Music-lovers in the UK are undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief today, with news that Ticketmaster are set to close down their controversial resale sites Seatwave and Get Me In.
In a post on their website this afternoon, the UK branch of Ticketmaster announced the news, explaining that their desire to create a more even playing field was the motivation.
“All we want is you, the fan, to be able to safely buy tickets to the events you love,” the company wrote online.
The aforementioned websites are set to shut down in October, with no new events being listed as of today.
Ticketmaster boss Andrew Parsons confirmed the news, stating, “We know that fans are tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit on secondary websites, so we have taken action.”
In addition to this news, Ticketmaster have also announced the creation of their own ticket exchange, allowing fans to sell unwanted tickets to each other in a more regulated environment, meaning that people will theoretically stop being ripped off in the resale market.
The new service will also allow buyers to see the difference between resold and standard tickets, highlighting the status of a ticket during the buying process by highlighting resold tickets in pink.
“Closing down our secondary sites and creating a ticket exchange on Ticketmaster has always been our long-term plan,” explained Andrew Parsons.
“Selling tickets through Ticketmaster is really simple: We do all the hard work and outline the maximum that can be charged for the ticket – and it doesn’t cost fans a penny to sell them.”
— Ticketmaster UK (@TicketmasterUK) August 13, 2018
Of course, this isn’t the first method being employed to throttle the ever-present problem of ticket scalpers. While Ed Sheeran has previously been in the news for his attempts to cancel resold tickets, we also saw the Victorian Government announce their new plan today to ensure that prospective attendees of the Meredith Music Festival aren’t ripped off when the event’s eventual sell-out occurs.
However, the biggest issue facing music fans in the resale market is the existence of sites such as Viagogo, which are notorious for being an unregulated market where scalpers list tickets at hugely-inflated prices.
In response to such sites, legitimate sites such as Twickets and Tixel have popped up, attempting to even the playing field even more, ensure that fans only pay a reasonable price, and that they aren’t sold fraudulent tickets in the process.
However, the looming presence of a new resale program by a major player such as Ticketmaster will obviously be worrying these smaller services.
With the rather large monopoly that Ticketmaster already has on the ticket industry, it’s undoubtedly a matter of time before people are forced to only use Ticketmaster’s resale service exclusively. While promoters are also in tight spot after being hit with venue contracts, this will also limit their ability to provide fans with a resale service.
While it is clear that a fairer mainstream resale service is on the way for the concert-going public, the fact remains that in order for a market to remain far, there needs to be choice for the consumer. With Ticketmaster seemingly set to corner the market once again with their new resale service, the music industry might need to keep their guard up to ensure they’re not taken for a ride.