1. Context and BackgroundThe Online Event Ticket Salesindustry has grown dramatically in both major fields from physical tickets andelectronic or at-home printing. The industry revenue marked $5.0bn in 2016 and PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC) anticipated that amount will reach $24bn in 2021 by almost 3% annualgrowth, according to Technavio report (2017). In the UK, 30.
9 million audiencesattended to live concerts and festivals last year, contributing £4.5bn to theeconomy and the annual growth rate will hit 12% in 2017 (Ellis-Petersen, 2017).On the other hand, since the beginning of ticket sales for events, the practiceof ticket scalping already existed. That terms is defined as the process inwhich people buying tickets with the profitable purpose of reselling those(Williams, 1994). The survey result conducted by Competition and MarketsAuthority (CMA) reveals that the industry is threatened by touts and scalpersvia secondary marketplaces (Davies and Treanor, 2017).
Thereby, more than 80%of participants said secondary ticketing was a ‘rip-off’ to any genuine fansand they should be fined by the government. Adele London tour on June 2017 wasa realistic example of how exactly the prices was broken from face value £80 to£10000 despite singer’s efforts to stop the touts. This study will furtherdiscuss the hazard of scalpers as well as answering the topic question ” Howonline primary outlets prevent scalpers from harvesting concert tickets tosatisfy genuine fan’s demand”2.
Literature ReviewTechnavio (2017) has published ananalysis of the UK global secondary ticket market revealing the secondarymarketplaces is expected to experience growth during the period 2016 and 2021which will triple up the value at $3.53bn in 2021, compared to 2016.Analysts anticipated the number ofpeople attending live events is growing with the rise in number of concerts andlive performances.
In the UK, the secondary market is dominated by the bigfour, namely ViaGoGo, Stubhub, Seatwave, and Getmein which the two latter areowned by Ticketmaster- the global leading primary ticket marketplace (Dedman,2017). (Could compare primary ticket to secondary ticket)Traditionally, the terms ofreselling tickets were strictly regulated by the states in which touts couldget a serious fine up 50 times to the ticket face value (Moore, 2017).Nowadays, due to the massive development of technology and Internet, thestringent regulation are apparently gone. Moore argued that while anti-scalpinglegislation witnessed difficulties to enforce prior to online sales, Internetticket reselling simply exacerbated the problem. Boyle and Chiou (2011) agreedthat no federal law currently regulates ticket scalping and states tend todevise their own policies for monitoring the ticket resale. In contrast,IBISWorld Market Analyst Petrillo (2016) investigated that the majority ofindustry regulations relate to privacy laws and protection of consumer’s right.In February 2015, New rules in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 was reluctantlyintroduced by the UK government due to the growing clamour for action, therebydetails of ticket such as block, row, seat number, and face value must beclearly stated when anyone intends to resell tickets (Jones, 2015).
From another perspective, theEconomist Courty (2017) interprets technology has completely renovated theticketing industry, but also there are also security gaps for profiteeringactivities. When the tickets are available to purchase via online platform suchas Ticketmaster, Seetickets, scalpers operate computer software programs called(ro)bots to automatically harvest dozends of tickets within a matter ofseconds. Ken Lowson- one the most infamous ticket scalper as known as the onebreaking Ticketmaster confessed on Motherboard magazine that his bots can scrape998 tickets out of 1000 on presale (Koebler 2017).
Ticketmaster’s anti-botCAPTCHA system was originally used for presale access, which requires buyers tocrossed out or fuzzy words to prove that action is made by human.Unfortunately, it becomes a piece of cake for scalpers like Jason, herecognized that the system only stores 30k images instead of 1 million asadvert. Therefore, all these images were downloaded as .jpeg file, bots areencrypted to learn how to match the images and that would totally knock downthe Ticketmaster system.3. TheoreticalFramework: The research illustrates the process of identifying core connectors andthe development of thoughts and theories related to the research topic. Theframework at hand discusses about the Jon Gibb’s model ‘Cyberscalping On-lineTicket Sales’.
He found out two Internet scalping models that comprises thetypical relationship between sellers and buyers. The initial model describes anintrastate transaction that is equivalent to a typical scalping transaction.For instance, a vendor in Seatle, which prohibiting reselling privacy compliedby with the SMC section 5.40.
060 regulation (J. Glantz, 2005), selling tickets via online ticket marketplaces. Unlike the inceptionidea of this regulation, the majority of ticket brokers acquired enough skillsto break the system. Another scheme which Jon Gibb figured out is the onlinetransaction could be made in the city A for event in the city B but run bypromoter in the city C. Hence, the Internet enables everyone participate in theticket reselling industry by simple equipment such as computer, Internet accessand a bank card.4. Philosophical StanceIn that research,positivism research philosophy is mainly utilised in which the ‘ticket broker’terms will be scientifically and widely explained based on large population ofprimary and secondary data. The research progresses would go through differenthypotheses and deductions of how people profiteering by selling tickets,following by the solutions to prevent this issue.
Karl Popper- the 20thcentury’s most influential theorist of the scientific method asserted thatthere were limits to scientific knowledge because as human we all have limitsabout what we possibly understand (Iep.utm.edu,2017)5. Methodology frameworkThis sections would indicate the design for the research which elaborateson selective methodology approach. The main part combines quantitative and qualitativeresearch following by secondary research. To be defined, a quantitativeapproach focuses on the results from a large population, synthesis and analysis(Peer, 2017).
The key instrument utilised for the quantitative research is anonline questionnaire that was created to retrieve statistical data about theresearch population. Meanwhile, secondary research aims to extract the radicalissues via selected empirical investigation and specific events that was ruinedby ticket scalpers. The methods used for five different sub questions arefurther explained in the detail below.Main question: How to prevent scalpers fromharvesting concert tickets to satisfy genuine fan’s demand? Thequestion would be clearly answered by different sub-questions and therefore no research is relatively linked to themain question.
Sub question 1: How can ticket scalpers harvest the ticket? This sub question will be answeredby secondary research via ticket industry reports and market analyst journal.Sub question 2: To what extent are secondary marketplaces accused of facilitatingtouts?The answer will be investigated throughdesk search and quantitative research gathering information via questionnaire.Critical Evaluation Method is fully utilized to answer this question.Sub question 3: How primary outlets react to the hazard of tout?The analysis will takes a stepfurther to the sub question 2. For this question, secondary research is themain weapon following by the qualitative and quantitative research.
Sub question 4: Have government policy been strict enough to deterrence ticket brokers?Secondary research including Governmentreport, Company report will be used. Also qualitative research method such asFocus group interview is supportive measurement. Sub question 5: The solution for primary ticket outlets and governmentpoliciesSeeking solutions is what the subquestion 5 aiming to, it evaluates solutions that have already applied in thereal world. Moreover, a suitable framework to tackle issues based on researchesand insider analysis. 6.
Datacollection (200w)To retrieve the research data, twoinstruments are used which include an online survey for the research populationto cover sub question 2 & 3. Whilst, focus group interview is applied fordeeper research on sub question 4 &5. For quantitative part of theresearch, a questionnaire is designed using the Google Forms online tool tocollect data. The questionnaire starts off with basic questions asking aboutparticipant’s information such as gender, age, occupation following by theirtaste of preference in music industry and concert attendance. To specify thecustomer’s opinion, the questionnaire continues with their past experiences onbuying ticket and how they think about secondary marketplaces. They are alsoasked about the rating on Big Four Secondary ticketing companies in the UKincluding Viagogo, Getmein, Stubhub and Seatwave (Thomas. 2016). Eventually,participants are inquired to give their judgment on the touts’ action and howto prevent them.
Stratified sampling is used to select respondents from the UK,collectively prefer 50 people from each region including Northern Ireland,Wales, England and Scotland.As an efficient tool for qualitativedata collection, focus group usually consists a small group of people betweensix and nine to explore attitudes and perception, feelings and ideas about thetopic (Denscombe, 2007). Purposive sampling would help to locate where theinformation-rich are in order to produce a comprehensive data. Hence, peoplewho have practical experience and background on one of the big four companieswould be kindly invited. 7. EthicsThe research ethics are taken intoaccount when conducting primary research and strictly followed by researchmethod ethics principles. It is a combination of (1) informed consent, (2)reduce the harmful risks toward participants, (3) protect their anonymity andconfidentiality, (4) avoid using deceptive practices and (5) allow participantsfull rights to withdraw from the research (Dissertation.
laerd.com, 2017). The dissertation research have to imply allfive principles throughout the whole process.8. Dataanalysis The goal of data analysis is todescribe the findings whereby descriptive analysis is chosen for this research,which deliver clear and precise results. Bar chart, pie chart and line chartare designed from the online questionnaire data responded then it beingcritically analyzed and evaluated. Simultaneously, qualitative coding analysisaccomplishes the focus group interview collected data in order to highlight thedistinguished concepts and categories.
9. LimitationsDue to the deficient time amount inthe research, there are some limitation in collecting data from respondent. Asthe goal of sampling method was 200 people coming the U.K, the data recordedonly 160 people and most of them are from England. It could lead to the bias inanalyzing data and conclude an uncomprehensive framework.For secondary research, the topic iscomparatively sensitive as it relates to the government policy which wasunsuccessfully to regulate the reselling ethics in the past decade.
Becauseinformation about policy and regulation are not easily accessible, the scope ofresearch tends to be niche. The analysis of data could be more accurate anddetailed if researchers have access to private business and industry reports. There were also limited capabilitiesto extract data into information due to the low technology skills ofresearcher. Microsoft Excel is the onlysoftware that was used to extract the data. Using more advanced analysistechniques, more appropriate results could have been retrieved and more soundconclusions could have been drawn up.10.