Taylor Swift: Ticketmaster fiasco ‘excruciating for me’


New York
CNN affairs

Taylor Swift spoke out on Friday about the ticket debacle that happened this week, as many fans were unable to purchase tickets for her upcoming tour on Ticketmaster.

“It goes without saying that I am extremely protective of my fans,” Swift wrote on Instagram on Friday. “It’s really hard for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and allegiances, and unbearable for me to see mistakes happen without recourse.”

Swift blamed Ticketmaster for the snafu, noting that there were “a myriad of reasons why people had such a hard time” getting tickets.

“I’m not going to make excuses for anyone because we asked them multiple times if they could meet these kinds of demands and we were confident they could,” the singer wrote. “It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really pisses me off that a lot of them feel like they went through several bear attacks to get them.”

Swift added that she would try to “figure out how to improve this situation in the future.”

Sales for the singer’s new Eras Tour began on Tuesday, but high demand drove the ticketing site into a frenzy of fans who couldn’t get their hands on tickets. Customers complained that Ticketmaster wasn’t loading and said the platform wouldn’t let them access tickets even if they had a presale code for verified fans.

On Thursday, Ticketmaster announced that sales to the general public, due to begin Friday, had been canceled due to “extremely high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket stock to meet that demand.”

“To those who didn’t get tickets, all I can say is that my hope is to give us more opportunities to get together and sing these songs,” Swift added.

The trouble for Ticketmaster began on Tuesday, when the site began selling to “verified fans” — a mechanism aimed at eliminating bots that give pre-sale codes to individuals.

The “verified fan” platform was created in 2017 to help Ticketmaster handle high demand situations, but when more than 3.5 million people pre-registered to become a “verified fan” of Swift, the system became overwhelmed. That is the largest registration in the company’s history, according to Ticketmaster.

“Historically, working with ‘Verified Fan’ invite codes has worked because we were able to control the volume coming into the site to purchase tickets,” the company wrote in a blog post Thursday that has since been deleted. “This time, however, the staggering number of bot attacks and fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic to our site.”

Ticketmaster noted that it “usually takes about an hour to sell through a stadium show”, but the site delayed some sales and delayed others to “stabilize the systems”. That brought everything to a halt.

The site appeared to have avoided major trouble on Wednesday when pre-sale for Capital One credit cardholders began. But the company’s inability to meet demand for Swift’s tour, as well as a lack of tickets to meet further demand, essentially killed Friday’s planned sale to the general public.

Fans blamed Ticketmaster, while others, including members of Congress, heavily criticized the company’s control over the live music industry.

“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically compel companies to innovate and improve their services,” Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote in an open letter to the CEO on Wednesday. “That could result in the kind of dramatic service outages we’ve seen this week, with consumers being the ones paying the price.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal echoed Klobuchar’s concerns, tweeting that the tour is “a perfect example of how the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster hurts consumers by creating a near-monopoly.”

“I have long urged DOJ to investigate the state of competition in the ticketing industry,” he said. “Consumers deserve better than this anti-hero behavior.”

Taylor Swift kicks off her new tour in March.  It hits 52 stadiums in the US.

The backlash also highlighted Swift’s massive popularity

The pop star has had countless hits throughout her career, built an ultra-loyal fan following – better known as “Swifties” – and recently became the first artist ever to simultaneously claim all the top 10 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 following the release of her latest album, “Midnights”, which came out last month.

Her Eras Tour – which kicks off March 17 in Glendale, Arizona and ends August 9 in Los Angeles – reaches 52 stadiums across the US.

Ticketmaster noted on Thursday that more than two million tickets were sold for Swift’s upcoming tour on Tuesday — the highest ever for an artist in a single day. The company also said demand for tickets for the Eras Tour was twice that of the top five tours of 2022 and the Super Bowl. combined.

“Based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor should perform more than 900 stadium shows (nearly 20x the number of shows she does),” Ticketmaster wrote Thursday. “That’s a stadium show every night for the next 2.5 years.”

Tickets for Swift’s upcoming tour also resulted in astronomical prices on ticketing sites, with some tickets being offered for tens of thousands of dollars.

Since her debut album in 2006, Swift has also established herself as a cultural icon with a huge influence to move the needle on industry issues. She has adopted music streaming services such as Spotify (SPOT) and Apple Music regarding artist payment and is currently re-recording her songs to reclaim the property of her masters.

As Swift goes, so does the music industry in many ways.

Serona Elton, a music industry professor at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, further explained Swift’s popularity by noting her success in both music sales and touring. Most music is now consumed via streaming, she said, which is more popular among younger generations who are somewhat feminine.

“The demographic that drives the highest percentage of music consumption sees itself in her and is closely related to what she sings about,” she said.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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