Taylor Swift recently crashed Ticketmaster’s site and sold over 2 million tickets. To meet demand, she would have had to play 900 arena shows.

Taylor Swift fans were outraged this week after demand outstripped supply for the superstar’s Era’s Tour presale, which is being sold by Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster and promoted by Live Nation rival AEG.

On Tuesday (Nov. 15), Ticketmaster’s “Verified Fan” box office website crashed during Swift’s tour, with the debacle prompting calls, including from members of Congress, for Live Nation and Ticketmaster to break up.

On Thursday (Nov. 17), US Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Antitrust, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, wrote a letter to Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation, raising concerns about what she says. is the “lack of competition in the ticketing industry”.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010. The deal was investigated and subsequently approved by the United States Department of Justice, with some caveats.

After the pre-sale and subsequent furore this week, Ticketmaster announced that it was cancel general sale scheduled for Friday, November 18, citing “extraordinarily high demands on the ticketing system and insufficient remaining ticket stock to meet that demand”.

Adding fuel to the fire with fans and spectators in the government was that tickets have reportedly ended up on extras sites listed for as much as $20,000+.

The ticket seller posted a now-deleted blog post on Thursday, November 17, which you can read in full at the bottom of this story, to explain what had happened in the presale, claiming that “90% fewer tickets are now being put up for resale in the secondary market than a typical sale .

Ticketmaster explained it over 3.5 million people had pre-registered for Taylor’s Verified Fan sale, which was, he added, “the biggest registration ever”.

It added that 1.5 million fans were then invited to participate in the sale and to the remaining 2 million Verified Fans were placed on a waiting list.

In an interview with CNBC this week, Greg Maffei, CEO of Live Nation’s largest shareholder, Liberty Media, said pre-sales are “exceeding all expectations.”

He added: “We got 14 million people on the site, including bots, who shouldn’t be there.”

“While AOC may not like every aspect of our business, it’s interesting that our rival AEG, who is Taylor Swift’s promoter, chose to use us because we are, in fact, the largest and most effective ticket seller in the world.” Even our competitors want to come to our platform.”

Greg Maffei, Liberty Media

Demand for the tickets was so high that based on the traffic on Ticketmaster’s site, the company claimed in a blog post that Taylor Swift “needs to perform over 900 arena shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)”.

That volume amounts to Taylor Swift having to perform an arena show “every night before the next.” 2.5 years“, said the company.

Over 2 million Tickets for Taylor Swift’s Nov. 15 tour sold out, “the most tickets ever sold for an artist in one day,” according to Ticketmaster.

Addressing calls from the likes of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) for Live Nation and Ticketmaster to break up, Maffei added in his CNBC interview that “the reality is, this is not really a Live Nation promotional concert.” Taylor Swift is promoted by one of our biggest competitors [AEG].

“So while AOC may not like every aspect of our business, it’s interesting that our rival AEG, who is Taylor Swift’s promoter, chose to use us because we are, in fact, the largest and most effective ticket seller in the world.” Even our competitors want to come to our platform.”


Verified Fan, Ticketmaster explains in a 2020 blog post, “doesn’t guarantee that everyone who is verified will get a ticket, but it levels the playing field so that more tickets go to fans who plan to go to the show — and not to ticket bots.”

In its now-deleted blog post published this week, Ticketmaster explained: “By requiring registration, Verified Fan is designed to help manage in-demand shows – identifying real people and weeding out bots.”

“Keeping bots out of queues and avoiding overcrowding helps make the wait shorter and the sale easier.” That’s why Taylor’s AEG tour team and The Messina Touring Group chose to use Verified Fan for her on sales.

Ticketmaster also acknowledged that “while it’s impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know we can do more to improve the experience and that’s what we focus on”.

You can read the full Ticketmaster blog post below:


The Taylor Swift Onsale Explained

November 17, 2022

The Eras on sale made one thing clear: Taylor Swift is an unstoppable force and continues to set records. We strive to make purchasing tickets as easy as possible for fans, but that hasn’t been the case for many trying to purchase Eras Tour tickets. We would like to share some information to explain what happened:

We knew a record number of fans wanted Taylor tickets
  • By requiring registration, Verified Fan is designed to help curate popular shows – identifying the real people and weeding out the bots. Keeping bots out of queues and avoiding overcrowding helps make waits shorter and sales smoother. That’s why Taylor’s AEG tour team and The Messina Touring Group chose to use Verified Fan for her on sales.
  • Judging by the fan interest upon registration, we knew it was going to be big. Over 3.5 million people pre-registered for Taylor’s Verified Fan, the largest registration in history.
  • The high demand for Taylor’s tour informed the group’s decision to add more dates – doubling the tour and the number of tickets available so more fans could attend the shows.
  • Historically, about 40% of fans are invited to attend and buy tickets, and most buy an average of 3 tickets. So, in partnership with the artist group, about 1.5 million people were invited to participate in the sale for all 52 show dates, including the 47 sold by Ticketmaster.
  • The remaining 2 million confirmed fans were put on a waiting list.


Taylor’s demand hit a record – and part of our website
  • Historically, working with verified fan invitation codes has worked as we have been able to control the volume coming into the site to shop for tickets. However, this time, an incredible number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have invite codes drove unprecedented traffic to our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests – 4x our previous high.
  • Never before has a confirmed fan on sale attracted so much attention – or unsolicited volume. This disrupted the predictability and reliability that is the hallmark of our Verified Fan platform.
  • It usually takes us about an hour to sell through an arena show, but we slowed down some sales and pushed back on others to stabilize the systems. The trade was a longer wait in line for some fans.
  • Overall, we estimate that about 15% of interactions on the site had issues, and that’s 15% too many, including verification code errors that caused fans to lose tickets they had placed.
Despite the distractions, the Swifties came through and helped Taylor set a new record
  • Over 2 million tickets were sold for Taylor’s shows in November. 15 — most tickets sold for an artist in one day.
  • Every ticket was sold to a buyer with a verified fan code. No one (not even a loan) could join a queue without being verified. The 2 million tickets we sold only went to Verified Fans.
  • 90% fewer tickets are now resold on the secondary market than typical sales, which is exactly why the artist team wanted to use Verified Fan to sell their tickets. Ticketmaster is not currently reselling any Taylor tickets.
  • In addition to Taylor’s sale, we also sold an additional 1 million tickets to other events on our site on Tuesday.

The biggest venues and artists look to us because we have world-leading ticketing technology – that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and clearly it wasn’t before Taylor’s sale. But we are always working to improve the ticket buying experience. Especially for sales with high demand, which continue to test new limits.

Even when high-demand sales go flawlessly from a technical standpoint, many fans are left empty-handed. For example: Based on the amount of traffic to our site, Taylor would have to do over 900 arena shows (almost 20 times more than she’s currently doing)…that’s an arena show every single night for the next 2.5 years.

While it’s impossible for everyone to get tickets to these shows, we know we can do more to improve the experience and that’s what we focus on.

Worldwide music business

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