Paperless tickets help drive a Wrecking Ball through scalping

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band recently stopped in Greensboro, the second concert on their 2012 “Wrecking Ball” world tour. By all accounts, it was another magical Springsteen night. Nearly three hours and 23 songs later, fans left delirious. But the night’s success was guaranteed long before Bruce and the band took the stage. It was guaranteed two months earlier when tickets first went on sale.

For Springsteen and artists of similar stature, scalping is a major problem. When tickets for high-demand events first go on-sale, scalpers use banks of computers and programs called “bots” that allow them to sweep up the best tickets before fans even have a chance. Within minutes, these seats are then listed on re-sale sites like StubHub at incredibly inflated prices.

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