UK’s £4.5bn music industry is under threat from touts

The UK music industry is growing. According to UK Music, the industry saw a growth of 6% in 2016, and the rise of UK superstars such as Adele, Ed Sheeran and Skepta are proving highly beneficial; exports of UK music rose an impressive 13% in the same year, resulting in a figure of around £2.5 billion.



Now worth a whopping £4.5 billion, the UK music industry employs around 117,000 people, and is currently experiencing a sudden increase in live and recorded music, as well as job vacancies and exports.



Despite these promising statistics, many experts and analysts believe ticket touting could be seriously harming the industry, and threatening its future progress.

A survey constructed by anti-touting organisation FanFair Alliance made an interesting discovery: two-thirds of people questioned said they would go to fewer concerts and events in future, given they had previously paid more than face value for a ticket.



The survey also noted that half of respondents would spend less on recorded music, due to feeling financially exploited.

It seems that not only does touting prevent fans from going to shows (due to sold-out venues) but also discourages said fans going to later events, for fear of paying above face value as well as the hassle of obtaining resale tickets.

Negative outlook on touting has led to advances in anti-touting legislation, however – last year, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced that touts found guilty of using online bots to purchase large amounts of tickets for resale would be liable to pay heavy fines, with the amount required to pay being unrestricted.



Other recent progression in recognising the damage of touting has resulted in companies such as Viagogo and Ticketmaster being outed for not doing enough to combat touts, as well as controlling the huge mark-ups used to obtain large profit.



These touts contribute to the £1 billion secondary ticket industry consisting of the aforementioned companies and many others, most of which seek to provide a platform for customers to buy and sell tickets.

Article by Connor Winyard.

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