The merits of paperless ticketing, and the decision by the Miley Cyrus camp to go that route for her upcoming tour, were the focus of a segment on CNBC this week, as StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis admitted the new technology could adversely affect his business.
Tsakalakis and David Butler, president of Ticketmaster North America, took questions from CNBC’s Dennis Kneale and disagreed over how easy the process will be for fans who use paperless tickets. See the video below.
“I don’t think a lot of parents are going to like having to hand over their credit card, and not be able to gift these tickets or even transfer them or give them to someone else if they’re not able to make the event,” said Tsakalakis, who will be among the speakers next month at Ticket Summit Las Vegas, the annual trade show and conference hosted by TicketNews’s parent company TicketNetwork.
“So, I think there will be quite a few customer problems with people trying to get into the event, especially as all 11,000 tickets will be based on credit card entry.”
At the artists’ request, Ticketmaster used paperless ticketing for recent Metallica shows and an AC/DC tour without any problems, according to Butler. The Cyrus tour is marketed to a significantly younger audience who often do not have their own credit cards for identification and proof of purchase.
“We’re not trying to crack down on scalping. We’re trying to give more tools to the artist to control the relationship with their fans,” Butler said. “In Miley Cyrus’s case, she’d like the purchase of her tickets to be directly to the fans, and have a limited resale or no resale market, because she had a lot of fan complaints a year and a half ago that so many tickets were in the secondary market.”