Industry News

Ticketmaster suggests “under-priced” tickets are driving resale market

Ticketmaster has responded to criticism from Australian rock band The Smith Street Band (pictured) by claiming tickets to see the group are being resold at huge mark-ups because they are “under-priced”.

In a reply to The Smith Street Band’s tweet that Ticketmaster is facilitating scalping through its secondary site, Ticketmaster Resale, the company replied that it acts on behalf of the promoter and venue, and does not decide ticket prices for events.

According to the Music Feeds website, tickets for the band’s Melbourne show are being offered for up to A$345 (€242/£208/$262) on Ticketmaster Resale.

The statement from Ticketmaster in response to the band, said: “Tickets are under-priced on the primary market, and resale will remain rife until artists price their tickets at what the market is willing to pay. We estimate that the resale market is worth $8bn globally, and as long as that kind of money is at stake and the use of bots is entirely legal, touts and bad actors will continue to be incentivised to cheat the system.”

The band had originally warned its fans not to purchase their tickets from scalpers after noticing that tickets were on sale for significantly more than its original price.

In a tweet directed at Ticketmaster it asked: “Why are you letting scalpers sell tickets to our shows at HUGELY INFLATED prices on your resale website?”

After seeing Ticketmaster’s response that “under-priced” primary tickets are driving the resale market, the band said on Twitter: “Like what does this actually mean? We should charge more for tickets? It’s our fault for making things affordable?”

Earlier this month, CHOICE, an Australian consumer rights group, filed complaints against Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo over “dodgy pricing practices [and] cheap ticket claims”.

CHOICE found that grandstand tickets to Justin Bieber’s stadium show in Brisbane were being illegally sold for A$1,150 – a 514 per cent increase on their original A$187 price.

In response, Ticketmaster told the ABC news website it was “100 per cent committed to transparency and is continually reviewing its practices and platforms to ensure it is fully compliant with applicable regulations”.

“We see ourselves as the leading example of good practice in the ticketing market and will continue to work to provide customers with fair and transparent pricing structures,” the company said. “If instances of non-compliance by sellers are highlighted to us we take appropriate action to ensure the sellers address those issues.”