Industry News

Ticketmaster exec: ‘Haven’t MPs got anything better to do?’

Ticketmaster International’s senior vice-president of insight and marketing has criticised MPs for involving themselves in public concern about the secondary ticketing market.

In a speech at the FastForward London music business conference last week, Sophie Crosby questioned whether UK politicians have “got anything better to do” than focus on ticketing issues.

Ticketmaster is the owner of secondary platforms Get Me In! and Seatwave, and has also taken a hard stance against scalping through the launch of its Verified Fan service.

However, according to the Musically music business website, Crosby suggested politicians should not be prioritising the regulation of live event ticketing.

“Politicians haven’t got anything better to do? They don’t want to talk about education or Brexit or unregulated internet porn or massive technology giants not paying their taxes?” said Crosby, according to Musically.

“It’s ‘oh, my daughter couldn’t get a Harry Styles ticket’. This is what you’re going to spend your time doing as elected representatives?”

Ticket resale platforms will have to provide a unique number for all tickets offered in the UK after the Digital Economy Bill was passed by Parliament in April.

MPs Nigel Adams and Sharon Hodgson were threatened with arrest as they attempted to confront Viagogo executives at the company’s London office.

Crosby admitted that the issue is a concern for ticket vendors, and the industry must find constructive ways of making sure fans can access tickets to see their favourite acts.

She said: “It leaves a bad taste in the mouth: real fans feel they’re missing out on tickets… you’ve got speculative listings on resale sites, it feels very unfair, and artists don’t want to do that to their fans.

“We recognise we want to be part of the solution. We want to work with the industry and talent to solve this. It’s the fans who are missing out, because some bloke in a sheepskin coat or someone running a bot farm out of the Ukraine – or Basingstoke – is getting the tickets.”