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Why Ticketmaster is Ruining Buying Tickets

Georgia Hoseman, Grade 10, Staff Writer


If you haven’t been online much the last few months, you may be unaware that Ticketmaster is under investigation due to their mishandling of ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour.

The presale for the tour went live the morning of November 15. It was to be followed later that day by a Capital One presale, and later that week by a general sale. If you were one of the 14 million who tried to get tickets during the presale, then you know that a) it was semi-impossible to do so, and b) something was done very, very wrong.

Fans endured hours of online queues and website glitches, and most didn't even come out of the ordeal with tickets. The higher than average website traffic would explain the constant site crashes, but something is still left unexplained. How did this turnout differ so much from the expected 1.5 million fans?

Liberty Media chief Greg Maffei reported that the company is partially blaming this on bots and scalpers, who buy large amounts of tickets and resell at crazy markups. The verified fan process was supposed to solve this issue, but failed. The results of the presale led to the general sale being canceled, and left many fans outraged.

Ticketmaster is a monopoly, meaning they have almost full control over the ticketing industry. In 2010, when they merged with LiveNation, the company claimed the merger would lower prices and encourage competition. In reality, it has virtually wiped out all competition and given Ticketmaster a monopoly over the industry.

The problems that stemmed from the Eras Tour sales allowed people to call out the bigger issue of Ticketmaster's monopoly. Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Edward J. Markey (MA) wrote that Ticketmaster and Live Nation should be broken up and that “this may be the only way to truly protect consumers, artists, and venue operators and to restore competition in the ticketing market.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Ticketmaster’s “merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.” The Department of Justice is now investigating LiveNation and Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is ruining the experience of buying tickets. I’ve personally paid almost the same amount in fees to the company as I paid for my actual concert ticket, which is absurd. The verified fan system is deeply flawed, blocking real fans even when they receive a code for presale, but still letting bots and scalpers get through.

Some are even suggesting that there should be a requirement of a certain number of minutes spent listening to the artist or merchandise purchased.

So, what can we do? Well for one, buyers should hold Ticketmaster accountable.

To make them change their ways, artists, fans, and others in the industry need to collectively push back. Ticketmaster has the money and technology to be able to solve many of their issues, and until their monopoly is removed and they receive some serious retribution, they will continue with a lazy service that is inconvenient for fans.

Unfortunately, there is not much else average consumers can do. Artists can expand their off-platform ticketing, but they cannot yet turn anywhere else for large scale ticketing. Ticketmaster does not care about the fans or the artist, because it knows it will turn a profit no matter what.

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