On his "Wrecking Ball World Tour" last year, Springsteen used paperless tickets for 20 percent of the seats, and Ticketmaster said its data showed that Springsteen's decision helped reduce scalping by 75 percent. (New York is the only state where Springsteen couldn't offer paperless tickets because the state does not allow nontransferable tickets).
StubHub, the largest reseller of tickets, said business is booming thanks to the top acts on the road as well as summer festivals. But the company, which has a partnership with AEG, knows the idea of paperless tickets hurts their business.
"That limits a person's right to resell or transfer or to just give away their ticket. We do not support that because we believe in a fan's right to do whatever they want with their tickets," said Alison Salcedo, the head of U.S. Communications for StubHub. Fan Freedom, an organization that supports the rights of ticket holders, echoed StubHub's thoughts on paperless tickets.
"I don't see any reason why nontransferable tickets need to be the solution," said Joe Potter, the CEO of Fan Freedom, which is financially supported by StubHub. "Scalpers get tickets through pre-sale and fan club memberships."
Ticketmaster isn't against the idea of reselling tickets, in fact they resell concert tickets online.
"More often or not tickets are underpriced, that's why you see so much resell activity," Smith said. "What we try to do is make sure it's done very transparently."
Ticket holders are allowed to sell tickets at any price on sites like StubHub and ticketsnow.com, that's why Kid Rock isn't selling tickets for the first two rows at his shows. He's randomly pulling fans from the nose bleed sections to enjoy his concert from the venue's best view. And the first 20 rows at his shows are seats offered through paperless ticketing.
"We really don't know what we're going to make yet. We were doing estimates on it and they're already going through a lot of these numbers, and it looks like it's going to be a good summer," he said of what his potential tour earnings.
Kid Rock, whose tour openers include ZZ Top, Uncle Kracker and Kool and the Gang, is playing the same venues he's performed at in the past, but he said he's filling up more seats and selling tickets faster. Even scalpers have approached the performer to cut deals.
"I've had people in the scalping business come at me already and try to make side deals like, 'I can make you thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash if you'll just flip a few of these tickets our way for certain shows,'" he recalled.
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