Since “Midnights,” Taylor Swift has broken a record almost every day. “Midnights” broke the 24-hour Spotify record with 184,695,609 streams. After a week, the album’s ten singles topped the Billboard Hot 100. With 40 top 10s, she became the artist with the most. She broke a Billboard record in May 2023.
Her “Eras Tour” has accomplished several accomplishments. Swift set attendance and applause records. Fans pay $1,300 on average for the tour, according to Fortune. An act this successful over two decades into their career is remarkable. When Swift announced her first tour in six years, fans knew tickets would be hard to get.
Ticketmaster planned a Verified Fan presale on November 15, followed by a Capital One cardholder presale. A Verified Fan system kept tickets from bots, which pleased fans. Ticketmaster, whose participation in this catastrophe led to a Senate inquiry, was unprepared for the mess ahead.
The verified fan sale for ‘The Eras Tour’ started chaos.
After hours in the presale queue and multiple crashes, the stadium sold out. Some got through the queue and selected tickets, but were booted out at checkout.
Ticketmaster’s hefty service fees upset the select few who acquired tickets after their hardships. People suspected Taylor Swift picked dynamic pricing, a Ticketmaster function that adjusts ticket prices depending on demand, because seats had wildly varied prices.
Swift apparently rejected dynamic pricing. The Swifties’ pain was compounded by resale sites selling tickets for thousands.
Ticketmaster canceled the general sale because to “extraordinarily high demand.” They expected 1.5 million verified fans, but 14 million visitors and bots visited the portal. Swift said that Ticketmaster promised her staff they could manage demand many times.
The U.S. Senate noticed that Ticketmaster controls 70% of the live entertainment business after this incident. Senator Amy Klobuchar stated, “We will examine how consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industries harms customers and artists alike.”
Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent corporation, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 24, 2023.
The hearing examined whether the ticketing corporation monopolized. Ticketmaster’s 2010 acquisition with Live Nation increased its market share.
According to The Hustle, 70–80% of big venues nationwide have exclusive relationships with Live Nation, limiting an artist’s venue options if they desire to use another ticketing site.
A venue may either contract with Ticketmaster for additional visibility or risk signing with a smaller player.
Live Nation may charge more by controlling artists and venues. It also limits consumer options, allowing the corporation to get away with substandard service.
“This is all the definition of monopoly,” Senator Klobuchar told the panel, according to The Science Survey. People obey without fear.”
Joe Berchtold, Live Nation’s president and CFO, blamed bots and strong demand for Taylor Swift’s collapse.
President Joe Biden declared in June 2023 that Ticketmaster and Live Nation will reveal ticketing pricing upfront to improve transparency.