Ticketmaster has faced backlash recently over issues with ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s upcoming Eras tour. There have been complaints from fans about high ticket prices, website crashes and glitches during presales, and tickets immediately appearing on resale sites for inflated prices. Swift herself has criticized Ticketmaster for the “excruciating” process her fans have had to endure trying to get tickets. Ticketmaster has responded by saying there was unprecedented demand for Swift’s tour, which broke records. However, many are still frustrated with how Ticketmaster handled the situation.
What problems did fans face trying to get Taylor Swift tickets?
Fans trying to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour faced numerous problems and headaches, including:
– Website crashes and long wait times – During presales, Ticketmaster’s website repeatedly crashed and had long wait times, making it very difficult for fans to purchase tickets. Many lost tickets they had waiting in their carts.
– Immediate resale at higher prices – Despite Ticketmaster’s efforts to prevent resales, large numbers of tickets immediately appeared on sites like StubHub and Vivid Seats at exponentially higher prices, sometimes thousands of dollars above face value.
– High ticket prices – Even face value ticket prices were deemed expensive, ranging from $49 for nosebleeds to $449 for floor seats before fees. With fees added, some tickets cost over $600 each.
– Limited ticket availability – Due to high demand, many dates sold out quickly, leaving fans unable to get any tickets at all. Ticketmaster declined to say how many tickets were sold during presales.
– Fees and “dynamic pricing” – Ticketmaster’s fees raised base ticket prices substantially, in some cases over 50%. The company also used demand-based “dynamic pricing,” making popular shows more expensive.
So in summary – website problems, immediate resales, high prices, limited availability, and fees left many of Swift’s fans angry, disappointed, and ticketless.
What was Ticketmaster’s response?
In statements after the Taylor Swift onsale issues, Ticketmaster essentially said:
– Demand for Swift’s tour was unprecedented and record-breaking. There were over 3.5 million people trying to buy tickets for the tour overall.
– Their Verified Fan program, designed to keep out bots and scalpers, proved ineffective due to such high demand from real fans.
– Over 2 million tickets were sold on Nov. 15, the most ever sold for an artist in a single day.
– They are working to shore up their systems to better handle such massive demand surges in the future.
– Taylor Swift has a huge and devoted fanbase, which is why her tour broke records. Ticketmaster just didn’t anticipate how much demand there would actually be.
So in short, Ticketmaster claimed they were simply overwhelmed by unprecedented interest in Swift’s tour, leading to website crashes, long waits, and insufficient ticket inventory. They did not take much responsibility for the problems faced by fans.
What has the reaction been to Ticketmaster’s response?
The reaction to Ticketmaster’s explanation has been largely negative. Critics have argued:
– Ticketmaster should have been prepared and scaled up their systems, since Swift’s popularity and huge fanbase is no secret.
– Their explanations don’t justify or excuse the technical problems fans endured for hours trying to buy tickets.
– Ticketmaster continues to hold a near-monopoly on major event ticketing, leaving fans with few alternatives.
– Their high fees and dynamic pricing unfairly gouge fans and let scalpers profit.
– More transparency is needed around how many tickets are actually sold during presales vs. held back.
– Ticketmaster has not offered any refunds, credits, or other compensation to fans impacted by the fiasco.
So while Ticketmaster has deflected blame onto Swift’s popularity, most observers remain highly critical of how the company handled this situation, arguing they need to make significant improvements to their systems, fees, and policies. More competition and better consumer protection regulation of the ticketing industry has also been proposed.
What has Taylor Swift said about the Ticketmaster situation?
Taylor Swift has directly criticized Ticketmaster multiple times over how her tour ticket sales were handled. In statements on social media, she has said:
– She is “pissed off” over how fans struggled to get tickets, calling the process “excruciating” for them.
– She had been assured by Ticketmaster that they could handle the demand.
– She tried to get them to do more fan presales and overrule dynamic pricing, but they refused.
– The bot attacks and scalpers buying up tickets made her “upset.”
– She hopes Ticketmaster will make changes to become more fan-friendly in the future.
So Swift made it clear she did not feel Ticketmaster upheld their promises about being able to handle demand for her tour tickets. She stands firmly on the side of her fans who endured a terrible ticket buying experience. However, she does not have direct control over Ticketmaster’s policies and systems. Her statements added more criticism onto Ticketmaster as they continue facing backlash over the fiasco.
Are there any legal issues at play?
The controversy over Taylor Swift’s tour tickets has raised some questions around legal matters, including:
– Antitrust violations – Ticketmaster essentially operates as a monopoly, controlling ticket sales for most major concerts and events. Some experts argue they violate antitrust laws through anticompetitive conduct.
– Consumer protections – Critics allege Ticketmaster engages in unfair and deceptive practices towards consumers by intentionally restricting ticket supply and employing hidden fees. State or federal consumer protection laws may potentially have been violated.
– Terms of Service issues – Fans were required to accept Ticketmaster’s Terms of Service and verification procedures to buy tickets. It’s unclear if any provisions were breached given the technical problems.
– Right of publicity – Swift herself does not have an exclusive deal with Ticketmaster. Her right of publicity was arguably violated by Ticketmaster bots and scalpers profiting off her tour without permission.
However, no major legal action has been taken yet. Individual lawsuits over Ticketmaster’s handling of Swift tickets would likely be arbitrated through mandatory arbitration clauses consumers must agree to. So while there are legal questions surrounding the ticketing fiasco, real-world results remain uncertain.
Could this controversy bring changes to the ticketing industry?
This Ticketmaster-Swift ticketing debacle has ignited renewed scrutiny and criticism of Ticketmaster’s dominant market position and policies. Several positive changes that could potentially result include:
– Government antitrust action – Lawmakers could be prompted to finally address Ticketmaster’s monopoly and require more competition in the industry.
– Fee caps – Ticket fees add huge costs for fans, and regulation could limit how much can be charged.
– Bots crackdown – Better safeguards are clearly needed to keep ticket scalping bots from snatching up inventory.
– More transparency – Forcing Ticketmaster to disclose exactly how tickets are distributed and priced could shed light on inequities.
– Fan presales – Artists like Swift have more leverage to demand better allotments for devoted fan base presales vs. general public sales.
– Secondary market reforms – Cracking down unauthorized large-scale resale of tickets at inflated prices may require legislative changes.
– New competitors – Alternative ticketing platforms like Dice and Songkick could potentially gain market share by treating fans better.
Real change is still uncertain, but the backlash over Swift’s tour ticketing debacle has certainly brought Ticketmaster’s troubling practices into sharper focus. Time will tell if any meaningful reforms actually emerge.
In summary, the controversy around Taylor Swift’s Eras tour ticket sales has exposed ongoing issues with Ticketmaster’s dominant market position, inadequate technology, and policies that seem to prioritize profit over fairness towards fans. While unprecedented demand was a factor, Ticketmaster’s inability to handle the situation smoothly and transparently left many Swift fans irate and ticketless. Swift herself has criticized the “excruciating” process fans endured.
Legal action seems unlikely, but the debacle has prompted wider calls for reforms and increased competition in the ticketing industry. With Swift and her fanbase elevating these concerns into the national spotlight, there is some hope meaningful changes could finally occur, even if only incremental. However, Ticketmaster remains a powerful monopoly, and substantial reforms are far from guaranteed. The company has made some apologies and vague pledges do to better, but no major changes have been announced yet. For now, the tumult continues.