Ticketmaster Hopes New ‘Verified Fan’ Program Will Weed Out Ticket Bots

Image courtesy of JD Hancock

While there is now a federal law on the books banning ticket-buying bots in an attempt to give real, live humans a better chance at scoring admission to popular events, these automated scalpers are squirrelly little suckers. In an effort combat this problem, Ticketmaster is launching a new program that will use ticket buyers’ profiles to help verify they’re actually humans.

Ticketmaster is rolling out the “Verified Fan” program now after testing it on smaller tours recently, and says it’s working well so far: so far: A Ticketmaster exec tells Recode that only 1% of tickets sold through this program have ended up on the secondary market.

The Verified program has so far focused only on concert pre-sales, since bots tend to swoop in to try to snatch up tickets as early as possible.

The software asks users for information like a phone number, email, and social media accounts so it can determine the humanness of the customer. Once you’re a verified human, Ticketmaster lets you know.

“Bots are about speed, and if you make distribution about speed, you’re fighting a very hard battle,” Marcus told Recode. “If you make it about identity, it’s much different.”

Depending on how well Verified Fan cuts down on ticket bots, Ticketmaster may use the program outside pre-sales.

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