On the same day that thousands of disappointed applicants for Reading Festival tickets find their only chance of getting one is to pay upwards of an extra fifty percent on eBay against the face value of £180, Google has announced its new ‘iTout’ service.
Matt Brittin, CEO of Google UK, said today that in these situations eBay had become little more than legalised amateur touting. “We intend to bring back a degree of professionalism together with the personal touch so often lacking nowadays. For instance, instead of requiring you to search for a seller, we come to you with our Anyonelookingfortickets SMS and email alert service.”
Mr Brittin said that iTout promises you the best seat in the house with genuine authenticated tickets, complete with a strategically-placed digital thumb to maintain your privacy by protecting the exact seat location and issuer’s hologram from prying eyes.
A sister service, Anyonegotanysparetickets, will provide a trouble-free way to dispose of unwanted tickets at very attractive prices. iTout also promises an end to the annoyingly protracted process of buying in eBay auctions, with its instant Takeitorleaveit service which immediately establishes a price you won’t get anywhere else.
iTout will also be targeting so-called ticket agencies selling tickets to sporting events at several times face value, often as part of a hospitality package. iTout says it intends to compete head to head and is currently offering an introductory 1970s package including a night in a B&B plus its unique ‘pie, pint and a fight’ experience in a pub of your choice.
Asked if he didn’t think it ironic that the company which had done most to automate and open up the internet was now introducing a personal service, Mr Brittin said, “Is that thing turned off? Look, of course it’s completely automated, but calling it personal allows us to make decent money directly instead of this clicking on ads business. And anyway, we know all about what everyone wants through monitoring their computer usage, so to that extent it is completely personal.’