Managers of some big-name artists have some hard questions for Ticketmaster

More bad PR for Ticketmaster over how the company deals with bulk sales of tickets to resellers, brokers, and scalpers.

Back in September, a joint CBC/Toronto Star investigation broke the story of TradeDesk, an arm of Ticketmaster that facilitates the selling of tickets on the secondary market. The issue has become a PR nightmare for Ticketmaster and has resulted in some class action lawsuits and some awkward questions from government agencies.

Ticketmaster has responded a couple of times (here and here) but the whole thing just keeps getting worse.

The latest is a new CBC/Star report based leaked emails sent by managers of acts like Radiohead, the Pixies, Mumford & Sons, and Mark Knopfler sent to Ticketmaster, basically asking the company “WTF?”

The emails, send to Ticketmaster president Jared Smith, show that these managers are pissed at the revelations that TM is recruiting and using scalpers to boost profits from the resale of huge volumes of concert tickets. Are the acts getting a piece of this resale action? Nope, hence the angry and WTF-ness.

The leaked email chain began with a note from Mark Knopfler’s manager, Paul Crockford, who copied a bunch of other managers and agents involved with acts ranging from Drake to Depeche Mode to Bruno Mars. I quote from the CBC story.

“The impression given, from your side was that do not support or engage with industrial sellers,” he wrote in the message sent Sept. 19. “Was this all just bollocks for public consumption when in fact you are taking a hypocritical and unprincipled stance and actually assisting scalpers?”

Smith tries to explain Ticketmaster’s side of the story in a series of responses, but other managers of the thread wouldn’t have any of this. They feel deceived and ripped off by a company they had entrusted with making sure tickets got into the hands of real fans.

It’s worth reading the entire story here. This ain’t over by a long shot.

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