Live industry welcomes new proposal to police ticket resellers [updated]
A proposal to introduce an Information Standard for ticket resale has been welcomed by industry body Live Performance Australia.
The proposal is currently under consultation by the treasury department, and LPA says it will better help inform customers by forcing ticket resale sites to disclose the face value of tickets.
Sites like Viagogo and Stubhub will also be forced to disclose that they are not primary ticket sellers.
The new measures would reduce the incidence of unscrupulous resellers and scalpers, explains LPA, people that target consumers, artist and producers by their actions.
“Better informed consumers are the first line of defence against dodgy online ticket resellers,” said LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson.
“Too many fans have fallen victim to shonky online reselling sites, and the proposed Information Standard is an important step in tackling the problem at source.
“Our Members support an Information Standard that provides consumers with timely and clear access to accurate information about what they are buying and the source of their tickets.
“This includes highlighting they are buying from a ticket reseller and not the authorised ticket seller.”
The move towards an Information Standard comes just weeks after the UK’s Competiton and Markets Authority paused Viagogo’s buy-out of Stubhub, while it investigates fears that as a result, Viagogo will have too much power over the ticket resale market.
In a statement give by LPA, Richard explained that the peak body has made suggestions in a submission about some of the technical aspects of the proposed Information Standard.
“The Information Standard will be just one tool in the battle against scalpers and shonky resellers. It will need to be backed up by effective compliance and enforcement by our state and territory consumer agencies,” Ms Richardson said.
“The new standard will need to be observed by those who operate resale sites in our market, including Viagogo which has previously been the subject of action by the ACCC over their misleading practices,” Ms Richardson said.
2019 saw an up and down year for ticket resellers, in particular Viagogo, who in December successfully overturned a ban over advertising on Google.
UPDATE 18/02/2020: Since publication, Viagogo has given a statement to TMN regarding the proposed changes.
A spokesperson for the resale site explained that Viagogo welcomes the move towards an Information Standard, but reasoned that such a move will prove difficult unless primary ticket sellers agree to share pricing information.
“Viagogo supports greater transparency for customers in the ticketing space,” they said.
“In 2019, we made significant changes to our platform to make it easier for customers to make informed decisions on our platform – including adopting “all in” pricing, something that very few others in our industry have embraced.
“We look forward to working constructively with the Federal Government in relation to the proposed Information Standard.
“We believe a key aspect of any change should be greater transparency right across the ticketing sector – something that can only be achieved if the primary ticket market comes to the table and agrees to share more information.”