Taylor Swift has broken the box office. Literally. The sale (actually, in pre-sale) of the tickets for her next American tour has broken records and has collapsed the Ticketmaster systems, which had exclusive rights to sell most of the concerts. The high prices and problems with the system to process the high demand have not only provoked the anger and disappointment of the followers, but have fueled the controversy about the monopolistic position of the company since it merged with LiveNation. Ticketmaster has decided to suspend the sale of tickets to the general public, scheduled for this Friday.
The tour The Eras Tour it’s the first Taylor Swift has done in five years. This Tuesday pre-sale tickets were sold, for registered followers, before the offer open to the public that was to be held this Friday and has been cancelled. That didn’t stop a deluge of orders, including many automated via bots, that brought down Ticketmaster’s systems. Despite everything, records have been broken and more than two million tickets have been sold, according to the data published this Thursday by the company.
The 32-year-old singer was selling tickets for 52 concerts in large stadiums in cities across the United States. The initial plan is for the tour to open in Glendale, Arizona on March 18, 2023 and close in Los Angeles, California on August 5, before giving way to the European concerts, which have yet to be announced. communicated the dates and places. After the strong demand that was already detected, it went from 27 to 52 concerts and even so the forecasts have been overwhelmed.
Taylor Swift has swept the launch of her latest album, midnights, and on his tour he will alternate his new and old songs, which have also sold hundreds of thousands of copies on vinyl. Taylor Swift monopolized the top 10 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with songs from that album, something unprecedented.
The high demand for their concert tickets was therefore to be expected, but even so the system has collapsed. The virtual queues were endless, but there were frequent disconnections and error messages that caused patient followers to lose their turn. Criticism has rained down on the company, which has also been accused of not facilitating equal distribution and of implementing dynamic pricing systems that lead to to exorbitant amounts for getting a ticket.
Presale prices ranged from $49 to $449 to attend the stadium concerts, not counting VIP tickets, which fetched about $1,000.
Democratic Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has addressed a letter to the company’s chief executive, Michael Rapino: “I am writing to express my deep concern about the competitive situation in the ticketing industry and its detrimental impact on consumers. Reports of system failures, fee increases, and allegations of conduct that violates the consent decree to which Ticketmaster is subject [las condiciones para la aprobación de la fusión] They suggest that Ticketmaster continues to abuse its position in the market”, he points out.
The merger of Ticketmaster and LiveNation already generated controversy in 2011, when it was approved. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also posted a message on Twitter as a “daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, that their merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and that they need to be stopped.” as he wrote.
Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.
Break them up.
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 15, 2022
The scandal has reached such a dimension that the Tennessee prosecutor’s office has announced the opening of an investigation: “Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is concerned about consumer complaints related to the pre-sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets for Part of Ticketmaster. He and his consumer protection team will use all available tools to ensure that consumer protection laws are not violated.” has tweeted his office.
The company admits that there have been problems, but attributes them to the exceptional avalanche of followers. “Taylor Swift is an unstoppable force and she continues to break records. We strive to make buying tickets as easy as possible for the fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many people trying to buy tickets for The Eras Tour”, Ticketmaster has said in a statement.
More than 3.5 million people pre-registered as verified followers of the singer, the highest number ever. That system tries to prioritize fans over bots and reselling companies, but this time it didn’t stem the tide. “Historically, around 40% of invited fans show up and buy tickets, with most buying an average of 3 tickets. So, in collaboration with the artist’s team, around 1.5 million people were invited to participate in the sale of the 52 show dates, including the 47 sold by Ticketmaster. The remaining 2 million verified fans were placed on the waiting list.” explains the company.
“Historically, working with verified fan invite codes has worked, as we have been able to manage the volume coming into the web to buy tickets. However, this time around, the staggering number of bot attacks, as well as fans not having invite codes, drove unprecedented traffic to our site, resulting in a total of 3.5 billion system requests, four times our previous peak.” Add.
That was what, according to Ticketmaster, blew up the system. The company defends that despite everything, more than two million tickets were sold, that those who purchased them were registered fans and that resale has been contained, but that it is impossible to serve everyone: “Taylor would need to do more than 900 concerts in stadiums (almost 20 times the number of concerts he is doing). That’s one stadium concert every night for the next two and a half years.” explains Ticketmaster. “Although it is impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know that we can do more to improve the experience and that is what we are focused on,” he concludes.
Fearing that the problems would multiply when launching the sale to the general public this Friday and given the scarcity of available tickets, Ticketmaster has decided to cancel it preventively.
Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow’s public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled.
—Ticketmaster (@Ticketmaster) November 17, 2022
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Taylor Swift breaks records and unleashes a controversy with the sale of tickets for her tour