Only 5% of Taylor Swift’s ‘Verified Fans’ were able to purchase a concert ticket through Ticketmaster on Tuesday.
Several months ago, Taylor Swift teamed up with Ticketmaster to launch a new program. The move ended up alienating a lot of dedicated fans.
The ‘Taylor Swift TIX powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan” program would allegedly help “get tickets into fans’ hands.” The program claimed to use an algorithm to verify if a buyer is a bot, a scalper, or a true fan.
Sounds like a great idea, right? Not according to fans, who immediately took to social media to blast the singer over how the program worked.
Here’s how the program supposedly worked.
Every buyer (scalper, bot, or fan) would first enter into a virtual line on Ticketmaster. But in order to guarantee your ticket to an upcoming Taylor Swift concert, you’d first have to prove that you’re a diehard fan.
How? First, you’d have to head to tickets.taylorswift.com. Then, through the site, you’d log in to your ticketmaster.com account.
Finally, after filling out a registration form, you’d then be asked to wait for upcoming tour dates to purchase your tickets.
Upon closer look, however, Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster offered a dubious way to “improve your position in line.”
To score a ‘Boost,’ you’d have to do one or more of the following:
(a) you could purchase merchandise from store.taylorswift.com
(b) you could pre-order Swift’s latest album, Reputation, or purchase the album at Target.com, Walmart.com, or on iTunes.
(c) Ticketmaster would also offer boosts for joining the singer’s official mailing list or watching specific Taylor Swift music videos.
After performing these steps, fans would receive a unique Order ID sent to their e-mail. Finally, they’d simply have to register the Order ID on their ticketmaster.com account and wait for a concert announcement.
Unsurprisingly, things didn’t exactly work out how Taylor Swift fans had expected.
Yesterday, tickets went on sale for Swift’s Reputation tour.
About an hour in, Ticketmaster told fans that the ticketing website was “experiencing a delay.” They also “purposely slowed code distribution to ensure the best purchasing experience for everyone.”
What caused the delay? According to Billboard, the ticketing platform giant only allowed “three people on average per concert.” The Reputation tour has 33 scheduled shows in North America.
Speaking with Billboard, Ticketmaster Head of Music, Davis Marcus, said,
“We can slow down the experience if people are taking longer to shop.”
According to the company, Ticketmaster spent the last few weeks “sorting through and organizing ticket buyers.” Around 180 people registered per hour during the 8-hour shopping window.
Marcus admitted that only 5% of people who enrolled in the Verified Fans Program were able to participate in yesterday’s sale.
Once fans purchase their tickets, new fans would have a shot at purchasing their tickets. Prices range from “$49.50 for upper-level seats” to $249.50 “for floor-level seats.” Several snake pit and VIP range between $800 and $1,500.
Some fans immediately took to Twitter to slam both the program and Taylor Swift. One tweeted,
“Tickets for the snake pit should be $800 minus the amount of times you watched Taylor eat cookie dough #TaylorSwiftTix.”
Despite the criticism, tour promoter Louis Messina seemed satisfied about the Verified Fan program.
“She is a game-changer and what she is doing is revolutionizing the way tickets are going to be sold in the future. By the time all the tickets are sold next week, I’ll [celebrate] Taylor’s birthday with a cocktail in my hand and sold-out concerts all over the world.”
Marcus assured Billboard that all fans in the program would eventually have the chance to purchase tickets. The ticketing platform giant estimates ticket sales of 2.5 million to 3 million.
“There’s a lot of tickets but a massive amount of demand. It’s bigger than any program we’ve ever seen here by multiples. The level of complexity we’re facing is extraordinary, but we’ve got war rooms and teams of people set up. We’re going to deliver an incredible experience for her fans and do something no one’s ever done.”
Featured image by suri.henderon (CC by 2.0)