Leadership / 12.28.20
The Year in Ticketing: Pandemic, SafeTix Leave Scalpers Scrambling
Pollstar (12/17/20) Rendon, Francisco
2020 was a tumultuous year for the concert ticketing industry, with COVID-19 forcing major layoffs and furloughs at Ticketmaster and other major players. Technology became a big area of concentration as live events were postponed, and confusion briefly reigned when Ticketmaster (TM) announced that it was developing the capacity to associate someone's vaccination status with their ticket. The company later clarified that event producers made decisions about who could and could not attend events, and it was not imposing any sort of broad policy for its customers. Anxiety among brokers and secondary sites that TM's SafeTix barcode technology would begin barring them from the business was already high before the pandemic, and next year this concern will likely escalate as TM focuses on implementing SafeTix at scale once live events return. However, StubHub and Viagogo's travails drew the most attention in 2020, with the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority putting a stop to the two companies' planned merger in February, while pandemic-related live event cancellations effectively left StubHub parentless. StubHub had to change its refund policy and deny ticketholders remuneration for canceled or postponed events, instead providing credit on the marketplace. Last month Viagogo proposed to strip itself of all StubHub business outside of North America in order to accelerate the merger.
Read the full story from Pollstar.
Tags: News , COVID-19 , Coronavirus