Google promises to make it a little more difficult for ticket resellers

The big concert is sold out but you’re desperate to go at any price. So where do you turn? Google, of course.

Dozens of search hits turn up. But which ones are legit? How many are scammers? We don’t know. You pays your money, you takes your chances, I guess.

Google knows it has a scalper program. Now the company is going to do something about it. Or at least try.

As of Wednesday (February 7), Google started making it a rule that all secondary sellers of tickets to concerts, sports, theatre and other events make it very clear that they’re NOT the primary seller.

And there’s more. Beginning next month, all sellers will have to disclose exactly how much they’re charging above the face value of the ticket.

This comes from David Graff, the senior trust and safety director at Google (how’s that for a title?):

Unfortunately, some ticket resellers provide limited transparency in their ads about ticket costs and fees, as well as their association with a specific venue or event. Lack of transparency can erode trust in the online ticket ecosystem and makes it harder for legitimate businesses to reach customers.

We’ll never, ever stomp out the secondary ticket market, nor should we. There are very legitimate reasons for such a marketplace to exist, but that’s a column for another day. At least Google is doing something to keep the scammers at bay.

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.

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