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TM resale closure ‘victory for consumer’

Daniel Gidney, chief executive of Lancashire Cricket, has told TheTicketingBusiness that Ticketmaster’s move to drop its resale sites GetMeIn! and Seatwave is a “fantastic victory for the consumer.”

Gidney added that he is glad there will be “much greater transparency” for fans during cricket’s busiest year at Emirates Old Trafford, with six ICC Cricket World Cup matches in 2019 including the hotly anticipated pool game between India and Pakistan, and also a semi-final Ashes Test in September.

“With the support of TheTicketingBusiness, shining a light on organisations that bask in PR glory for supposed legislation compliance and then continued to enable tickets to be touted on the secondary market in breach of both the law and a venue’s ticketing terms and conditions has brought a fantastic victory for the consumer,” he said.

Ian Nuttall, founder, TheTicketingBusiness, said he thinks the closure of GetMeIn! and Seatwave is a “smart move by the world’s leading player.”

“Facing an environment of increasingly vocal consumer discontent coupled with enhanced legislation in key markets, Ticketmaster’s US leadership has taken the initiative,” Nuttall said.

“By closing its own secondary sites, Ticketmaster can no longer be accused of double standards. It also fits into the brand narrative of Ticketmaster being ‘for’ the fans, rather than against them.

“The application of Platinum to high-volume, high-demand events allows the artist and promoter to maximise returns through demand-based pricing, further diminishing the potential resale margins. And offering a fan-to-fan resale platform with a capped markup will make it more attractive – and easier – for Ticketmaster customers to stick with Ticketmaster when customers turn to resale.”

Industry insider and consultant Tim Chambers took to Twitter to similarly predict that the Platinum tickets will grow in popularity within the sector.

He said: “Another Expected Outcome Will Be The Expansion by @Ticketmaster Of The Artist & Promoter Endorsed ‘Platinum’ #Tickets Market-Driven Pricing & Other Revenue Management Policies: Timing, Location, Bundling, Packaging, Membership & Premium Services.”

Chambers also noted that the revised secondary strategy for the ticketing giant would also serve to “further isolate” Viagogo, StubHub and other resale-for-profit sites from “popular opinion and regulatory authorities.”

TheTicketingBusiness’ Nuttall added that, in reality, SeatWave and GetMeIn represented a small part of the formal resale market.

He said: “Whilst they were profitable in their own right, Ticketmaster’s thinking is that it will be better to have a large share of a capped market than a small share of an open market with uncapped resale markup.”

“In the UK, for example, Viagogo dominates the volume of resale – but is increasingly seen as the ‘worst’ of a bad bunch. The rise in legislation, consumer pressure groups and court cases may well curb some of the firm’s most extreme behaviour. 

“Meanwhile, StubHub will be feeling the pressure now. With Ticketmaster taking the lead on closing its own resale sites, Stubhub will be a large player with a shrinking share of secondary inventory.”