A new consumer survey undertaken by AudienceNet and Music Ally has revealed the depth of public concern over mass scale ticket touting on secondary ticketing platforms such as Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave. The research, which was commissioned by FanFair Alliance with support from UK companies See Tickets, The Ticket Factory and Twickets, revealed that 80 per cent of the British public considers secondary ticketing to be a “rip off”.
The research also revealed that the majority of those purchasing above-face-value tickets on secondary platforms say they are less likely to spend money on other live events, venue purchases (drinks, food and merchandise) and recorded music.
Other key research findings include:
- 52 per cent of respondents said it was difficult to distinguish between authorised primary ticket sellers and unauthorised secondary sites
- 43 per cent of respondents said Google was their first port of call to search for tickets. This is despite previous FanFair research showing that secondary sites systematically pay to top search rankings.
- 58 per cent of respondents said they supported the concept of face value resale
- 82 per cent of respondents said that secondary platforms should be more transparent and show more detail about the identity of those re-selling tickets
- The vast majority of respondents support precautionary measures to prevent ticket touting, including the provision of authorised resale services (87 per cent), limiting ticket purchases (80 per cent), and personalised tickets with ID checks (75 per cent)
Adam Webb, FanFair Alliance campaign manager, commented: “The debate around online ticket touting raises strong passions, so it’s important that the wider music business, politicians and regulators can get a sense of what the general public think. The message from this research appears to be pretty clear: UK audiences are fed up.
“The model of secondary ticketing promoted by Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave is causing them very real concern – albeit, they are not against the concept of ticket resale. The majority would like the option to resell a ticket for the price they paid for it. On that front, FanFair urges legislators and regulators to accelerate their endeavours to tackle the most egregious practices of the secondary market.
“More positively, an increasing number of UK ticket companies are now offering face value resale services, and it’s becoming common practice for artists to implement anti-touting strategies. While the status quo might bring short-term gains to certain companies, there is a real danger that their intransigence will cause considerable long-term damage – not only to the live music sector, but across the music business overall.”
In April 2017, Government passed new legislation to criminalise the mass online harvesting of tickets by touts, as well as new measures to bolster existing UK consumer law and provide enforcement resources for national trading standards. Amidst two evidence sessions into “ticket abuse”, Damian Collins MP, chair of the culture, media & sport select committee, described the UK’s secondary ticketing market as a “national scandal”.
Despite being invited, Viagogo failed to attend the second of these sessions.
A Competition & Markets Authority enforcement investigation into online secondary ticketing, announced in December 2016, remains ongoing.
The full report can be downloaded here.