Ticketmaster Discusses How to Protect Fans at the FTC Bots Workshop
At Ticketmaster, we welcome opportunities to sit down with regulators, industry peers and subject-matter experts to talk through the big issues. That’s why yesterday we participated in a workshop with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to share our perspective on the state of the ticketing industry in 2019. David Marcus, EVP and head of Ticketmaster Music, and Patti-Anne Tarlton, EVP Ticketmaster North America, participated in the day’s panels.
The FTC Workshop focused on a variety of topics and we reiterated our commitment to getting tickets directly into the hands of fans, at prices set by the event owner, with the best security and consumer protection available. Panelists and invited experts agreed that event owners – the artists, teams, and promoters who put on the live events fans love – should be able to choose how to distribute their tickets.
Here are some of the key issues discussed during the workshop:
• Bots: Bots are computer automated software used by unscrupulous resellers to buy tickets faster than any human. In 2018, Ticketmaster blocked more than 10 billion bot purchase attempts. While using bots is already illegal, thanks to the BOTS Act of 2016, we encouraged regulators to do more in preventing resale markets from listing illegally purchased tickets. We shared that we welcome assistance of any investigatory agencies to help stop bots.
• Speculative Tickets: Secondary marketplaces often list tickets “on spec,” which means the seller doesn’t have possession or ownership of, or the contractual right to, the ticket. This creates a risk that a fan might spend real money on a ticket that doesn’t exist. Ticketmaster believes fans deserve to know what they are buying which is why we think ticketing marketplaces should be obligated to share this information with potential buyers. Ticketmaster never allows speculative listings on its website or app.
• Deceptive URLs: Unfortunately, there are a lot of sites that intentionally use confusing words, logos, pictures and web addresses to make fans think they are shopping on a site that is an official source of safe and secure tickets. Websites should not be allowed to pose as an official site or to misuse venue, team or artists names in a web address. Consumers have the right to know who they are buying a ticket from, plain and simple. That’s why Ticketmaster strongly believes all sellers and marketplaces must be required to disclose to fans their relationship (or lack of one) with the official events.
• Fees: Fees play a crucial role in bringing events to life. Both event owners and Ticketmaster typically collect fees. Fees cover event owners’ cost of operating live events and the services we provide to venues, promoters and fans, including developing new technology, customer support, fraud prevention, marketing and other services. Our fees are clearly displayed and we call on all ticketing marketplaces to do the same.
To dig deeper into these topics, please visit www.Ticketmaster.com/Ticketing101, that is filled with key facts and in-depth explanations about how our business works.