Taylor Swift + Ticketmaster = Trauma?


I’m sure you have all heard about the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster fiasco, so I won’t bore you with all the details, but I did do some digging and came up with an incredible idea after hearing about how the current process works. Ill keep it short and sweet for ya this Friday.

The Background

Basically, everyone and their mother wants to see Taylor Swift in concert for her latest album Midnights. Hot take, I liked Folklore better and thus have no desire to attend this tour. But what can I say, I’m contrarian.

Anyways, her team partnered with Ticketmaster in order to sell her tickets at a relatively fixed price. Anywhere from $49-$500, which for someone of that fame actually isn’t too bad. But what happens is everyone (even the bots) attempt to buy the tickets through Ticketmaster, and then resell them for much, much more. Taylor’s intentions were good, I’m sure, but there’s this little thing called arbitrage.

And I’m guilty of it. Back when Olivia Rodrigo was hot, I got in line to buy four tickets at $250 in order to sell them for the $1,000 they were reselling for.

Taylor’s version (hope you got the reference) is a little different though. Her tickets are reselling for an average of $10,000. Yea, you heard that right. I could be the biggest Swiftie in the world and you wouldn’t see me dropping $10K for a concert ticket.

How the Current Process Works

The current process is simple but it leading to so many issues, so let’s talk about it. Here’s how it works:

  • Taylor Swift posts a pre-registration link to all her followers. This link will allow you to become a “Verified Fan” and buy tickets before the public sale.
  • Sign in using the email linked to your Ticketmaster account to become verified
  • Indicate which concerts you are interested in.
  • Join the queue on a specific day to try and get tickets.

Notice how all you must do to become a verified is enter your email. They’re making it easy, but much too easy. Anyone can become a verified fan and that’s where the competition comes into play. Everyone sees the arbitrage opportunity and wants in.

How the Process Should Work

My solution? Have people prove it.

Everyone is streaming music online nowadays, either on Spotify or Apple Music. These platforms have tons of user data that could be used to identify who’s truly a big fan.

Think of Spotify wrapped, what if only the top 1% of Taylor Swift fans were able to access the early tickets? Only 388,000 are in her Spotify’s top 1%, but nearly 5 million people attempted to get her tickets on Spotify with only 2.8 million tickets being sold for her tour.

So technically, there’s a world where all of Taylor’s biggest fans would be able to go to her concerts and there would still be 4.4 million tickets available to the public.

Seems easy enough, someone ought to just create a link between these music streaming businesses and Ticketmaster. Taylor could rest assured nowing the people at her concerts are her biggest fans, and top fans could feel secure in their ability to get tickets for their favorite artist.

It could even be good for the artist as more people stream her music in order to reach that Top 1%.

Bottom line is there’s a better way to allow people to prove that they’re a big fan instead of creating a system where anyone can become one. Seems like a big opportunity.

All this Monopoly Talk

Thousands of people are calling out Ticketmaster for having a monopoly, even government officials.

Now I’m not an antitrust expert, but I found this graph.

Seems as though there are plenty of ticket platforms out there. Maybe Ticketmaster is just better at striking deals with the artists and the venues? I don’t see how StubHub or SeatGeek couldn’t do the same thing, but who knows.

That’s it. Short and sweet today.

Let’s have ourselves a weekend.

from, matt

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