Ticketmaster has announced the closure of its resale sites in an effort to stamp out inflated prices online by touts.
Get Me In! and Seatwave will be replaced with a new fan-to-fan ticket exchange to be rolled out in the UK and Ireland in October and Europe in early 2019.
Both sites were forced to implement changes to the information they provided to customers following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.
Seatwave is currently offering tickets to Britney Spears in Scarborough at £590 each – a 329% mark-up on the face value price of £137.50 for the best seats. From today (August 13) there will be no new events listed on Get Me In! or Seatwave.
Ticketmaster said that its new ticket exchange will allow fans to buy and sell tickets at the original price or less. It mirrors the FanSale service run by Music Week Awards winners Eventim UK.
Andrew Parsons, MD of Ticketmaster UK, said: “Our number one priority is to get tickets into the hands of fans so that they can go to the events they love. 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. We’re excited to launch our redesigned website which will make buying and selling tickets fast and simple, with all tickets in the same place.
“Our new Ticketmaster ticket exchange lets fans sell tickets they can’t use directly through their Ticketmaster account, for the price originally paid or less. Selling tickets through Ticketmaster is really simple: we do all the hard work and outline the maximum that can be charged for the ticket – and it doesn’t cost fans a penny to sell them.”
The decision to shutter the sites follows a raft of negative publicity about services that facilitate profiteering, including the referral of Viagogo to National Trading Standards and the ban on ticket bots.
AXS recently launched its own “transformative” resale platform, while O2 partnered with the FanFair Alliance to combat secondary ticketing abuse.
A FanFair Alliance spokesman said: “After a long campaign to change the UK ticketing market and to put power into the hands of artists and their fans, the Fanfair Alliance warmly welcomes this move by Ticketmaster.
“While enforcement action is still urgently required to clamp down on rogue operators such as Viagogo, 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. We look forward to the roll out from October this year and seeing how these changes work in practice.”
Jonathan Brown, chief exec, Society Of Ticket Agents And Retailers (STAR), said: “This excellent news from Ticketmaster means that ticket buyers will have another safe and trusted place to resell their tickets. However, resale for profit will continue elsewhere and the spotlight is therefore on the remaining marketplaces, including those based overseas. The ongoing enforcement work by the Competition and Market Authority and others to ensure compliance with UK legislation is crucial.”