Taylor Swift: Ticketmaster fiasco ‘excruciating for me’

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CNN Business

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

“It goes without saying that I am very protective of my fans,” Swift wrote on Instagram on Friday. “It’s really difficult for me to trust an outside agency with these relationships and loyalty, and it’s interesting for me to just see the mistakes that there is no way around.”

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

“I will make no excuses for anyone because we asked them many times if they could handle such requests and we were assured that they could,” the singer wrote. “It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it really upsets me that so many of them feel like they’ve had to go through several beer attacks to get them.”

Swift added that he would try to “figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward.”

Sales for the singer’s New Eras tour began on Tuesday, but heavy demand shut down the ticketing site, angering fans who were unable to buy tickets. Customers complained about Ticketmaster not loading, saying the platform wouldn’t allow them to access tickets, even if they had a pre-sale code for verified fans.

On Thursday, Ticketmaster announced that the sale to the general public, which was scheduled to begin on Friday, was due to “extraordinarily high demand for ticketing systems and outstanding ticket inventory to meet this demand.” “cancelled due to

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

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Taylor Swift is one of the most popular music artists.  This popularity made it difficult to find a ticket to her new tour.

The issues for Ticketmaster began on Tuesday, when the site began selling to “verified fans” – a mechanism aimed at eliminating bots that give individuals promotional codes.

The “Verified Fan” platform was created in 2017 to help Ticketmaster handle the most demanding situations, but as more than 3.5 million people have already registered to become Swift’s “Verified Fan” The system was overwhelmed. According to Ticketmaster this is the largest registration in the history of the company.

“Historically, working with ‘Verified Fan’ invitation codes has worked because we have been able to manage the volume to purchase tickets to the site,” the company wrote in a blog post on Thursday that has since been pulled. done “However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have the invite codes drove unprecedented traffic to our site.”

Ticketmaster noted that it “typically takes us about an hour to sell through a stadium show,” but the site is slowing some sales while delaying others to “stabilize systems.” It stopped everything.

The site appeared to have averted major problems on Wednesday when a pre-sale for Capital One credit card holders began. But the company’s inability to deal with demand for Swift’s tour, as well as the 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, sharply criticized the company’s control of the live music industry.

“Ticketmaster’s strength in the primary ticket market leaves it immune to the competitive pressures that typically drive companies to innovate and improve their services,” Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote in an open letter to her CEO on Wednesday. “This could result in the kinds of dramatic service failures we saw this week, where consumers are the ones paying the price.”

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Senator Richard Blumenthal responded to Klobuchar’s concerns, tweeting that the trip was “a perfect example of how the Life Nation/Ticketmaster merger hurts consumers by creating a near monopoly.”

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

The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster’s owner, Liv Nation, to see if the company monopolizes the market for concerts, including ticket purchases, a source told CNN. The New York Times first reported the investigation on Friday.

The Times added that the Justice Department has contacted music venues and other ticket market participants in recent months, asking them about Live Nation’s practices and industry dynamics.

The Justice Department and Living Nation did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment.

Taylor Swift is starting her new tour next March.  It reaches 52 stadiums across America.

The response also highlighted the breadth of Swift’s popularity

The pop star has had numerous hits throughout her career, has developed a very loyal following of fans – known as “Swifties” – and recently became the first artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 upon release. Claiming all the top 10 spots. Her latest album, “Mid Nights,” was released last month.

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

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Ticketmaster noted Thursday that more than two million tickets were sold for Swift’s upcoming tour on Tuesday — the largest ever for an artist in a single day. The company also said that demand for tickets to the Eras Tour was double that of the 2022 Top Five Tour and the Super Bowl. joint.

“Based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor would need to do 900 stadium shows (approximately 20x the number of shows he’s been doing),” Ticketmaster wrote on Thursday. “It’s a stadium show every night for the next 2.5 years.”

Tickets for Swift’s upcoming tour have also resulted in astronomical prices on ticket resale sites, with some tickets listed for tens of thousands of dollars.

Since her debut album in 2006, Swift has also built a cultural image for herself with great influence for moving the needle on industry issues. She has purchased music streaming services such as Spotify (SPOT) and Apple Music on artist fees and is currently re-recording her songs to reclaim ownership of her masters.

In many ways, as Swift goes, so goes the music industry.

Sirona Elton, professor of music industry at the University of Music’s Frost School of Music, further highlighted Swift’s popularity by noting her success in both music sales and touring. Most music is now consumed via streaming, she said, which is very popular among the younger generation who are becoming less feminine.

“The demographic group that drives the highest percentage of music consumption see themselves in her, and relate closely to what she sings,” she said.

—CNN’s Evan Perez and Tierney Snead contributed to this report


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