Already a rather suspect company, a new piece of investigative journalism appears to show that Ticketmaster is, as it turns out, perfectly happy to see it's customers buy from scalpers on the secondary ticket market. After all, it gives the ticketing giant a chance to collect twice as many fees on every ticket.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
We all love to go to concerts but a lot of us don’t go as much as we’d like to primarily because of the prices. While the face value of a concert ticket might be reasonable, the fact of the matter is that we usually can’t find good tickets available as they’re purchased before we even have a chance. And who buys them all up so fast? The secondary ticket brokers, of course. They employ sophisticated bots that scoop up the best tickets micro-sends after they go on sale. The surprising fact is that Ticketmaster, the largest ticket broker, actually wants it that way.
In a brilliant piece of investigative journalism, CBC News/Toronto Star went undercover at an industry convention to discover that Ticketmaster was actually employing professional scalpers to buy up tickets, expand its secondary ticket business, and squeeze more money out of the music fans.
How? By having you pay a service charge twice on the same ticket. According to the article, “… for example, if Ticketmaster collects $25.75 on a $209.50 ticket on the initial sale, when the owner posts it for resale for $400 on the site, the company stands to collect an additional $76 on the same ticket.”
It’s an eye-opening article into the underbelly of a world that everyone knows isn’t quite on the up and up, but could never prove it either.
Probably the only way for this to change is for secondary ticketing and scalping to become illegal, as the current method of Verified Fans and paper ticketing doesn’t solve the problem either, since fans want to be able to give tickets to someone else as gifts or if they can’t attend for some reason.
That said, something needs to change in this business, and maybe this article is another step to making it happen.