Ticketmaster and Live Nation have tended to be in the firing line for criticism of the secondary ticketing market in recent times.
So it’s interesting to see the companies working with Iron Maiden on a paperless-ticketing initiative that the band say will tackle “ludicrously inflated” secondary prices.
Every venue on the band’s 2017 UK tour will offer paperless ticketing “in full or in part”, with fans required to show a credit or debit card plus photo ID when they enter the concert.
The band say they are also working with Ticketmaster and Live Nation to ensure that “secondary ticketing sites are prevented from listing our shows and to invalidate tickets should any appear on these secondary sites”.
“We do not want our fans being ripped off either by counterfeit tickets or through costly mark-ups on so-called secondary ticketing websites. These problems now affect the UK more than any other country outside of the USA.We believe the most successful way to prevent this is by implementing paperless ticketing,” said the band’s manager Rod Smallwood.
“This proved highly successful in reducing piracy at our previous London shows in 2013 and on our North American tours since 2010. This is a simple procedure and goes a long way to minimising the resale of tickets and reducing fraud by requiring the original cardholder purchaser to be present at entry.”
“Paperless ticketing is a proven way of getting tickets directly into the hands of genuine fans whilst ensuring they pay the price intended by the artist,” said Ticketmaster UK’s managing director Andrew Parsons, in a statement.
As Smallwood’s comments show, going paperless isn’t a new thing for Iron Maiden. Nor is it new for Ticketmaster, which first created the technology in 2009.
What’s interesting here is that Ticketmaster’s own secondary sites, GetMeIn and Seatwave, are included in the ban on resale listings from paperless tickets.
Companies like Songkick and Dice have talked a lot about paperless, mobile ticketing as a key plank in keeping tickets off the secondary markets: the pitch being that artists should work with them if they want to protect fans from secondary markups.
It’s a good pitch, but the sight of a band working with Ticketmaster / Live Nation to achieve the same objective shows that (as usual with heated music industry debates) there may be more nuance to the arguments.