Sometime in the next week or so, I’ll be at the Ontario Attorney General’s office (at the AG’s invitation, by the way) to offer my opinions on the scourge of scalper bots, those ticket-buying software program that elbow us meatbags aside when it comes to getting the best seats for the hottest shows.
We all hate these bots. But what can be done about them? FYIMusicNews reports on a CBC Marketplace look at the situation:
Scalper bots. That phrase has a sinister ring to it, suggesting cyborgs coming for your head.
In the concert business, they are considered public enemy No. 1, as the automated software (also referred to as ticket bots) routinely deprives regular music fans from buying the concert tickets they desperately crave.
This problem really hit the headlines this past summer, as controversy broke out over the inability of fans of The Tragically Hip to score fair-priced tickets for what was billed as that beloved band’s final tour.
Last week, CBC show Marketplace explored this topic, and managed to get the concert promoters and ticket sellers to acknowledge the troubling extent of the problem. Their headline read “Live Nation admits for the first time that brokers and bots made millions, leaving many fans shut out.”
The story quoted Joe Berchtold, chief operating officer of Live Nation, the world’s largest tour promoter and owner of Ticketmaster, which sold tickets for the Hip’s tour, as stating “The odds are absolutely stacked against the fan. Probably a third of the tickets went to bots, another third went to brokers who were just like fans, pounding away at the keyboard, but better trained, more aggressive at it, and maybe a third of them went to fans. There’s a big problem, and the big problem starts with bots.”
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