Ticketmaster has announced its intention to close down resale websites Seatwave and GetMeIn in the European market, moving from a pure secondary market system to a face value-capped exchange housed on its main website beginning this fall. The announcement came from the company via a blog post published earlier Monday.
“Our number one priority is to get tickets into the hands of fans so that they can go to the events they love,” said Andrew Parsons, MD of Ticketmaster UK, in a statement released by the Live Nation-owned company. “We know that fans are tired of seeing tickets being snapped up just to find them being resold for a profit on secondary websites, so we have taken action. Closing down our secondary sites and creating a ticket exchange on Ticketmaster has always been our long-term plan.”
The new exchange is slated to launch this fall in the UK and Ireland, with an early 2019 launch date in Europe. Rather than naming whatever price they’d like on the resale market, fans using Ticketmaster’s new system will be able to broadcast tickets they can’t use at or below the original price. Purchasers will pay up to a 15% booking fee on top of that value, meaning Ticketmaster will make service fees twice on the same tickets, regardless of the fact that the original purchaser will break even, at best.
In the interim, Get Me In and Seatwave will continue operating as-is, with no new events to be added as the changeover to the new system approaches.
The change moves the company into direct competition with Twickets, an industry insider-owned ticket exchange with a cap on prices that can be charged (thought the company still makes its cut on the service fees). It was in service of this operation that Ed Sheeran set a draconian resale policy for UK dates this year, impacting thousands of fans. Insisting that fans who could not attend the show only use the Twickets platform, Sheeran’s management deliberately canceled tickets that had been resold through any other marketplace, forcing concertgoers to then re-purchase the same tickets at face value and seek a refund after the fact from whatever platform they had originally purchased the tickets on.
FanFair Alliance, a secondary market watchdog launched by individuals with an ownership interest in Twickets, praised the move to close down Ticketmaster’s secondary platforms, but didn’t miss an opportunity to press on with its fight against the legal secondary ticketing market.
“While enforcement action is still urgently required to clamp down on rogue operators such as Viagogo,” a statement read. “We are now much closer to a genuine transformation of the secondary market — where large-scale online touts are locked out, where innovation can flourish, and the resale of tickets is made straightforward, transparent and consumer-friendly.”
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It is unclear whether or not this change in business practice will have any effect on Ticketmaster’s domestic resale platform. An email to the Live Nation-owned ticketing provider’s U.S. communications staff was not returned early Monday afternoon. This post will be updated with any response received.