For those who thought certain shows were a little on the pricey side, there is a theory as to why. A new study from Canada’s CBC News and Toronto Star are accusing Ticketmaster of inflating ticket prices for their own benefit. In a recent study from both news outlets, Ticketmaster has been partnering with other ticket scalpers to boost their profits. For a recent Bruno Mars show in Toronto, “Data journalists monitored Ticketmaster’s website for seven months leading up to this weekend’s show at Scotiabank Arena, closely tracking seats and prices to find out exactly how the box-office system works.”
It resulted in three findings. Ticketmaster doesn’t list every seat when a sale begins, they increase ticket prices mid-sale, and collects fees twice on tickets scalped on its site. In the same CBC study, a chart was made comparing the price difference of tickets only hours after the public on-sale, with it increasing up to $100 more than face value. Ticketmaster responded to CBC about the price increases. The ticketing company stated, “We also do not determine when tickets are available for purchase or how they are allocated — those decisions are communicated to us by our client, the venue, after consultation with the event presenter.”
With Ticketmaster’s Platinum Seats program, a program providing quality seats with prices varying by demand, and their “verified resale” program, essentially letting scalpers sell through the website as opposed to a third party website. “CBC counted more than 4,500 Bruno Mars resale tickets on Ticketmaster, meaning that if Ticketmaster sells every seat in the arena for Saturday’s show, it would collect an initial $350,000 in service fees, plus $308,000 in fees on scalped tickets, for a double-dipped total of $658,000.”
Ticketmaster did introduce their verified program with Taylor Swift last year for her tour, having fans sign up for a presale and giving fans to purchase tickets earlier than the general public.