A new report from the consumer advocacy group Fan Freedom Project (FFP) says that a vast majority of fans want more transparency from artists, venues and sports teams concerning how many tickets are made available at the time of sale.
Of the 1,000 general ticket consumers surveyed, 68 percent said that the total number of tickets, including those set aside for sponsors, fan clubs and artist comps, should be disclosed, and 72 percent said artists should not secretly sell tickets on secondary market for more money. In May, a leaked contract rider for pop singer Katy Perry revealed she reserved the right to resell her own tickets when she goes on tour.
In addition to wanting more transparency, fans also said they associate “options and choice” and “affordable” more with the secondary ticket market than they did with the primary ticket market, which is dominated by Live Nation’s Ticketmaster division.
Jon Potter, president of the FFP, said in a statement that fans believe that they are kept “in the dark” when it comes to a lot of the practices in the industry.
“And they’re right. Every week we see fans try to buy tickets during the public onsale, only to have events sell out in 30 seconds. What fans don’t realize is that hardly any tickets were available in the first place. Original ticket issuers like Ticketmaster hide behind this opaque wall, and meanwhile tickets are going out the backdoor to be sold to those same fans for double and triple the price,” he said, adding that the FFP’s mission is to shed light on such actions “to ensure fairness, transparency and meaningful consumer protections.” The survey was conducted June 27-29 by Bellevue, WA-based research firm Penn Schoen Berland.
The FFP seeks to educate fans, lawmakers and ticketing executives about a host of issues surrounding the industry, but perhaps its chief priority is fighting against the use of restrictive paperless tickets. The digital tickets, which are linked to a buyers’ credit card, cannot be purchased at the box office with cash and are virtually impossible to transfer to friends or family members, or resell.
According to the poll, a lot of confusion still surrounds the use of restrictive paperless tickets, with less than 30 percent of respondents able to correctly describe what they are. Once they understand what they are, the respondents overwhelmingly believe a ticket is their property (89 percent); they should have the right to transfer or resell it to anyone they want (90); and they should be able to freely transfer/resell that ticket through whatever means they decide (87 percent). A total of 58 percent said they would not even purchase a paperless ticket that they could not give away, resell or otherwise transfer freely.
“The sharply restrictive nature of paperless tickets is still vastly unknown to consumers,” Potter said in a statement. “We are trying to educate fans on the realities of this ticketing scheme.”