The touts have taken over

The touts have taken over

Ticket touting, or scalping, is an international problem, with the global secondary ticketing market estimated to be worth over $15 billion by 2020. It is the widespread practice of buying up tickets to almost any conceivable activity and selling them on for a profit. It affects nearly every ticketed industry in every corner of the globe, from hospital appointments in China to train tickets in India, and from sports tickets in the USA to music concerts in the UK.


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It’s not getting any better

Over recent years, the problem has got worse rather than better with touts using automated software, known as bots, to harvest tickets from ticket agencies as soon as they go on sale. They can do this at great speed, meaning that tickets can sell out (or sellers' websites crash) before genuine purchasers even get the opportunity to buy them. Once touts have bought tickets from primary ticket agency websites, they often turn up almost immediately on secondary ticket agency websites at vastly inflated prices.

A distinct lack of control

A further problem, related to ticket touting, but a problem with the current method of ticket sales in general, is that once a ticket has been sold and sent to the purchaser, there is no way to track what happens to that ticket. This leaves event organisers with a lack of information about who is attending their events. Primary ticket agencies can only tell event organisers who bought tickets originally.

The BIG questions

  • How do you prevent touts from obtaining tickets?
  • If touts manage to obtain tickets, how do you prevent them from transferring them to anyone else?
  • How do you prevent someone from getting into an event with a touted ticket?
  • How do you allow the legitimate resale of tickets through authorised channels, while still maintaining control?
  • How do you obtain and provide event organisers with more information about who is attending their events?
  • How do you do all of the above in a way that is efficient, effective, user-friendly and commercially viable?