Out the tout: O2 teams up with Fan Fair Alliance to clamp down on secondary ticketing abuse

O2 is joining forces with the Fan Fair Alliance (FFA) to put customers, gig goers and music lovers first in the ticket resale market.

With research commissioned by FanFair Alliance last year revealing the depth of public concern with mass scale ticket touting on many secondary ticketing platforms, O2 and the FFA will work together to ensure that as many Priority Tickets as possible are going to genuine fans.

The research revealed that nearly three quarters of the UK population (74%) think online ticket touting is becoming a major concern for music fans, while (44%) are unaware of the difference between primary and secondary ticket sites. However, 72% of respondents found the idea of pre-sales appealing, giving registered fans a chance to buy tickets before they go on general sale.

In 2008, O2 pioneered the pre-sale model with the launch of Priority Tickets allowing customers access to tickets 48 hours before general release. The model works by providing O2 customers early access to official tickets which are sold on primary ticketing sites.

Over the years Priority Tickets has enabled millions of O2 customers and genuine fans to see their favourite artists live. But the ticketing industry is increasingly being targeted by individuals and organisations looking to extract large profits by re-selling tickets including those purchased through pre-sales at significantly higher prices than face value.

After an extensive audit and working with the FFA, O2 will be introducing a series of measures to Priority Tickets to minimise abuse on the service:

  • Updating Priority Tickets terms and conditions to reflect recent changes to the Consumer Rights Act, ensuring tickets are for individuals and not businesses
  • Working with our venue partners to monitor all pre-sale purchases
  • A regular cleanse of the Priority Ticket database to remove individuals who no longer meet the minimum criteria and/or abuse the service
  • Providing FFA advice to O2 customers in order to help them make informed ticket purchasing decision

 

Nina Bibby, CMO at O2 comments, “We recognise the increasing concerns from our customers, artists and the wider industry about the scale of abuse in the secondary ticket market. Music is in O2’s DNA and we are committed to ensuring that tickets made available through Priority Tickets end up in the hands of genuine fans. The FFA has made significant progress in addressing some of these concerns over the past two years, pushing for change from government and organisations alike. We are looking forward to working with the FFA even further to help drive the agenda and ultimately clamp down on touts.”

Adam Webb, campaign manager, FanFair Alliance: “The past two years have seen significant progress to tackle mass-scale online ticket touting, including a raft of new and updated legislative and regulatory measures. These should empower artists and music businesses to better protect their audiences, and it is heartening that O2 are getting on the front-foot to help ensure millions of Priority Tickets reach their customers as intended. We hope others will follow their lead.”

Ian McAndrew, Wildlife Entertainment and one of the co-founders of FanFair Alliance: “The FanFair campaign has helped drive significant reforms in secondary ticketing, but it will still require proactive measures, such as these, to best ensure tickets reach their intended audience. It is to O2’s credit that they have instigated these initial changes, and we look forward to further collaboration going forward.”

Annabella Coldrick, CEO, Music Managers Forum (MMF): “Pre-sales are part and parcel of live music, and this raft of measures from O2 will help ensure Priority Tickets get into the hands of real music fans.  It is a very positive move forward, and one that will have ramifications throughout the live music business.”

About O2 and live music:

  • The O2 is the world’s most popular music and entertainment venue
  • The O2 has welcomed over 60 million visitors and sold 20 million tickets since opening in 2007
  • O2 has 19 O2 Academy venues in 13 cities across the UK
  • To date, 25 million people have been through the doors of an O2 Academy venue
  • O2 customers have access to tickets to over 5,000 shows in over 350 venues across the UK each year via Priority Tickets

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