O2 And FanFair Alliance Team Up Against Secondary Ticketing In The UK

The O2 – London
The O2 – London
– The O2 – London

Telecom service provider O2 has taken recent secondary-ticketing research commissioned by the UK’s FanFair Alliance into account in its newly introduced steps to combat commercial ticket resale.

The FanFair Alliance’s “Ticked Off” study from last year found that 74 percent of the UK population thinks online ticket touting is becoming a major concern for music fans, while 44 percent are unaware of the difference between primary and secondary ticket sites.

72 percent of respondents found the idea of pre-sales appealing, giving registered fans a chance to buy tickets before they go on general sale.

Which is, of course, exactly what O2 does via its Priority Tickets offer, which grants customers access to primary tickets 48 hours before the general onsale. Priority Tickets are open to anyone who is a customer of O2 in the UK and Northern Ireland. Customers need an active O2 SIM card in order to access the Priority app.

The company has worked with the FanFair Alliance on introducing what it calls “a series of measures to Priority Tickets to minimize abuse on the service.”

These measures include updating Priority Tickets terms and conditions to reflect recent changes to the Consumer Rights Act, ensuring tickets are for individuals and not businesses, working with O2 partner venues to monitor all pre-sale purchases, a regular cleanse of the Priority Ticket database to remove individuals who no longer meet the minimum criteria and/or abuse the service as well as providing advice to O2 customers in order to help them make informed ticket purchasing decisions.

Pollstar reached out to O2 for more information on the types of changes the company is making to reflect said changes to the UK Consumer Rights Act.

“We have put in stricter controls to reflect that Priority Tickets are for O2 consumer customers only and are not able to be commercially resold by businesses or traders. Any tickets purchased by businesses or traders in breach of these conditions will be cancelled,” a spokesperson replied.

“The new measures we have introduced to Priority Tickets are the first step in a longer process. Working with the Fan Fair Alliance and our venue partners, we are exploring a number of ways to stop businesses or traders re-selling Priority Tickets for commercial gain,” the spokesperson continued.

Apart from The O2, London, O2 has 19 O2 Academy venues in 13 cities across the UK, which gives O2 customers access to tickets to over 5,000 shows in over 350 venues across the UK each year via Priority Tickets.

Nina Bibby, CMO at O2 commented: “We recognise the increasing concerns from our customers, artists and the wider industry about the scale of abuse in the secondary ticket market. Music is in O2’s DNA and we are committed to ensuring that tickets made available through Priority Tickets end up in the hands of genuine fans. The FFA has made significant progress in addressing some of these concerns over the past two years, pushing for change from government and organisations alike. We are looking forward to working with the FFA even further to help drive the agenda and ultimately clamp down on touts.”
Adam Webb, campaign manager, FanFair Alliance: “The past two years have seen significant progress to tackle mass-scale online ticket touting, including a raft of new and updated legislative and regulatory measures. These should empower artists and music businesses to better protect their audiences, and it is heartening that O2 are getting on the front-foot to help ensure millions of Priority Tickets reach their customers as intended. We hope others will follow their lead.”
Ian McAndrew of Wildlife Entertainment and one of the co-founders of FanFair Alliance: “The FanFair campaign has helped drive significant reforms in secondary ticketing, but it will still require proactive measures, such as these, to best ensure tickets reach their intended audience. It is to O2’s credit that they have instigated these initial changes, and we look forward to further collaboration going forward.”
Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the Music Managers Forum (MMF) added: “Pre-sales are part and parcel of live music, and this raft of measures from O2 will help ensure Priority Tickets get into the hands of real music fans.  It is a very positive move forward, and one that will have ramifications throughout the live music business.”