Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Advocates For Free Market Approach To Ticket Resales


Ticket scalpingWhile presenting at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, said he views plans for legislation to fight digital scalpers on the secondary market as unrealistic.

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“As long as the market’s gigantic, you’ll have sophisticated players trying to figure out how to monetize it. My instincts are always on the free market,” Michael Rapino, chief executive of Live Nation Entertainment Inc., said in response to a question about the effectiveness of such legislation by the Globe and Mail.

Rapino’s comments came after he took part in a keynote conversation with George Stroumboulopoulos on Thursday at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. During the exchange, Rapino addressed the ongoing battle with automated ticket purchasing software, or bots, which scoop up thousands of tickets for resale on secondary market sites such as Stubhub, and Live Nation’s plan to battle such scalpers.

Complaints about concerts that quickly sell out, only for tickets to re-appear on secondary market sites at large markups have become an issue of increasing focus for legislators and public officials in recent years. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into secondary ticketing practices last year, as did Ontario Attorney-General Yasir Naqvi, who in February, announced that he would be revisiting the Ticket Speculation Act. In the UK, the country’s parliament took steps in March to try to curb secondary market speculation by introducing unlimited fines for those who use bots to buy tickets in bulk.

When Rapino suggested that such efforts were “unrealistic” his remarks seemed to fly in the face of previous statements by Live Nation that it “welcomes additional effort” to get more tickets to fans.

Rapino also did not address the company’s perverse incentives for a busy ticket resale market. TicketsNow, a subsidiary of Ticketmaster, takes a percentage of as much as 15% of most resales made through the service, or, in the case of ‘preferred sellers’ will handle the resales themselves.

via Celebrity Access