Ticketmaster has said it may begin using to software to browse customers’ social media profiles to check whether they are a genuine fan before permitting a ticket sale.

The announcement came from head of Ticketmaster, Keith English, while he was discussing the Verified Fan software, which helps to tackle ticket touts, according to Ireland’s The Journal news website.

English said: “We’ve just launched in the US and we’re looking at bringing it internationally.

“People register prior to an on-sale and then we use sophisticated software to look at their social media activity and other things to try and identify if they’re a genuine fan or not and then send them a code allowing them to purchase a ticket.

“But we also have to think about what’s the consumer journey to purchasing a ticket, they want to log onto our website, find the ticket that they want, pay with their credit card and be done. They don’t want to spend hours there, they don’t want to give us their life history.

“In terms of volumes, it’s very small. It makes a lot of noise because it’s usually about those high-profile events and there’s a lot of fan interest when that goes on.

“These days consumers do not accept that something is sold out, they will go and look for another way to buy a ticket.

“If Ticketmaster puts out a ‘sold out’ sign … they will start going on listing sites and they will then be prey to someone who doesn’t care if they’re selling a genuine product to them or not.”

Verified Fan, Ticketmaster’s new weapon to beat ticket bots, was hailed as a success back in March after minimising the scalping of Ed Sheeran tickets during his North American tour.

Ticketmaster told the Recode tech news website that less than 1 per cent of tickets sold through the Verified Fan programme have so far ended up in secondary ticket markets, compared to what is usually a double-digit percentage.

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