Secondary ticketing went under inspection this week on a ‘Dispatches’ programme that aired on Channel 4 and took a close look into the resale market.
Included in the documentary are the results of an undercover taping that focused on two resale leaders in the UK, Seatwave and Viagogo.
As ticket touting becomes more popular online due to ticket resale services and auction websites such as eBay, criticism on the practice from the likes of politicians and musicians have also increased. Promoters and managers have also spoken out against the practice stating that it is hurtful to their sales.
A couple of years ago, the then in charge Labour government spoke to the live sector and stated that it was important that consumers not be ripped off as touting became more popular. The government also threatened to create laws to prevent touting if needed, but nothing was done. At the time, key promoters stated that they could not prevent it from happening, but they would appreciate any legislation that could help to prevent touts.
However, ministers never took any action and then left the issue alone, failing to address the issue at all over the last few years. Secondary ticketing companies believe that there is nothing wrong with reselling tickets to events that arer in high demand for a slight profit, even if they intended to make a profit originally when they first purchased the tickets.
They argue that it is better to sell tickets online in an authorised fashion then it is for touts to sell tickets outside of a venue in masses before the event occurs. In addition, they believe that it is better than consumers buying tickets from websites that may be attempting to scam them, because the reputable companies will at least deliver the tickets as promised.
Others argue that touting which takes place on purpose is hurting actual fans since it makes it hard for them to find available tickets. When industrial scale touting takes place, then companies are able to buy large amounts of tickets at one time, preventing individual fans from buying tickets without paying the hiked up price tag that online secondary ticketing websites offer as a final resort.