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Scalpers, Bots Cut Access to Tickets for Live Entertainment Shows

Thursday, January 2, 2014   (0 Comments)

Denver Post (12/08/13) Gorski, Eric; Vuong, Andy

Fans are finding themselves increasingly locked out from getting tickets to popular events because scalpers use software bots that purchase and stockpile high-demand tickets in bulk as soon as they go on sale. Another obstacle is the largely concealed practice of reserving prime seats for artists, promoters, fan-club members, and credit card companies, while paperless tickets can be very hard to sell or give away even though they help foil scalpers. Live Nation Entertainment and StubHub are carefully monitoring these and other issues as they advocate for their interests via lobbying and public relations efforts. For example, StubHub contributes funding to the Fan Freedom Project, which has lobbied against paperless tickets and holdbacks. Fan Freedom has demonstrated through public records requests to publicly owned venues that 70 to 90 percent of tickets for certain A-list musical acts were never available for sale at the general public on-sale time. Fan Freedom wants more transparency in ticket availability, while opponents warn that such a move would enable scalpers to better assess the market. Meanwhile, Live Nation subsidiary Ticketmaster is pursuing litigation against scalpers who use ticket-scooping bots. Live Nation's Jacqueline Peterson says on-sales are tracked for suspicious activity, and orders that surpass ticket limits are terminated. She notes that supply and demand is the main factor keeping fans from prime seats, and artists also are hesitant to price tickets at what the market can bear, which encourages scalpers.


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