The rehabilitation of the secondary ticketing market?

This update is from Aventus Protocol Foundation – Medium

“For too long, the secondary ticketing industry has been suffering from a poor reputation, afraid to defend itself. We aim to change that,” says Stephen Lee, chairman of a newly created campaign group, the Fair Ticketing Alliance. A collective of “a group of responsible UK ticket brokers”, the organisation wants to rehabilitate the often negative reputation of the secondary ticketing market, by calling for “a fair, trustworthy and flexible ticket market that works for all live entertainment fans”.

The forming of the industry alliance follows growing scrutiny of the secondary market, not only in the UK but around the world. Last month, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the UK’s four leading secondary sites — StubHub, Viagogo, GetMeIn! and Seatwave — from using misleading pricing to sell tickets.

In 2016, Aventus advisor Professor Michael Waterson published a government-led review of the UK’s secondary market that called for tighter scrutiny of services like Viagogo and Seatwave. The report, however, rejected the idea of a blanket ban on secondary ticket selling, believing (as do we) that “consumers and the economy benefit in various ways from the existence of a well-functioning secondary ticket market.”

The creation of the Fair Ticketing Alliance will come as good news to primary ticketing agents and disgruntled artists, who have expressed frustration at the deregulated nature of the secondary market. Artists such as Ed Sheeran, Adele and Stormzy have led the charge against ticket scalping, with the industry responding by trialling new ticketing models; the UK’s run of Hamilton recently claimed to have “all but eliminated touting”.

But in an Aventus-led industry roundtable last week, one delegate explained that “you spend time fixing a problem with companies breaking the rules and as soon as you’ve fixed it, they’ve found a way around your fix.”

The Fair Ticketing Alliance plans to lobby for legal controls and clarity around resale rights in the secondary market, benefiting fans while avoiding “unfair restrictions” upon secondary resellers. While greater regulation is to be welcomed, many will suspect that bad actors in the industry may simply “find a way around” the rules.

Aventus takes a different mode of approach to achieve the same aims, using the protocol it has developed upon the Ethereum blockchain to enable greater controls over the secondary market. By its nature, the protocol will create around it a self-regulating community where unethical practices (such as counterfeiting tickets, or bulk-buying using bots) are prevented, and those performing them are penalised.

Rights-holders releasing tickets onto the blockchain will be able to set parameters around the resale of those tickets; including whitelisting of secondary sellers, minimum and maximum price caps, and attribution of revenue splits. Secondary ticketing agents and resellers will then be required to adhere to these parameters in order to interact with that particular inventory. This makes counterfeit ticketing impossible, eliminates bot-buying and enables controls over unethical behaviour within the community.

We’re keen to work openly with secondary agents too, on how the Aventus protocol can support their business models and enable greater collaboration between all parties in the ticketing supply chain. We welcome Lee’s statement that the secondary ticketing market should “comply with the highest standards of ethics”, as all parties across the industry surely will — paving the way toward a fairer, more consumer-led approach to ticketing, to the benefit of all.

The rehabilitation of the secondary ticketing market? was originally published in Aventus Protocol Foundation on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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