Taylor Swift tour sales were interrupted, according to Ticketmaster

Swift, Taylor

The parent company of Ticketmaster will later testify before the US Senate about the "valuable lessons" it learned when software attacks prevented the sale of Taylor Swift's 2023 US tour.

The attack overloaded Ticketmaster's systems, causing protracted delays and thousands of disappointed fans who were unable to purchase tickets for the shows.

According to written testimony given by Live Nation president Joe Berchtold and made public before the hearing on Tuesday, "In hindsight there are several things we could have done better.".

He expressed regret "to the many disappointed fans as well as to Ms. Swift," acknowledging that the purchase had been "a terrible consumer experience".

Fans and politicians have frequently criticized Ticketmaster, claiming that it has too much control over the live music market and artificially inflates ticket prices with fees and service charges.

70% of tickets sold in the US are handled by Ticketmaster, according to Senator Amy Klobuchar, who serves as chair of the US Senate committee on consumer rights.

There really isn't any other option. She said to MSNBC last year that it was a monopoly.

The Swift tour, she continued, "shows how Ticketmaster's dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve. Customers experienced high fees, site disruptions, and cancellations. ".

Senator Amy Klobuchar
Ticketmaster's hegemony over the US live music market has drawn criticism from Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Swift acknowledged that watching fans struggle to get tickets was "excruciating" and that she had been reassured that Ticketmaster could meet the demand.

For the first time, the business detailed in its written testimony how software "bots" used to fraudulently obtain tickets had targeted its systems.

The attacks occurred despite the use of Ticketmaster's "verified fan" program, which asks customers to pre-register their interest in order for the business to verify that they are real fans who intend to attend the performance.

"We foresaw a bot attack. and planned appropriately," Mr. Berchtold wrote.

"After that, we experienced a threefold increase in bot traffic, and for the first time in 400 Verified Fan onsales, they attacked our Verified Fan access code servers.

"Although the bots were unable to access our systems or purchase any tickets, the attack forced us to pause or even slow down our sales. We sincerely regret the awful customer experience that resulted from this. ".

In order to prevent system overload, Mr. Berchtold acknowledged that the company should have spaced out the sales "over a longer period of time" and that it should have "done a better job setting fan expectations for getting tickets.".

Less than 5% of the 2.2 million tickets that were ultimately sold, he continued, ended up on resale websites, where scalpers frequently demand exorbitant prices.

In response to other criticisms, he stated that "the majority" of additional fees "go to the venue, not to Ticketmaster" and that "Ticketmaster does not set ticket prices.".

Live Nation president Joe Berchtold
Joe Berchtold, the president of Live Nation, will be one of the witnesses at the hearing on Tuesday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on Tuesday, which will look at the ticketing market's competition, was prompted by the controversy surrounding Swift's tour.

In addition to Live Nation, senators will hear from SeatGeek, JAM Productions, and singer-songwriter Clyde Lawrence, a vocal opponent of Ticketmaster's business practices.

Garth Brooks, a country music star, urged US lawmakers to take a tougher stance against ticket touts in one of the letters of support that Live Nation submitted with its testimony.

He asked, "My question is, why don't we just make scalping illegal as a nation?". "A major factor in program failure is the influx of bots during an on-sale.

The customer is always the last person who should bear the cost of this heinous act, yet they are the ones who do. ".

In the absence of proof of anti-competitive behavior by Ticketmaster, such as unfairly pressuring artists to use their services, it is uncertain whether Tuesday's hearing will result in any appreciable change.

The business has vehemently denied any such transactions.

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