Entrepreneur Richard Davies is out to curb live-events organisers' worst nightmare – fraud on secondary ticketing websites. He’s got the tech, cash, legislators and stars like Coldplay (pictured) backing his stance.
The live-events industry’s backlash against exploitative ticketing websites has grown so severe, UK-based Davies (pictured below) easily raised almost £1m (US$1.2m) via a recent crowdfunding campaign for Twickets, a fan-to-fan ticket resale platform that is transparent and fair about pricing.
Founded in 2011 and supported by top-billing music acts like Adele and Mumford & Sons, leading events organizers and artist management executives, Twickets promises to resell tickets at only face-value prices or less.
And it legally uses the same tech that is abused by scalpers on numerous official secondary ticketing online stores.
“We’ve matched their (secondary ticketing sites) capabilities in a short space of time and hit back at their claim that they are the only safe place to trade tickets,” Davies tells TechMutiny. “We’ve improved the ability to track the ticketing fraudsters and ensure there’s no way our platform is abused.”
Revenue growth in the secondary ticketing market has been accelerating during the past 15 years after money-making ventures like StubHub, viagogo and Seatwave entered the market.
Good idea gone bad
Their original concept was sound. They would use the Internet to allow fans unable to attend live shows at the last minute to auction tickets originally purchased from primary vendors.
The proliferation of smartphones has made it even easier for consumers to buy all kinds of tickets for all types of entertainment at stadiums, theaters, festivals and concert venues. And the secondary-ticketing sector has benefited from this.
The UK market alone is said to be worth £1.2bn (US$1.5bn). Globally, international research firm Technavio predicts the revenue will shoot up to US$15.19bn in 2020 from US$8.94bn in 2015.
That kind of money has spurred scalpers to abuse the system even more, thanks to the sophistication of algorithm and automation technology.
Organizations like UK-based FanFair Alliance recently pointed out that SIAE, the Italian royalties collection society, won a court ruling to banning the resale of Coldplay tickets. And, in the US, the BOTS (Better Online Ticket Sales) Act has been signed into legislation by President Obama.
To find out more about how the live entertainment industry and lawmakers are hitting back, download TechMutiny Issue No.14