Saturday, January 19, 2019

Viagogo publishes data that show a large amount of ticket advertising money



When the Viagogo website published information on the most successful sellers under a court order sanctioned by the regulators against the company, the extent of access for ticket sellers to live music and sports was revealed.


The information released by Viagogo has shown that Tuts have purchased thousands of pounds of tickets to see artists like Ariana Grande and Fleetwood Mac, who then promote them to big markups from music fans.


Fleetwood Mac's one-on-one appearance at Wembley Stadium included a minimum of 84 tickets for a total of £ 53,364 - averaging £ 635 - although reselling tickets is outlawed and buyers are at risk of being turned away at the turnstile.


A show by Ariana Grande on the O2 in London, for which resale is also prohibited, had at least 52 entries for a total price of £ 23,098 - or an average of £ 444 apiece.


Touts recorded £ 14,978 of tickets for one night of Take Thys homecoming shows at the Manchester Arena, with a salesman, ATN Spencer, who had given his address as the Shard skyscraper in London for a total of £ 12,520.


Traders using Viagogo also offered tickets for a conversation by Michelle Obama on the O2, one of which - also from ATN Spencer - for £ 2664. Gigs by Bastille, Elton John and the Spice Girls were also targeted by Tuts.


The latest data released by Viagogo provide more insight into the power of attacks than ever before.


In practice, however, the number and value of tickets sold by merchants on the website is likely to be much higher, as the information published on Friday concerns only the ticket lists of a single day.


Viagogo issued the information under a court order obtained last year by the Competition and Market Authority, and called on the company to provide consumers with more information.


The company said Friday that it would meet the requirements of the CMA, but representatives of the music industry and critics of the website said that they believe it still gives fans some information about what they are buying - such as seat numbers and the full company Tuts details.


The shared data makes it possible to track dozens of Tuts that the website calls a "merchant".


These include companies whose owners and directors may be consulted at Companies House, such as North Financial Group, whose owner Andrew Newman is superlative in an Observer investigation in 2016.


Other ticket-listed ticket companies include White Widget Ltd, Enjoy The Show Ltd, JSK Entertainment, Greatest Show Events and JCP Hospitality, most of which appear as small businesses or retailers.


Thumpers, a West Sussex company, offered two tickets to watch Fleetwood Mac at Wembley for £ 2,391, including VAT and fees.


When the Guardian called the company, the person who answered the call and did not identify himself said, "I have a lot to do with Goodwood and other things," adding that he sometimes sells tickets at face value.


He added, "I'm not doing anything illegal, I'm not doing anything wrong."


Ticket expert Reg Walker of Iridium Consultancy said: "Now that Viagogo needs to show if a seller is a bestseller or not, it becomes clear how it dominates the resale of tickets.


"The sheer number of tickets on Viagogo sold as being by a" dealer "- that's a simple language - paints a bleak picture of the massive number of tickets that were harvested in large quantities, and then offered consumers higher prices on."


Despite the additional information Viagogo had released on Friday, the activists said they still did not meet the demands of the CMA.


Stuart Camp, managing director of Ed Sheeran, said Viagogo, who was threatening to sue the musician's promotion company for ticket restrictions, "made a mockery of the law."


Adam Webb, the campaign manager of the Fan Fair Alliance, the anti-touting music industry, said, "As of this morning, Viagogo was under strict instructions to revise its business practices. Due to our current knowledge, they have not made it.


"There have been some minor changes, some of which can make consumers even more confused."


Webb added, "FanFair Alliance urges all music fans to avoid Viagogo. His practices are an attack on the audience, the artists and the law. We feel that the CMA must now take a step forward and urgently need to take action. "


Labor MP Sharon Hodgson said: "Viagogo has blatantly disregarded consumer protection laws for years. Surely they have no street now?


"It's time for the CMA to take serious and urgent action so that more real fans will not fall victim to this company."


Under the terms of the CMA, Viagogo must appoint an independent auditor to assess compliance with the requirements of the regulator and to review complaints and reimbursement claims from consumers.


Viagogo declined to comment on whether a company was commissioned with the review. However, the CMA said it also analyzed website compliance.


A spokesman said, "We are now conducting our own Viagogo checks, and if we detect violations of the court order, we will not hesitate to take action. This could involve a quick action by the courts. "




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