Christoph Homann, Managing Director of Resale at Ticketmaster International 

Christoph Homann

Christoph Homann is leading the industry’s response to consumer demand for a safe and transparent ticket resale platform with Ticketmaster’s GET ME IN! In this paper, he warns of the risks of letting politicians get their sticky hands on the industry.

“Hello, I’m from the Government: I’m here to help”. These are said to be the most chilling words any industry can hear. The fact of the matter is that Governments, for all their good intentions, rarely make things better, and only add cost and complexity with every new swathe of onerous regulation.

We get a whiff of that in Mike Weatherley MP’s recent TTF White Paper. I know that he is well-intentioned, but viewed from the coalface of the ticketing industry, his analysis just doesn’t ring true. It smacks of someone wanting to create the appearance of a problem in order to have something to campaign against.

So let’s bust some of those myths once and for all, shall we?

Myth: “Secondary ticketing resellers are causing dramatically inflated prices for fans and taking away revenue from performers.”

Reality: Lawful resale is a reflection of market demand – it is what fans are prepared to pay that sets the price, not what is being asked for.

A small number of MPs have suggested putting a 10% cap on the resale mark-up on the face value of a ticket. But this has worked nowhere else in the world. We live in a global economy, and if you cap resale in the UK, the most sought-after tickets will be available ‘underground’ or offshore. A cap on resale is a non-solution. And remember, if a cap is to be put on resale, it will also penalise fans who want to resell their tickets.

Myth: “A large number of unsavoury and illegal practices have sprung up surrounding ticket reselling websites.”

Reality: We utterly reject any suggestion that our sites are anything other than fully compliant with the law, and we will demand the toughest possible sanctions any unlawful attempts to compromise them. However, we rely on evidence being brought to light – and we have yet to see any material evidence from the critics of lawful resale.

Myth: “There are an increasing number of people with absolutely no intention of going to an event, career touts who buy tickets solely with the intention of denying them to real fans.”

Reality: It is not clear what is meant by this statement. Unfortunately Mike does not provide any evidence to support this assertion. Where there is any case of anyone illegally obtaining tickets we strongly oppose this, hence our ban the bots campaign.

Ban the ‘bots’

This is the area where we strongly agree with Mike – regarding the issue of ‘bots’; automated programmes designed to syphon off primary tickets when they go on sale. To combat those individuals who are designing and working on bots our President of our International Business, Mark Yovich, has committed our company to campaigning for new laws to make illegal the use of bots in this way. We have submitted detailed amendments to the House of Commons Committee on the Consumer Rights Bill to bring about such a ban. We have also written to the Home Office, requesting that they heed our call for action. Although we should note that thankfully this is not a huge problem in the UK.

GET ME IN! protecting consumers

Mike also mentions fake tickets and fraud. We strongly agree with the need to protect consumers from ticket fraud, which is already unlawful. That is why lawful resale sites like GET ME IN! are so important to the protection of consumers. We provide a 100% moneyback guarantee to fans who buy a ticket, that turns out to be a fake, on our site, and we will use all of our resources to find them a real, replacement ticket. That is the sort of belt and braces consumer protection that should see people like Mike commend GET ME IN! to consumers as the best place to go if you really want to get your hands on hard-to-find tickets to great events.

Join Ticketmaster and over 300 experts from the ticketing industry next week, only at Ticketing Technology Forum 2014 (Wembley – 18/19 March). View our latest attendance update here!

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