Ticketmaster is using a novel strategy to take on scalpers – get rid of the actual tickets.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
The ticketing company is going paperless on singer Miley Cyrus' upcoming 45-show fall tour – the first of its kind to sell exclusively paperless tickets, reports the Wall Street Journal ($) Monday.
Concert-goers will enter the show using credit cards they purchased the tickets with, making it impossible to resell or transfer them. That's put resale vendors on the defensive, charging that the paperless system will cause delays and possibly pose safety risks to fans. They also claim that the ticket agency will extend its monopoly over prices by essentially eliminating the secondary market.
While most states have legalized scalping, promoters object to the high mark-ups scalpers are able to charge, which they get no share of.
Scalpers predict longer lines and some even think that the system would increase the chance for sexual predators to prey on young fans with the promise of entry into a show.
Sean Pate, spokesman for ticket resale Web site Stubhub, told the Journal: "On Craigslist you're going to see these listings saying, 'Hey, 13-year-old girls, I'll meet you at the venue and get you into the show.'"
Promoters said they will have extra staff at concert venues to assist with any problems.
Cyrus' 2007 tour was a driving force behind the experiment in paperless tickets. Ticketmaster claimed that scalpers illegally snapped up tickets for the "Hannah Montana" star's shows with special software that gave them an advantage over normal fans.