London music venue The O2 has announced a partnership to make eBay’s StubHub subsidiary its ‘official ticket re-sale partner’. Billed as the first deal of its type, it means any tickets bought for O2 gigs through StubHub will be run through the venue’s AXS ticketing platform, with venue-owner AEG taking a cut of buyer and seller fees on the site. The deal is one cog in a wider, global agreement between AEG and eBay, which is spurring similar deals for US venues. “By partnering with StubHub we are working with a resale marketplace that has a proven pedigree in serving fans and providing an innovative service for our customers,” says The O2’s general manager Rebecca Kane. Maybe so, but a few of those customers may wonder whether ‘innovative’ is the right word for a venue having a financial interest in tickets being resold on the secondary market. It’s hardly a new phenomenon, of course, but we sense there may still be a gap between the crossness of music fans at secondary ticketing, and the desire of venues, promoters and the wider music industry to capitalise on this market. ‘Better the devil you know (that’s authorised)’ appears to be the pitch, for now.
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