Canadian Survey: “Concert Ticket Buying Bots are Bad.” Well, Duh.

We all hate those cheatin’ concert ticket buyer robots and scoop up everything the nanosecond they go for sale online. Unchecked they can turn a show into a sellout within seconds and then hold them for ransom on the secondary market at grossly inflated prices.

As Ontario, Australia, the UK and other territories prepare to put anti-bot measures in place, Angus Reid Institute polled 1,517 Canadians and found that about 80% favoured making ticket bots illegal. We can only assume that the other 20% ran bot networks themselves.

The report carried in today’s Globe and Mail, also said that 8 in 10 people also believed that tickets “should not be considered a commodity and that that buying them to resell for profit is ‘unfair.'” Scalping, in other words.

But when it came to governments or the entertainment industry taking responsibility for doing something about bots, they were split 50-50.

The numbers suggest something of a compromise. Of the 50% who think the industry should move on the situation, about 75% said they’d be okay with banning bots and/or some kind of controls on resale pricing.

More findings:

  • Even though only half of all Canadians buy tickets for live events on average once or twice a year, everyone has strong opinions about how tickets are sold and how much they cost.
  • Only a quarter of Canadians have used the secondary market (StubHub, TicketsNow, etc.) to buy tickets. Of that number 60% called the price of tickets through those avenues “unreasonable.”
  • 77% said that if scalpers are allowed to ply their trade, there should be a legal limit on the maximum resale value of a ticket.
  • 60% are okay with tying entrance to a venue to a ticket, a credit card and/or ID as proof of purchase and ownership.

Yesterday, I had a one-on-one interview with Patti-Anne Tarlton, the COO of Ticketmaster Canada on these very issues. Watch this space for more.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Canadian Survey: “Concert Ticket Buying Bots are Bad.” Well, Duh.

  • May 10, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I agree on the suggestion that there should be a legal limit on the maximum resale value of a ticket, because some prices are really very unreasonable.


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