Ticketmaster Reportedly Helping Scalpers

The Ticketing Giant is Now in Full PR Mode

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9/20/18, 4:11 pm EDT

By John Corry, photo from Hip2Save

After and undercover investigation, CBC News and the Toronto Star have reported that everyone’s favorite ticketing monarchy Ticketmaster (owned by Live Nation) have been aiding scalpers for their own financial gain. The report found that their secondary ticket inventory system, TradeDesk, lets scalpers upload high volumes of tickets to then resell at higher prices.

In addition to an apparent ‘okay’ for the usage of ticketing bots (a violation of Ticketmaster’s terms of service), uploaders on TradeDesk get a 3% discount on Ticketmaster’s 7% selling fee, and receive further discounts when they reach $500,000 and $1 million in sales.

Here’s the company’s first (of two) statements, made yesterday:

"As long as there is an imbalance between supply and demand in live event tickets, there will inevitably be a secondary market," Martin said. "As the world's leading ticketing platform, representing thousands of teams, artists and venues, we believe it is our job to offer a marketplace that provides a safe and fair place for fans to shop, buy and sell tickets in both the primary and secondary markets."

Today, the company made an update, and were a little more forthcoming:

“It is categorically untrue that Ticketmaster has any program in place to enable resellers to acquire large volumes of tickets at the expense of consumers.

"Ticketmaster's Seller Code of Conduct specifically prohibits resellers from purchasing tickets that exceed the posted ticket limit for an event. In addition, our policy also prohibits the creation of fictitious user accounts for the purpose of circumventing ticket limit detection in order to amass tickets intended for resale.

"A recent CBC story found that an employee of Ticketmaster's resale division acknowledged being aware of some resellers having as many as 200 TradeDesk accounts for this purpose (TradeDesk is Ticketmaster's professional reseller product that allows resellers to validate and distribute tickets to multiple marketplaces). We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service.

"The company had already begun an internal review of our professional reseller accounts and employee practices to ensure that our policies are being upheld by all stakeholders. Moving forward we will be putting additional measures in place to proactively monitor for this type of inappropriate activity."

It might seem like they’re taking the allegations seriously, whist generally, but I don’t believe them. I’ve been charged on multiple occasions for the ‘convenience’ of driving 45 minutes to the venue to pick up the ticket myself (and yes, I asked the teller where the fee came from). Maybe I just have a problem with their wording?