Ticketmaster reportedly authorizing and making money off of clandestine scalping program

Ticketmaster reportedly authorizing and making money off of clandestine scalping program
"Are you sure it was Ticketmaster? They're a good company. Seriously, fuck you for accusing without proof."

UPDATE (1:30 PM EST): Ticketmaster denies the allegations in a statement, according to a post by Variety. “We do not condone the statements made by the employee as the conduct described clearly violates our terms of service.”

Ticketmater has a terrible reputation among almost everyone paying attention, but hey, it’s understandable: it wasn’t that long ago when the giant ticketing company made financial amends for their hidden and historically egregious fees. A series of vouchers valued at $2.25 each might have been credited to your account within the past couple of years, and given the whopping value of those vouchers relative to the average price of concert tickets these days, surely we can, like, totally forgive them now. And surely the settlement conclusion to Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster means that the company has turned over a new leaf, right? One of Aurora’s greatest philosophers might’ve said it best: uh, not!

Purchasing tickets via Ticketmaster still generally comes with huge fees (only some of which Ticketmaster controls, in truth), but the CBC/Toronto Star (via Consequence of Sound) has the brand new investigative scoop on a previously unknown scheme by which consumers are getting doubly screwed in the orifice of Ticketmaster's choosing. Two reporters went undercover at the Ticket Summit 2018 convention in Las Vegas this past July, and they claim that Ticketmaster is authorizing and actively making money off of tickets scalped through its service. Reps from the Live Nation subsidiary recruited the reporters, who were posing as scalpers, and reportedly pitched them on a closed-door method of easily purchasing tickets in bulk and reselling them for much higher prices.

That method didn't just come in the form of a hands-off recipe. Ticketmaster made a point at the convention to promote TradeDesk, a platform developed in-house that allows scalpers to quickly change prices and list large numbers of tickets for resale. Ticketmaster then earns money off of the fees from resold tickets, and the company is being plenty cagey about it: not only is TradeDesk not mentioned anywhere on the Ticketmaster website, but in response to a question about scalpers using bots to mass purchase tickets via the primary service (which is against the Terms of Use), one of the reps told one of the undercover reporters that "We've spent millions of dollars on this tool. The last thing we'd want to do is get brokers caught up to where they can't sell inventory with us." Something something... turning a blind eye. "Brokers" is a hell of a euphemism as well.

Live Nation has already been accused of threatening venues that don't use Ticketmaster. I kind of doubt Ticketmaster would be going the approved-scalping route if there were room for some virtuous, legitimate competition out there. Instead, we just have one octopus, smothering the live music industry.

Here’s some sweet undercover footage:

Most Read