O2 is joining forces with the FanFair Alliance (FFA) to clamp down on secondary ticketing abuse.
The telecoms giant will work with FFA to ensure that as many Priority Tickets as possible go to genuine fans following research that shows that nearly three quarters of the UK population (74%) think online ticket touting is becoming a major concern for music fans.
It is introducing a series of measures to Priority Tickets, including updating their terms and conditions to reflect recent changes to the Consumer Rights Act, ensuring tickets are for individuals and not businesses. It will also work with venue partners to monitor all pre-sale purchases; carry out a regular cleanse of the Priority Ticket database to remove individuals who no longer meet the minimum criteria and/or abuse the service; and provide FFA advice to O2 customers to help them make informed ticket purchasing decisions.
Nina Bibby, CMO at O2, said: “We recognise the increasing concerns from our customers, artists and the wider industry about the scale of abuse in the secondary ticket market. Music is in O2’s DNA and we are committed to ensuring that tickets made available through Priority Tickets end up in the hands of genuine fans. The FFA has made significant progress in addressing some of these concerns over the past two years, pushing for change from government and organisations alike. We are looking forward to working with the FFA even further to help drive the agenda and ultimately clamp down on touts.”
A total of 44% of those surveyed said they are unaware of the difference between primary and secondary ticket sites. However, 72% of respondents found the idea of pre-sales appealing, giving registered fans a chance to buy tickets before they go on general sale.
Adam Webb, FanFair Alliance campaign manager, said: “The past two years have seen significant progress to tackle mass-scale online ticket touting, including a raft of new and updated legislative and regulatory measures. These should empower artists and music businesses to better protect their audiences, and it is heartening that O2 are getting on the front-foot to help ensure millions of Priority Tickets reach their customers as intended. We hope others will follow their lead.”
Wildlife Entertainment's Ian McAndrew, Arctic Monkeys manager and one of the co-founders of FanFair Alliance, said: “The FanFair campaign has helped drive significant reforms in secondary ticketing, but it will still require proactive measures, such as these, to best ensure tickets reach their intended audience. It is to O2's credit that they have instigated these initial changes, and we look forward to further collaboration going forward.”
Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the Music Managers Forum (MMF), added: “Pre-sales are part and parcel of live music, and this raft of measures from O2 will help ensure Priority Tickets get into the hands of real music fans. It is a very positive move forward, and one that will have ramifications throughout the live music business.”