Industry News

O2 and FanFair fight touts together

Anti-touting campaign group FanFair Alliance has teamed up with O2 in an effort to tackle touts on the secondary market.

The pair will work towards making sure real fans receive as many Priority Tickets as possible after a survey showed the UK has major issues with the secondary market.

Nina Bibby, chief marketing officer at O2, said: “We recognise the increasing concerns from our customers, artists and the wider industry about the scale of abuse in the secondary ticket market.

“Music is in O2’s DNA and we are committed to ensuring that tickets made available through Priority Tickets end up in the hands of genuine fans. The FFA has made significant progress in addressing some of these concerns over the past two years, pushing for change from government and organisations alike. We are looking forward to working with the FFA even further to help drive the agenda and ultimately clamp down on touts.”

Nearly three quarters of the UK population (74 per cent) think online ticket touting is becoming a major concern, according to Music Week.

Adam Webb, FanFair Alliance campaign manager, said: “The past two years have seen significant progress to tackle mass-scale online ticket touting, including a raft of new and updated legislative and regulatory measures. These should empower artists and music businesses to better protect their audiences, and it is heartening that O2 are getting on the front-foot to help ensure millions of Priority Tickets reach their customers as intended. We hope others will follow their lead.”

According to Music Week, 44 per cent of those surveyed said they are unaware of the difference between primary and secondary ticket sites.

However, 72 per cent found the idea of pre-sales appealing, giving registered fans a chance to buy tickets before they go on general sale.

Wildlife Entertainment’s Ian McAndrew, Arctic Monkeys manager and one of the co-founders of FanFair Alliance, said: “The FanFair campaign has helped drive significant reforms in secondary ticketing, but it will still require proactive measures, such as these, to best ensure tickets reach their intended audience. It is to O2’s credit that they have instigated these initial changes, and we look forward to further collaboration going forward.”

The partnership between O2 and FFA will see a series of measures affecting Priority Tickets, including updating their terms and conditions to reflect recent changes to the Consumer Rights Act, and ensuring tickets are for individuals and not businesses.

All pre-sale purchases will also be monitored while there will also be a regular cleanse of the Priority Ticket database to remove individuals who no longer meet the minimum criteria and/or abuse the service.

In addition, O2 will provide FFA advice to its customers to help them make informed ticket purchasing decisions.

Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the Music Managers Forum (MMF), added: “Pre-sales are part and parcel of live music, and this raft of measures from O2 will help ensure Priority Tickets get into the hands of real music fans. It is a very positive move forward, and one that will have ramifications throughout the live music business.”

Image: Raya Sharbain