Ticketmaster has announced it will close down its secondary ticketing services, Seatwave and Get Me In, in order to combat ticket touts.
The sites allow users to sell and purchase unwanted tickets for events and have often been exploited professional resellers who use the platform engage in price-gouging activities.
The sites will be closed in October and in their place, users will be able to sell tickets directly on Ticketmaster, releasing their tickets back into the marketing digitally.
Users will only be allowed to sell these tickets at their original price, or less, to prevent resellers taking advantage of the service.
Ticketmaster has said it will be transparent about the difference between resold and new tickets, showing second hand tickets in a different colour on its site when users select their seats.
Andrew Parsons, head of Ticketmaster UK, said: ‘We know that fans are tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit on secondary websites, so we have taken action.’
Alongside these developments, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is conducting an investigation into the secondary market and is considering legal action against Swiss-based ticket reselling platform, Viagogo.
Viagogo has come under attack increasingly for ‘rip off tactics’ that include putting tickets for sale before they are actually released by promoters and a process known as drip-pricing, which involves hiding the true price of tickets behind booking fees and other external costs.
The news has been welcomed by FanFair Alliance, an organisation campaigning against online ticket touting and unfair secondary ticketing markets.
On Twitter, FanFair Alliance said this was a ‘big development in the ticket resale market’ and that actions would ‘increase pressure on Viagogo’.
In an interview with Music Week, a spokesperson for FanFair Alliance 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.’
Starting immediately, there will be no new events listed on either Seatwave or Get Me In.
Both sites will close in October in the UK and in Ireland; the rest of Europe will follow later in the year.
Parsons continued: ‘Closing down our secondary sites and creating a ticket exchange on Ticketmaster has always been our long-term plan.
‘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.’