Resident Advisor has launched its own ticket resale service.
The U.K.-based online electronic music magazine announced the news on its website. "The service aims to eradicate the circulation of fraudulent tickets and and prevent touts profiting from in-demand shows, with tickets sold at cost price," the post reads. Ticket resale queues are activated once an event sells out, at which point customers, should they decide not to attend the event, can resell their tickets. Resellers can change their minds and decide to keep the ticket until it is resold; once sold to a new customer, the original ticket buyer is refunded at full face value, minus the booking fee.
"Having sold tickets for six years or so, we've seen firsthand the negative impact the secondary market can have on our industry with fans overpaying for tickets and often receiving fake tickets," R.A. co-founder Paul Clement tells Billboard, citing British television's Channel 4's 2012 documentary, The Great Ticket Scandal. The investigation, based on insider testimony, claims that self-described "secondary ticketing company" Viagogo used company credit cards to purchase tickets to events which the entity then resold at higher prices. (Charges Viagogo brought against Channel 4 were dismissed by the U.K.'s high court, which ruled in favor of public interest over commercial and customer confidentiality.)
Clement says R.A. rolled out a test version of its ticket resale platform, which has been in the works since its site relaunch in January of this year, with select events in the past few weeks, such as Summer in the City. "Tickets were being added to the resale queue and sold in minutes -- three to four tickets in 20 minutes," says Clement. "Seeing it actually working as opposed to a harebrained scheme is sort of a nice feeling."
Unlike a vendor like Ticketmaster, R.A. charges no transaction fees. "It's simply part of the service we provide," says Clement. In terms of revenue stream for the site, he explains, after adding initial transaction fees to the refund fee and taking into account administration costs, "the margin in reselling a ticket is relatively small." Similar fan-to-fan ticket resale processes have already been implemented in the sporting world, such as this year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil -- although it's not completely immune to the secondary market's dark underbelly, as the recent litigation surrounding an alleged scalping ring shows.
Clement hopes R.A.'s initiative, which applies to its worldwide sales (the site works with promoters of clubs in cities like Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, and Belgium, and U.S. states including Florida, California, and Illinois), will have a broader impact in the ticketing market. "There's no reason that same sort of standard can't be in place in our world," he says. "The end user benefits, promoter benefits, the end balance -- that's how it should work."