May 16, 2019

The DCMS Committee Releases Report on Live Music

The UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee released a report earlier this Spring following an inquiry into the live music industry in the UK. The inquiry considered a broad array of evidence  on the UK’s vibrant live event scene, including the role that ticketing plays in facilitating the enjoyment of fans across the country.

With respect to the secondary ticketing sector, the Committee makes several recommendations – most notably calling on the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to act “promptly and decisively” against Viagogo, as well as requesting that the UK Government publish a review of its anti-bots legislation.

The secondary ticket market offers consumers a strong value proposition. Yet in recent years, there has been a move – principally by the primary sector - to curtail fans’ ability to resell their tickets, causing significant consumer detriment. The Committee’s report raised similar concerns:

“We recognise the industry’s adoption of technological solutions such as digital ticketing or terms and conditions limiting resale; however, it is important that these are always exercised in the interests of consumers and are not used to stifle competition or unfairly penalise fans who have unknowingly bought tickets on resale sites”.

For us, this is a critical point. As a fan-first marketplace, the experience of fans is our primary concern. When a fan buys a ticket – its theirs. They should have the flexibility to use, transfer, donate or resell their tickets just as they would with other items.

And fans agree. The 2017 UK Live Music Census found that 44% of respondents needed to resell a ticket to a live event in the last 12 months. Technology and restrictive terms and conditions seek to prevent fans from doing this, meaning that they could lose out if they can no longer attend an event. This is unfair.

When operated with robust consumer protections, the online secondary ticket market creates a transparent and secure marketplace for fans to access, buy, and resell their tickets at their convenience.

StubHub is proud of its fan first approach. Our FanProtect Guarantee and successful moves to eradicate instances of fraud are just some of the ways that we are ensuring a first-class experience for our customers.

For as long as ticketed events have existed, ticket reselling has been a reality. We as an industry will continue to work collaboratively with policy makers to ensure that fans are able to do this in a safe and secure way.