As the Ontario government continues to formulate a plan to fight ticket bots and scalpers, the CEO of Live Nation (which owns Ticketmaster) says that any attempt to regulate online ticket sales is "so unrealistic."
The company's CEO Michael Rapino participated in a keynote conversation yesterday (April 20) as part of Canadian Music Week, during which the evening's emcee George Stroumboulopoulos brought up the topic of ticket bots.
"As long as the market's gigantic, you'll have sophisticated players trying to figure out how to monetize it," Rapino later told the Globe & Mail. "My instincts are always on the free market."
Ironically enough, yesterday's keynote was billed by CMW as a discussion about how "the fan is always first."
"I just think it's so unrealistic," Rapino continued. "I think some of these [legislative changes and suggestions around the world] are decent attempts, but I don't think overall — until you start pricing the product better, and/or have better technology to deliver the fan their ticket — that you'll start to make a difference."
Earlier this year, the Ontario government began a public consultation, opening up a survey to the ticket-buying public about their past experiences and future priorities.
"Fans deserve a fair shot at getting tickets to seeing their favourite band, sports team, or performance, but right now, the rules around buying and selling tickets online are not doing enough for fans," Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said at the time. "They are not putting them first. Our government is going to change that."
The consultation followed a private member's bill (a.k.a. Bill 22: The Ticket Speculation Amendment Act) tabled by Kingston and the Islands liberal MPP Sophie Kiwala last year — after the ticket reselling fiasco for the Tragically Hip's historic Kingston show last summer.