Saturday, 1 June 2013

Bots batter box offices

The New York Times has thrown the spotlight on the software that automatically buys up tickets to in-demand events, usually for resale on the secondary ticketing market in an article highlighting the problems it is causing big players in the US live sector, and on how the big primary ticketing providers lie Ticketmaster are trying to combat the auto-buy phenomenon. Ticketmaster has introduced a system i which can spot users on its website most likely to be 'bots' and (at least) slow their progress down although Jim Glancy of independent promoter The Bowery Presents explained "There are sold out shows in reserved seat houses in New York City where we will have 20% no show, and that 20% will be down in the front of the house. It's speculators who bought a bunch of seats and didn't get the price they wanted".  Michael Rapino, chief of Ticketmaster's parent company Live Nation, expressed his frustration saying  "As with hackers, you can solve it today, and they’re rewriting code tomorrow,” said Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s chief executive. “Thus the arms race.”

Last month Ticketmaster sued 21 people for buying tickets using bots, with one accused of buying up as many as 200,000 tickets per day before the general public could get to them. CMU Daily says the cases could provide some insight on how American law might be used to counter one of the main problems with the burgeoning secondary ticketing marketplace

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