The Association of Independent Festivals has expressed concerns over the announced partnership between the O2 Arena and eBay, claiming that it could be a way for major live music companies to benefit from the secondary market.
It was announced of the 4th of June that the O2 would be integrating Stubhub into AXS, its primary ticket selling platform. The O2’s general manager, Rebecca Kane, has said that Stubhub has a “proven pedigree in serving fans and providing an innovative service for our customers.”
However, this has been met with criticism from the AIF, who previously backed a “fair ticketing charter” started by the Featured Artists Coalition. Clair O’ Neill, the general Manager of the AIF, has urged eBay and the O2 Arena to take into consideration issues such as bot technology that siphons off desirable tickets into the hands of scalpers and unfair pricing. She has said that she hopes that this partnership is not “another major industry attempt to profit from the secondary market”.
Ticket touts have long been the enemy of the promoter and musician alike; however, ever since websites have begun accounting for a large portion of ticket sales, the situation has become worse. Thanks to the aforementioned bot technology, touters can acquire tickets for events they consider desirable with relative ease, and sell them at extortionate prices once licensed sellers have sold out of tickets. Whilst ripping off the fans, this also sees the promoter and the band make no profit from the sale, meaning that the tout is the only person that benefits. To make matters worse, the New York Times have reported that the bot technology that facilitates this touting is notoriously hard to combat, as the people who create them are often able to find ways to bypass the technology used to stop them. This is why it is understandable that the AIF have gone to such lengths to combat touting (or scalping, if you’re American and extremely confused by this point).
Further concerns are raised when you consider gaps in the law used to protect the music industry from touters. Despite demands from the AIF that secondary tickets are not sold to their events, there is legally no way to stop people from doing so, as there is at some sporting events.
Despite potential potholes, if Stubhub can address the issues raised by the AIF, it may be the solution to the problem of touting. Perhaps putting the control of the sale of tickets in the hand of powerful organisations such as eBay and The O2 Arena, who have the money and resources to combat touters, can provide a marketplace for second-hand tickets that protects the customer, the promoter, and the bands. You can be sure that the AIF will be keeping a close eye on Stubhub, so it is likely that we will be alerted to any problems in the operation in the near future.
The Association of Independent Festivals has expressed concerns over the announced partnership between the O2 Arena and eBay, claiming that it could be a way for major live music companies to benefit from the secondary market. It was announced of...