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Ticketmaster was Caught Recruiting Resellers to Scalp Their Own Tickets

Ticketmaster, owned by Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, has told shareholders that it intends to expand into the resale market further. Do you know if Ticketmaster hires Scalpers?

Ticketmaster was caught on camera recruiting resellers to sell their own tickets.

How Did Ticketmaster Get Caught Scalping?

The news outlets dispatched two undercover reporters to Ticket Summit 2018, a ticketing and live entertainment convention held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The journalists were pitched on Ticketmaster’s professional reseller program while dressed as scalpers and with hidden cameras.

Ticketmaster’s resale division, according to company representatives, turns a blind eye to scalpers who use ticket-buying bots and fake identities to snag tickets and then resell them on the site for inflated prices. Ticketmaster charges additional fees for those expensive resale tickets.

I have brokers that have literally a couple of hundred accounts, It’s not something that we look at or report.

Hidden Identity of a Sales Representative

The CBC shared its findings with Alan Cross, a veteran music journalist and host of the radio program The Ongoing History of New Music, who believes ticket buyers will be disappointed: This is going to be a public relations nightmare.

There have been “whispers of this in the ticket-selling community, but it’s never been outlined quite like this before,” he claims.

By partnering with scalpers, Ticketmaster has reversed its position from less than a decade ago, when then-CEO Irving Azoff told US lawmakers:

I believe that scalping and resales should be illegal.

Irving Azoff, Former Ticketmaster CEO

Ticketmaster was one of the dozens of vendors and speakers at the convention, which bills itself as a “one-of-a-kind networking event” for industry leaders and small businesses alike. It was held two floors above Caesars’ slot machines and blackjack tables.

Dave Seglins, a CBC reporter, posed as David Geoffrey, a small-time scalper from Toronto with a fictitious company called DGS Promotions.

He mingled with some of the world’s most successful scalpers while hidden cameras were rolling, documenting candid accounts from players inside this notoriously secretive industry.

Ticketmaster Resale Director Casey Klein held a closed-door media session titled “We appreciate your partnership: More brokers are listing with Ticketmaster than ever before.”

The audience learned that Ticketmaster has created a professional reseller program and that TradeDesk, a web-based inventory management system for scalpers, was launched within the last year. According to the company, it is “the most powerful ticket sales tool ever.” (Source: CBC Canada)

The TradeDesk

Scalpers can use TradeDesk to upload large quantities of tickets purchased from Ticketmaster’s website and quickly list them for resale. Scalpers can raise or lower ticket prices on Ticketmaster’s site with the click of a button based on their assessment of fan demand.

TradeDesk and the professional reseller program should be mentioned on Ticketmaster’s website or in corporate reports. A registration request must first be submitted to gain access to the company’s TradeDesk website.

A few Ticketmaster salespeople handed out cupcakes on the trade show floor and demonstrated TradeDesk online at two cubicle workstations.

One of the presenters, who had no idea he was speaking with undercover journalists, insisted that Ticketmaster’s resale division is unconcerned about whether customers use automated software and fake identities to circumvent the box office’s ticket-buying limits.

CBC heard the same message from a different Ticketmaster employee during an earlier stage of the undercover investigation during an online video conference demonstration of TradeDesk. (Source: CBC Canada

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