MD of Ticketmaster Ireland outlines the ticket selling process,
Managing Director of Ticketmaster Ireland has stated that his company never sell tickets on sister site Seatwave.
Seatwave is an online marketplace for the reselling of tickets. Questions are often raised about the site as it is owned by Ticketmaster and yet tickets appear on the site at multiples of the face value. I asked Ticketmaster MD, Keith English if the company keeps a selection of tickets aside to upload onto Seatwave.
"We do not, nor have we ever put any tickets onto Seatwave. That's not our job. Somebody has already bought them and if we are the primary ticket agent for that event then the original ticket was bought from Ticketmaster. But that person has decided they are going to resell it."
Some may ask why Ticketmaster does not interject or cap the resale price of tickets on Seatwave, but English has a straightforward answer.
"Everyone immediately jumps on what the listing price is. Tickets rarely ever sell for those prices. I'm sure there's a speculative element of 'throw it up and see if somebody will do it', but my understanding is that this doesn't happen in practice.
If you try and restrict what the seller is going to do, they will simply stop using Seatwave, StubHub or Viagogo and they'll take an ad on a DoneDeal or an Adverts.ie and they'll have a direct conversation with the buyer. And the buyer will no longer have any protection whatsoever. They will simply purchase the ticket."
English explained how the ticketing process works for an event.
"Ticketmaster becomes involves once it receives the instructions from the event organiser. The pricing, capacity and on-sale dates are all dictated by the event organiser. Once they have made all of their decisions, we actively take a hand. Tickets go on sale from a central database. If you're buying from the box office, calling a call centre or buying online, you're pulling from the same pool of inventory."
The debate around ticket touting resurfaced earlier this year after tickets for U2 and Ed Sheeran sold out, with tickets resurfacing online for multiples of the face value price.
"Ed Sheeran is a great example. He played two shows in the Three Arena, the last time he was here he played two shows in Croke Park. The supply will never cater for that demand. That's the nature of live events. It can be very hard to anticipate before a show goes on sale what the demand will be. There's always going to be a case with those high profile artist, regardless of how you manage the ticket process, where people are left disappointed."