Revenue / 04.08.20
Will Coronavirus Finish Off For-Profit Ticket Resale? Update: StubHub & Viagogo Respond
Pollstar (03/30/20) Gottfried, Gideon
The Iridium Consultancy's Reg Walker suggests mass event cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with mounting legal pressures on Viagogo and StubHub, could ultimately strike a deathblow to the for-profit ticket resale platforms. Walker stresses that there is no legal recourse for bulk-purchasing of tickets, and StubHub and Viagogo are suspected of profiteering from criminal proceeds. An update signed by StubHub President Sukhinder Singh Cassidy was posted on the company's customer help page on March 27, stating that "when an event is canceled, you will receive a StubHub coupon worth 120% of your original order," thus verifying Walker's suspicion that the pandemic is financially straining both platforms. "[Touts] are paid on delivery, they don't have to wait until afterwards, which I believe in view of the coronavirus is causing the massive headaches with refunding customers for canceled, not postponed events," he said. The fact that touts are not getting paid adds to their financial difficulties. StubHub responded with the statement, "When the volume of cancellations accelerated a few weeks ago, we were the first in our industry to offer a coupon worth 120% of the ticket value. This will now be our default option in Canada and in the U.S." Viagogo also responded, saying "With a high volume of events being cancelled and postponed every day, we are working hard in conjunction with event organizers and venues to ensure we have all of the correct information about the status of an event. Once the status is determined, we are able to act accordingly and inform our customers as quickly as possible."
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Tags: StubHub , Secondary Ticketing , COVID-19 , Coronavirus