Industry News

Broadway seeks solutions to secondary

Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan has been hailed as the “best solution” for keeping hot tickets away from touts according to a Broadway ticketing veteran.

Mike Rafeal, an independent sales and ticketing analyst and owner of Nexus Ticketing Solutions who has worked in theatrical ticketing for more than 15 years, backed the resale platform introduced in the last year by the ticketing giant.

He told Broadway News that Verified Fan platform is “probably the best solution we’ve come up with so far.” However, he added: “That having been said, it doesn’t necessarily work for long-running shows. It’s great if you’re a new show and you’re putting a new block of tickets on sale, but if you’re in your 15th or 20th year you can’t say ‘Oh we’re going to limit access.’ So that is one concern.”

With so many differentials involved in ticket sales for theatrical shows, Rafael, who worked most recently as an independent consultant on shows including “Wicked,” “War Paint” and “Paramour”, said there’s no one-size fits all solution to the secondary market on Broadway.

“How Broadway eventually comes to terms with the secondary market will be critical,” he added.

“I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution because this year’s hot show is not the same as a show that has run 20 years, and a show that’s hot out of the gate is different from a show that’s trying to build word of mouth.”

The high prices of some Broadway shows and the secondary market has encouraged other shows to charge more, which Rafael said is a “mistake.”

“For a while, producers would go and look in the secondary market and see what their tickets were being resold for and say if someone is selling my tickets on StubHub for $500, why aren’t I getting $500? But there are problems with that equation. 

“One, you’re seeing what the prices are listed for, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it sold at that price.

“Problem number two is your show may not be “Hamilton.” People have a value and you have to let the markets determine the value, and that means reacting to data and it means reacting to data in real time. And that’s what dynamic pricing is.”

Image: Peter K Burian