Google take action against secondary ticket market


Google have announced new global resale regulations in a bid to crack down on the sale of concert tickets at inflated prices on the secondary market.

Fans often have to pay prices well above their face value through websites including StubHub, Viagogo and Get Me In. But Google will now put measures in place to help fans get a fairer deal.

From March, resale sites will be forced to let customers know if their prices are higher than face value, while they’ll also be stopped from claiming to be an official source of tickets when they are, in fact, selling them second-hand.

Ticket resellers will also need to be certified by Google from January before they can advertise via the company’s AdWords service, which allows businesses to pay to be displayed at the top of Google rankings.

A statement from the FanFair Alliance reads: “This is a very welcome development, with potential to make the ticket-buying process far less complex for consumers.”

“The recent Ticked Off report highlighted that a significant proportion of would-be ticket buyers use Google as their first port of call, while FanFair’s own research has illustrated the extent to which Viagogo, StubHub and Get Me In! use paid search to dominate Google rankings. They make little indication that they are secondary ticketing platforms.

“As a result, fans have been systematically directed towards touted tickets, even when primary inventory is still available from authorised ticket sellers.”

The statement concludes: “We are pleased that Google have listened to concerns on this issue, and have acted in an assertive manner and on a global basis. We look forward to seeing further details – but this move should be a major step forward in cleaning up the secondary market, as we anticipate more regulatory and legislative action to come.”

Last year, Iron Maiden implemented ‘paperless ticketing’ to protect their fans from ticket touts, while they, along with Radiohead and Foo Fighters wrote an open letter to the UK government in 2015 calling on them to crack down on secondary sales.

Sites under fire for selling secondary tickets with ID restrictions

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.