A fan-to-fan ticket exchange that helps concert and sports fans in England trade tickets at face value is coming to the U.S.
Company founder Richard Davies announced today that he's launching Twickets USA, a face-value ticket resale platform that enables fans to trade their unwanted tickets at the original price. Twickets collects a 10 percent transaction fee to the buyer for each sale and hopes to cut down on scalping and the high markups ticket brokers charge on sites like StubHub.
The launch in the U.S. comes 18 months after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a scathing report on ticket scalping, and months after former President Barack Obama signed legislation outlawing the use of bots to buy up concert and sports tickets.
"[Twickets] was set up to counter the growth in the secondary ticketing market in the U.K.," Davies tells Billboard. "We wanted to provide an alternative for genuine fans who couldn't make a show." Twickets helps connect these fans to buyers so that they can recoup their original investment, and make sure a genuine fan gets into the show.
In the U.K., Twickets has partnered with Adele, Ed Sheeran and Queen + Adam Lambert, and handled 6,000 tickets for One Direction. The company has also partnered with a number of festivals including Kendal Calling, End of the Road and The Secret Garden Party, as well a number of ticket agents including The Ticket Factory (TTF), Gigantic, and Myticket.co.uk.
The mobile and web ticketing service was launched in February 2015 and last year raised $2 million through a crowd-funding round that saw 900 individuals invest in the platform, including Marcus Russell and Alec McKinlay of Ignition Management, Chrysalis Records’ co-founder Chris Wright and ex-EMI Records Chairman Tony Wadsworth.
Davies said he decided to expand in to the United States because “we see the markets as very similar. Tickets are now very hard to get a hold of at face value," Davies explains. "Most genuine fans aren’t looking to profiteer from tickets. So they want a more ethical service through which they can trade tickets to other fans."
Davies estimates the service has facilitated the sale of over 500,000 tickets in both the U.K. and Australia, and said a new partnership with Ed Sheeran, who is directing fans to a landing page where they could trade tickets through Twicket and sign up for alerts, will help the company gain visibility in the States.
"It has now grown significantly across the board," he tells Billboard. "We’re getting support every day from new players in the industry."
To learn more, visit twicketsusa.com.