Ticketmaster’s parent company faces U.S. lawmakers after the company could not handle the demand for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.
- Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation is facing questioning from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee after the company had to cancel the public sale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour after not being able to handle demand despite assuring both Swift and fans it could do so.
- Live Nation executives say the server was overwhelmed by a large number of bots trying to buy tickets and the unprecedented demand—which led to a complete ticket-buying failure.
- Lawmakers also discuss the lack of competition in the ticketing industry as Ticketmaster takes most of the sector. The company earned 65% of U.S. sales among major ticketing platforms in 2022, with the next most significant only holding 14%, according to Bloomberg analytics.
- The Taylor Swift fiasco has caused fans and lawmakers to call for reform in the ticketing industry, referring to Ticketmaster as a monopoly.
Why it’s news
Unneeded fees, sketchy resales, and overall high prices are things Ticketmaster users know “all too well.”
In November, Ticketmaster held the presale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour. A limited number of fans received a presale code called a “verified fan” code to enable access into the line for the presale.
The verified fan system was created to let more fans into the sale and not allow any bots into the line. The presale was supposed to be the first of three sales, with the last sale being a general sale for anyone who did not receive a verified code.
The presale was a complete failure causing many fans to wait in a queue for over five hours in some cases and get into the sale to find zero tickets.
Ticketmaster executives say the server was overwhelmed by many bots trying to buy tickets, and the demand was unprecedented, which led to a complete ticket-buying failure, leaving many fans with no tickets.
“In hindsight, there are several things we could have done better–including staggering the sales over a longer period of time,” says the president and chief financial officer of Live Nation, Joe Berchtold.
The presale was so bad that it led to the company canceling the general sale entirely due to an accidental overselling of tickets and an overall unpleasant experience.
Fans who could get tickets were faced with a surplus of unnecessary fees, some being hundreds of dollars, causing the tickets to be largely over the original price. Between fans not getting tickets and other fans being significantly overcharged, many people decided enough was enough and took the ticketing company to court.
Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation is facing the Senate Judiciary Committee over the sale failure and the lack of competition in the ticketing space.
Lawmakers are saying Taylor Swift isn’t the first artist to have issues with Ticketmaster and changes need to be made in the space.