The long and winding road into the future of ticketing in New York got underway on Thursday in Albany, as members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office met with representatives from the industry.
According to the New York Daily News, Ticketmaster tipped its hand, passing a list of its priorities to the Gov’s office on Wednesday. In the ticketing giant’s crosshairs: Legalizing the sale of paperless tickets in New York.
“New York should lift its antiquated ban on paperless ticketing,” Ticketmaster urged Cuomo. “This option, available to entertainers in every state in the country except New York, makes it easier for face-value tickets to get into the hands of real fans.”
Other priorities reported by NYDN include barring re-sellers from offering tickets they have not yet acquired, ending what they call deceptive marketing practices, and eliminating any steps towards transparency in terms of holdbacks for venues, artists, and presale that might illuminate for the consumer just how many tickets are even available to the public for a given show.
An investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of the live event industry found that 54% of all tickets to popular performances are set aside for industry insiders and presales before reaching the general public. His office has requested primary sellers increase their disclosure of the actual numbers of tickets available to the public, which would remove the oft-used excuse that bots and brokers are the reason for lighting-fast sellouts for high-demand performances. Schneiderman’s recommendations also included prohibiting brokers from advertising tickets they do not yet own.
Since 2007, New York has been a largely open marketplace for ticket resale, only outlawing the use of “bot” software a year ago. Obviously, industry giants like Ticketmaster are pushing hard to make it harder for ticket brokers to have a toehold in the lucrative market, which includes Broadway, major sports teams both in the city and in Western New York, and other performance spaces throughout the state. The status quo was maintained in 2017, as Cuomo signed an extension of the existing regulations, with a promise that the issue would once again be addressed this year.