Ticketmaster Has Secretly Been Cheating You With Its Own …
Music fans’ ire toward Ticketmaster for expensive concert tickets may be somewhat justified, according to a fiery investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star on Wednesday detailing a secret scalping scheme run by the ticket sales company itself. The two outlets sent journalists undercover as scalpers to a live entertainment convention this summer, where Ticketmaster reportedly pitched them on underground dealings in its professional resale program, through which it takes a cut of profits.
Ticketmaster, which is owned by live entertainment juggernaut Live Nation, enlists resellers to grab large batches of tickets from its site and then flip them for higher prices on a Ticketmaster-owned, invite-only platform called TradeDesk (touted by the company as “The most powerful ticket sales tool. Ever”), according to the report. Ticketmaster gets extra fees from the pricier resale tickets on top of its fees from selling the original ticket. CBC and Toronto Star journalists were told that despite the existence of a Ticketmaster “buyer abuse” division that looks for suspicious online activity in ticket sales, the company turns a blind eye to its TradeDesk users who grab lots of tickets. A sales representative told one of the undercover journalists that there are brokers with “literally a couple of hundred accounts” on TradeDesk, and that it’s “not something that we look at or report. ”
Ticketmaster has sued groups in the past for using bots to grab up live events tickets from its site, which prompted counterclaims that Ticketmaster was itself supplying scalpers with bot software or assisting them with mass resale — which, per this week’s investigation, TradeDesk appears to be doing. “This is going to be a public relations nightmare, ” popular Canadian radio program host Alan Cross told CBC upon seeing the findings, noting of previous “whispers of this in the ticket-selling community, but it’s never been outlined quite like this before. ”
Ticketmaster has not issued any public comment, but in a statement to CBC, said that “as the world’s leading ticketing platform, representing thousands of teams, artists and venues, we believe it is our job to offer a marketplace that provides a safe and fair place for fans to shop, buy and sell tickets in both the primary and secondary markets. ”
Ticketmaster’s Anti-Bot Technology Actually Makes It Easier …
Harry Styles. Image: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesPresale tickets for Harry Styles’ world tour went on sale Monday morning, and #Ticketmaster is currently trending on Twitter for exactly the reason you’d think: The onsale was a complete shitshow, as big-ticket concert and sports ticket onsales have been for the last two, fans are upset, scalpers got tons of tickets, and everyone is is a familiar story for Ticketmaster. An “onsale” is when people try to buy tickets for an event the moment they go on sale. It usually happens at 10 a. m. local time. For big artists, this means thousands and thousands of people trying to buy tickets at the same time. This often results in Ticketmaster’s servers breaking, and the show completely selling out within seconds or minutes. Thus, “onsales” are the only time it’s even possible to buy tickets for lots of one hand, Ticketmaster is in a difficult position: There are far more people trying to buy tickets for artists like Harry Styles than there are actual tickets available. On the other hand, Ticketmaster keeps breaking its onsale system in new and exotic ways. It has been selling tickets online since 1996 and, if anything, it has gotten harder for fans to buy tickets when they go on sale, not spite Ticketmaster repeatedly saying it cares about fans and hates bots and scalpers, there is little reason to believe this is actually the case. All of its changes to ticket onsales actually benefit scalpers (for a lot of different reasons), and there is simply no reason to believe that Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, even remotely cares about fans. Earlier this year, Live Nation’s president of U. S. concerts Bob Roux was caught directly transferring nearly 90, 000 Metallica tickets to the secondary market. A few years ago, I wrote a feature about Ken Lowson, a ticket scalper who for nearly a decade broke Ticketmaster’s online ticketing systems and was able to vacuum up hundreds of thousands of the best tickets for the most sought after events. In one case, Lowson’s company, Wiseguys Tickets, was able to buy 496 of 500 tickets that were made available during a presale for a U2 concert in New York the time, Ticketmaster told me that, today, fans can’t buy tickets to shows for major artists because “there are more people who want to go to a show than there are tickets available. ””For example the 2015 Adele onsale, there were about 10 million people lining up to get tickets and we only had a little over 400, 000 tickets. There’s a big difference there and we’re sensitive to the emotions behind these on sales for passionate fans, ” a spokesperson for the company said at the ’s understandable. What is not understandable is that Ticketmaster’s website, apps, and servers continue to crash under the weight of people trying to buy tickets for high profile events, which causes mass confusion, anger, and heartbreak. The company has been doing this for nearly 25 years and still has not figured out how to handle an influx of people pinging its servers during a hot onsale. A bigger problem, however, is that Ticketmaster is also constantly tweaking how its onsales work: Gone are the days where you merely refresh the page, type in a presale code, click “best available, ” enter a captcha, and hope for the, Ticketmaster has “waiting rooms” that only allow a certain number of people to buy tickets at once. It also attempts to verify that its users are real people by requiring that they give the company their phone number and enter a verification code sent via SMS, and it only allows each user account to wait in one waiting room at a a user gets through the waiting room, they are greeted with a buggy and complicated seat map, where you can select specific seats rather than the “best available. ” When hundreds of thousands of people are trying to buy tickets at once, this means that the tickets you select might already be spoken are many places where this process can error out: During the waiting room process, during the ticket selection process, and during the payment process. When I was trying to buy Harry Styles tickets for my sister this morning, I got errored out during both the waiting room process and the payment process. I didn’t get any four years during college, I bought and scalped tickets on the side. I didn’t use bots and I wasn’t good at it. I ultimately lost a lot of money. But I did learn quite a lot about the ticket scalping industry. And I learned enough to know that the “anti-scalper” strategies Ticketmaster has deployed in recent years benefits scalpers, not is the full-time job of thousands of people in the U. and around the world to buy tickets during hectic Ticketmaster onsales and sell them at jacked-up prices. When Ticketmaster tweaks how sales work, scalpers have lots of time and incentive to learn how to optimize for its new systems and to circumvent its anti-scalper tech. By making onsales more complicated, Ticketmaster is hurting average fans who buy tickets using the site only a couple times a year and helping the people who buy tickets every single day, in dozens of different are easy ways to circumvent every new hurdle Ticketmaster has, each of which you are more likely to do if buying tickets is your full-time job:
SMS user verification can be circumvented by creating multiple (or dozens, or hundreds, or thousands) of cell phone numbers using either Google Voice or pay-as-you-go burner phones.
It’s easy to create dozens or hundreds of accounts to allow you to wait in a bunch of different waiting rooms at once, giving you many more bites at the apple. This is something that makes sense for a scalper to do, not a regular fan.
“Fan” presales are not really for fans at all—every serious scalper joins fan clubs and is willing to pay for fan club memberships because they can make money doing so.
Credit card presales benefit scalpers, too, because every scalper has many, many credit cards. This is because having more credit cards makes it easier to circumvent Ticketmaster’s ticket limits, but also because ticket scalping requires putting down a lot of money, which is easier on a credit card and scalpers are also obsessed with credit card miles.
The end result in this case is that, while an actual Harry Styles fan has just one chance to buy tickets, which is completely ruined if they run into an error, the average scalper can have dozens of chances to buy tickets. If one transaction errors out, they can have many more browsers and accounts and can simply try again. ORIGINAL REPORTING ON EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS IN YOUR signing up to the VICE newsletter you agree to receive electronic communications from VICE that may sometimes include advertisements or sponsored content.
Ticketmaster reportedly has secret deals with scalpers … – CNBC
Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, Sakuma | APEntertainment company Ticketmaster has been secretly setting up deals with scalpers even while publicly criticizing the practice, according to a new report from Canadian media groups The Star and Canadian Broadcast Company. Ticketmaster essentially has a monopoly on the sale of tickets to all kinds of events, including sports, music and theater in North America and the United company has been deeply critical of scalpers — people or businesses who buy tickets and then resell them at higher prices for a profit. It limits the number of tickets per purchase to prevent scalpers from buying up large chunks of tickets for resale. It has even called for laws against the practice, the report reporters from the Star and CBC discovered that Ticketmaster is secretly cultivating a secondary industry with scalpers, in violation of its own company uses software called Trade Desk, which allows resellers to buy tickets from Ticketmaster and then instantly post them to resale websites. Ticketmaster earns two commissions in the process, when the tickets are initially purchased and once they are resold on verified resale websites like StubHub or Vivid of Toronto business professor Richard Powers called the practice unethical and said it should be outlawed. Ticketmaster parent Live Nation was not immediately available for comment to CNBC, but spokesperson Catherine Martin told the Star the law of supply and demand makes a secondary market in ticket selling inevitable. “As the world’s leading ticketing platform … we believe it is our job to offer a marketplace that provides a safe and fair place for fans to shop, buy and sell tickets in both the primary and secondary markets, ” she the full story at the Star.
Frequently Asked Questions about ticketmaster scalping site
Does Ticketmaster scalp tickets?
And I learned enough to know that the “anti-scalper” strategies Ticketmaster has deployed in recent years benefits scalpers, not fans. It is the full-time job of thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world to buy tickets during hectic Ticketmaster onsales and sell them at jacked-up prices.Nov 18, 2019
How is Ticketmaster resale not scalping?
Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, California. … It limits the number of tickets per purchase to prevent scalpers from buying up large chunks of tickets for resale.Sep 20, 2018
Where do scalpers get tickets?
Ticket scalpers (or ticket touts in British English) work outside events, often showing up with unsold tickets from brokers’ offices on a consignment basis or showing up without tickets and buying extra tickets from fans at or below face value on a speculative basis hoping to resell them at a profit.