OnDemand WTP Pricing Research

Live! Tonight! Sold Out! – Lessons from FTC’s Online Event Tickets Workshop | Lexology

If you’ve ever tried to buy tickets online to a concert, sports game or play, you’re probably familiar with a host of typical frustrations. How has the event already sold out when tickets have just gone on sale? What are all these added fees and why weren’t they disclosed up-front? Am I even purchasing from an authorized vendor and does the seller actually own the tickets it’s putting up for sale? To address these and other consumer concerns, the FTC recently held a workshop exploring consumer protection issues and deceptive marketing practices in the online event ticketing industry. The event featured representatives of the FTC, the NAD, the New York Attorney General’s office, trade associations, venue managers and online ticketing platforms such as Ticketmaster, Live Nation, SeatGeek, StubHub and Eventbrite.

Why is the FTC so focused on these issues? As FTC Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter emphasized, consumers will spend around $10 billion this year for online tickets and therefore it’s become a priority to ensure that consumers have clear, complete and truthful information about what they’re buying. She followed with a warning to the events ticketing industry: “Consumer frustration with opaque and deceptive ticket pricing has passed its boiling point – consider yourselves on notice.”

The workshop addressed issues relevant to online ticketing platforms generally, with a focus on deceptive advertising, marketing and pricing practices in the industry. Here’s a rundown of takeaways:

Pricing Transparency.

“Drip” vs. “All-In” Pricing. According to NAD Director Laura Brett, considering that additional fees for online ticket sales can be substantial (often up to 30% of the ticket price), these fees are material to consumers’ purchasing decisions and therefore should be disclosed at the time the consumer first views the ticket price. The NAD urges online ticketing platforms to use an “all-in” pricing model in which the total ticket cost initially seen by consumers is inclusive of all taxes, fees and charges. But in fact, few major platforms actually do. By contrast, “drip” pricing, in which ticket prices are subject to increase during the course of the purchase process as taxes and fees are added, is common in the industry. On the panel, representatives from Ticketmaster, SeatGeek, StubHub and Eventbrite all expressed concern that without clear and uniform regulatory guidance, the industry’s pricing practices will continue to suffer from a collective action problem in which no individual platform will have incentive to unilaterally adopt increased transparency measures that may put it at a competitive disadvantage relative to others in the industry. As a result, pricing disclosure models remain inconsistent across the marketplace, hindering consumers from being able to effectively compare overall ticket costs between platforms. Brett suggested that in lieu of more targeted regulation, ticketing vendors should observe the FTC’s Dot Com guidelines, which require pricing disclosures to be clear, conspicuous and consistent with consumer expectations.

Read complete article here: 

Live! Tonight! Sold Out! – Lessons from FTC’s Online Event Tickets Workshop – Lexology.

Post a Comment

WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing