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Ticket buying bots causing live music woes

By | Published on Thursday 30 May 2013


The New York Times has thrown the spotlight on the software that automatically buys up tickets to in-demand events, usually for resale on the secondary ticketing market. The paper this week published an article on the problems it is causing big players in the US live sector, and on how the big primary ticketing providers are trying to combat the auto-buy phenomenon.

Ticketmaster now has a system in place which can spot users on its website most likely to be ‘bots’ and slow their progress down. Though this doesn’t mean they aren’t getting through there and elsewhere. Jim Glancy of independent promoter The Bowery Presents explains: “There are sold out shows in reserved seat houses in New York City where we will have 20% no show, and that 20% will be down in the front of the house. It’s speculators who bought a bunch of seats and didn’t get the price they wanted”.

According to the Times, last month Ticketmaster sued 21 people for buying tickets fraudulently by using bots, with one accused of buying up as many as 200,000 tickets per day before the general public could get to them. The case is yet to come to court but could provide some insight on how American law might be used to counter what is perhaps the real problem with the burgeoning secondary ticketing marketplace.

Read the full New York Times report here.