Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Former Ticketbis exec says resale sites dominated by 50 super touts | UNLIMITED | CMU


A former executive at Ticketbis, the secondary ticketing platform bought by eBay’s StubHub in 2016, has confirmed that the ticket resale market is now controlled by a small community of industrial-level touts. But he reckons that the new business he is now leading could shake-up the secondary marketing, and for that matter the primary ticketing sector too, which is often dominated by a small number of major players.

Jorge Díaz Largo was VP Of Product And Marketing at Ticketbis. He is joined by two other former Ticketbis execs – David Di Bartolomeo and Carmen Navarro Lado – at his new ticketing start-up, which is called Tracer.

Talking to IQ about his time at Ticketbis, Díaz says: “We were naïve. We wanted to help normal people who were no longer able to go to a concert and wanted to get rid of their ticket. However, in every market we were in – the UK, France, Germany, Latin America – it was a marketplace for ticket touts, where touts controlled the tickets and set the prices”.

He goes on: “What [the main resale sites] aren’t saying is that almost all their inventory is controlled by no more than 50 ticket touts, who have access to millions of tickets. These major resellers account for 80-90% of the revenue of these companies, so their main mission is to take care of the brokers – they’re the real client, not the ticket buyer – with specific people, dedicated account managers, taking care of these sellers, incentivising them to sell more, helping them get more inventory”.

Tracer is a mobile-centric ticketing set-up that employs the always fun blockchain in a bid to offer more functionality to artists and promoters, which includes more control over ticket resale, but also extra tools to offer discounts and promotions.

As well as the secondary sector, Díaz also reckons his platform could help overhaul the primary ticketing market too. Not least by providing artists and promoters with more data. Though, of course, there have been numerous ticketing start-ups over the years that have had similar ambitions. They have always found it hard to crack a market where, for bigger tours and festivals, the advances and other financial kick-backs offered by the big primary ticket agents remain very tempting. Even when new fangled start-ups have better platforms and offer much more data.

Díaz says he’s aware of these challenges, but feels the primary ticketing sector is nevertheless ready for a shake up. Elsewhere in the IQ interview he notes: “Who has the power now? Big primary ticketing companies. Artists and independent promoters take the money, but they don’t know the exact number of tickets sold. We want to move that power from ticketing companies to artists… once they have that power, they can sell tickets wherever they want”.

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