Any music fan knows scalping is a huge issue, and this new, explosive CBC article demonstrates the extent to which Ticketmaster is partnering with professional ticket resellers and not just helping concertgoers sell extra seats to performances they can not attend. 20, Ticketmaster denies having a program that allows customers to buy large tranches of tickets, which was not at issue in the CBC/Star report.
Reporters from the Star and CBC, posing as small-time scalpers from Canada, listened as sales staff pitched a proprietary Ticketmaster software program created to help bulk buyers resell thousands of tickets.
One man was caught on camera saying the biggest broker had "grabbed around 5 million tickets a day".
You can read the report here. When the owner posted it for resale for $400 on Ticketmaster, the company stood to collect an additional $76 on the same ticket.
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Toronto Star investigative reporter Rob Cribb, left, went undercover at a scalpers' convention in Las Vegas in July.
For those who don't know, an uploader program, or ticket management system, basically takes a broker's available ticketing inventory and automatically uploads it to all the major resale sites, and then helps manage sales across multiple platforms.
A team of Canadian journalists - from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a public radio and television broadcaster, and the Toronto Star newspaper - reported on Wednesday that Ticketmaster, the live-event box office behemoth, has developed a secret tool called TradeDesk that assists professional "scalpers" to resell tickets in ways that would seem to violate Ticketmaster's own rules - and from which Ticketmaster would ostensibly benefit.
Ticketmaster facilitates sales of massive amounts of tickets to secondary sellers? According to a report, Ticketmaster is getting a cut of the deal.
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"As long as there is an imbalance between supply and demand in live event tickets, there will inevitably be a secondary market".
Ticketmaster, which has a virtual monopoly on box office sales for sports and live music events in North America and the United Kingdom has long denounced scalpers, especially those who use bots to harvest thousands of tickets in seconds, making it much harder for fans to get tickets at face value.
"We clearly delineate between standard tickets sold by the venue and tickets sold by third parties, with clear disclosure that resale prices may exceed (or be lower than) face value", the company told the news outlets in a statement.
Prestige Entertainment West Inc., one of the companies, responded by claiming that Ticketmaster uses its site to "deceive consumers and line its pockets from double-dip commissions". Or half a million tickets?
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