Yet there’s a controversy blowing up around Radiohead and Ticketmaster’s decision to go entirely paperless for the band’s upcoming Manchester and London gigs, which neatly illustrates some of the challenges involved.
One of the key appeals of paperless ticketing is the fact that it squeezes out touts by preventing secondary resale. Fans will get into the concerts on the day by showing their ID and the credit or debit card used to pay for them. The problem for some fans, though, is that whole ‘preventing secondary resale’ aspect.
If they find they can’t go to the gig, there’s no way to resell or even give them to a friend or family member. Ticketmaster also has a no-refunds policy, so there’s no chance of selling them back to the company and getting money back. The Guardian rounds up some fan complaints, which appear to be targeted more at Ticketmaster than Radiohead – for now.
The controversy is such that Ticketmaster is having to deal with individual fans to get registered names and cards changed, adding back administrative hassle.
Campaigning groups aren’t happy either. “As fans, restrictive paperless tickets mean less control, more hassles, no price competition and more fees paid to paperless ticketing companies like Ticketmaster,” claims US pressure group Fan Freedom Project.