes through facebook and is not airtight.’
This is true. What’s also true is that Eventim’s secondary marketplace Fansale, which is already live in Germany, is far from perfect. It charges 15% on every transaction, and an additional €7 for the sending of the ticket. Besides that, it allows for tickets to be auctioned off for the highest price, which is not capped or regulated and therefore can exceed the original price to unlimited heights.
While Ticketmaster’s new secondary platform isn’t live yet (to my knowledge), their track record speaks for itself. The UK version does appear to be live, and has already caused controversy. There are countless articles about TM’s conduct to link to, but this article below is an especially awful account of its workings, that gets to the core of the problem.
We went undercover as ticket scalpers — and Ticketmaster offered to help us do business | The Star
Posing as small-time scalpers, Star and CBC reporters talked to representatives of Ticketmaster’s resale division who…
It’s been a little over six months since undercover journalists exposed the structural, large-scale systems that the company has in place that support and even facilitate scalping on a large scale. By offering discounts on fees to scalpers who buy and sell huge volumes of tickets, Ticketmaster incentivizes professional resellers to use the platform for scalping.
While I generally try to see the glass as half full, in this case I see a whitewashed glass filled with hot air and caviar-scented farts.
This move comes across to me as an obvious attempt to generate positive media attention that chips away at the -empirically justified- image of being a money hungry company that doesn’t take the best interests of its end users into account.
Sadly, it seems most Dutch mainstream media outlets are taking the bait, and framing the announcements as some sort of exciting gameshow business battle of who will corner the secondary ticketing market.
The truth is, there is no need for external secondary ticketing platforms. In fact, artists and organizers who truly have their fans best interests at heart, should do everything in their power to avoid their tickets from being sold on these platforms.
These platforms are nothing more than unnecessary hurdles, designed to charge additional costs, on top of the sketchy service fees that a lot of ticketing companies charge. As long as there is no transparency in the ticketing process, consumers are going to keep paying the price. Now that the public is becoming aware of the shady scalping practices, it seems the big boys are hedging their bets and ensuring that they will keep making excessive fees.
A classic example of a TM fee:
Nice, now I’m depressed!
I know — it sucks. But what’s important to realize with all this, is that secondary ticketing in this capitalistic, zero-transparency manner is simply not necessary.
GUTS Tickets merges the primary and secondary markets, hence preventing the tickets from leaving the ecosystem. This, along with the tickets’ digital and programmable nature, prevents any third party or malicious outsider from transferring tickets for any other value than the assigned one.
Once more for those in the back: external secondary resale platforms simply aren’t necessary.
It’s important to not let these big players get away with half-assed walkbacks on their sketchy business conduct and to keep calling them out on their unfair, cartel-like behavior.
This isn’t just the way it is, a change is coming.
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