Ticketmaster’s decision to close down Seatwave and other secondary ticket websites in Ireland and Europe has made news around the world.
The company announced the decision as being part of a long-term evolution and has trailed that it will launch a fan to fan exchange site in October where fans can exchange tickets they can no longer use at face value or less.
Ticketmaster Ireland CEO Keith English suggested the decision was a long-term one and nothing to do with proposed legislation here in Ireland or ongoing consumer legislation investigations in the UK.
In filings from the US for the financial year 2017 Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation reported that the service had sold 500 million tickets in 29 countries during the year, generating revenue for venues, promoters, artists and its own bottom line of an incredible $30 Billion.
Perhaps the evolution has indeed been a long time in the planning but consumer sentiment can be a fickle beast and there was undoubted heat here and elsewhere over the fact that Seatwave was perceived as being too close to Ticketmaster and not in the interests of genuine fans.
Initiative including the Verified Fan system have sought to rehabilitate the reputation and it could just be that the risk of being on the wrong side of legislation was just seen as too great a risk for a company that still dominates the market.
There are plenty of other ticket platforms, from Eventbrite and Ireland’s own tickets.ie here to Seat Advisor and many more.
There is an obvious threat from Facebook and Google who retain so much consumer data and Ticketmaster needs to be mindful of any vulnerability that could quickly be exploited.
Seatwave is no longer listing new events but is still live. It is currently listing 37 weekend tickets for the sold-out Electric Picnic ranging from €436 to €828.
There are 22 tickets available for U2 at the 3Arena. They range from €590 to
just under €1,000.
Viagogo and StubHub will be the main remaining secondary ticketing website where prices are set by the seller without limit once Seatwave is gone. Industry sources believe that they will expand to fill the gap left by Seatwave and that the battle to create an absolutely fair way of distributing tickets to fans, if that is even possible in reality, still has a long way to go.
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