Ticketmaster accused of secret ticket scalping program

Ticketmaster is making double the fees of each ticket sold

Ticketmaster is recruiting professionals for a secret ticketing scalping program so it can make more money. Reporters from the CBC News/Toronto Star sent undercover reporters to Ticket Summit 2018, a ticketing and live entertainment convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, in July where it discovered the news.

The journalists posed as scalpers wearing hidden cameras which captured them being recruited by Ticketmaster employees. Despite publicly decrying scalpers, representatives told the reporters they turn a “blind eye to scalpers who use ticket-buying bots and fake identities to snatch up tickets and then resell them on the site for inflated prices” as it makes the company more money with the fees it charges.

“I have brokers that have literally a couple of hundred accounts,” one sales representative says. “It’s not something that we look at or report.”

At the event, CBC reporter Dave Seglins signed up with a fake account and company name. Wearing a hidden camera, he mingled among the most professional scalpers documenting candid accounts from this secretive industry.

Ticketmaster Resale Director Casey Klein held a session closed to the media in which he unveiled a professional reseller program and TradeDesk, a web-based inventory management system for scalpers. TradeDesk is touted as “The most powerful ticket sales tool. Ever.”

“TradeDesk allows scalpers to upload large quantities of tickets purchased from Ticketmaster’s site and quickly list them again for resale,” the CBC reports. “With the click of a button, scalpers can hike or drop prices on reams of tickets on Ticketmaster’s site based on their assessment of fan demand.”

The reseller programs allow Ticketmaster to make double the money from the fees it charges per ticket. CBC shared the news with veteran music journalist and radio host Alan Cross who says, “This is going to be a public relations nightmare” for the company.

Ticketmaster and artists have been outspoken about the secondary ticket market. Many artists have teamed with the company to prevent scalper bots from purchasing tickets. Most recently, Garth Brooks thanked Ticketmaster for preventing hundreds of thousands of bots from buying tickets for his upcoming sold out Notre Dame Stadium show.

“Ticketmaster, Thank you! Thank you a million times over, the engineers at Ticketmaster,” Brooks states during his Inside Studio G Facebook Live series. “What I found out this last Friday was the bot situation, the scalper situation, the secondary sub level selling of the tickets — whatever name you want to put it under — has gotten ridiculous. And with technology, it’s only going to get more ridiculous. So these guys spent most of their morning trying to take care of real people that wanted tickets while knocking out hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of bots.”

Ticketmaster is the largest ticketing broker firm in the world. It is owned by Live Nation Entertainment, the largest concert promoter in the world. Neither company has publicly addressed the findings.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.