Rod Smallwood, the manager of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has claimed that adopting paperless ticketing has helped to reduce the number of gig tickets appearing on secondary websites by more than 95 per cent between two UK tours.
In November 2010, Iron Maiden announced a 10-date UK tour, but many tickets ended up on secondary websites at huge mark-ups.
According to research carried out by Smallwood’s associates, some 6,294 tickets became available within 48 hours on secondary platforms at inflated prices.
However, 48 hours after tickets went on sale in September 2016 for Iron Maiden’s latest UK tour, only 207 tickets appeared on Viagogo, according to a similar sweep of secondary platforms. Most of the 207 were confirmed as bogus.
With paperless ticketing, rather than present a ticket, fans attending the gigs have to present their credit or debit cards when they turn up for the show, as well as a photographic ID.
Iron Maiden managed to implement paperless ticketing on all 13 dates for the band’s tour of the UK and Ireland in 2017.
“Look at the number of tickets that were made available on those sites practically overnight,” Smallwood told the Independent, reflecting on the 2010 sales process.
“The implication is that 6,294 people decided within two days of buying a ticket for a concert taking place in nine months’ time all of a sudden can’t go. I mean it’s sheer nonsense, it was just profiteering to the worst degree. The secondary platforms give the real heavy duty touts the ability to sell tickets on an industrial scale.”