Following a tidal wave of bad press (and several lawsuits) stemming from the Taylor Swift Eras Tour pre-sale fiasco, Live Nation’s Ticketmaster has quietly rebranded its “Verified Fan” program as “advance registration.”
Ticketmaster just recently retooled Verified Fan into advance registration, opting to detail the pivot in an approximately 2,000-word FAQ blog post as opposed to a formal release or a social media message. (Said blog post went live one day before Live Nation visited the White House and revealed plans to embrace “all-in pricing” beginning in September, per its publish date.)
However, a Google search for “Ticketmaster Verified Fan” returns a top result of the mentioned advance registration piece, which itself features a “Verified Fan” tag. Meanwhile, upon attempting to reach web addresses (such as blog.ticketmaster.com/verifiedfan-faq) that had been tied to Verified Fan, one is simply redirected to the advance registration page.
Predictably, the associated text describes the specifics of advance registration – emphasizing at length that signing up to purchase passes and securing pre-sale codes for high-demand shows doesn’t necessarily mean that fans will wind up with tickets.
“Similar to Verified Fan, while it doesn’t guarantee that all who register will get tickets, it does significantly block bots and professional resellers from scooping up tickets,” the resource spells out in its only mention of the evidently renamed Verified Fan system.
“Receiving an access code does not guarantee tickets, it just gives you access to join the sale,” the text proceeds of the common-noun Verified Fan replacement. “Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.”
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see whether “advance registration” as well as the all-encompassing explanation thereof can prevent pushback from lawmakers and would-be customers when some fans are invariably unable to obtain firsthand passes to see high-profile acts.
At present, though, Live Nation and Ticketmaster are making good use of their terms of service’s arbitration clause, having formally moved to compel arbitration in the previously highlighted class-action complaints filed by allegedly shortchanged Swifties.
“Based on information and belief,” reads one of the antitrust suits at hand, “Ticketmaster intentionally and purposefully mislead [sic] TaylorSwiftTix presale ticketholders by providing codes to 1.4 million ‘verified’ fans with the option of purchasing six tickets each to three venue locations. Ticketmaster did not have enough seats to meet the demand this number of codes would require.”
More broadly, the Beverly Hills-based promoter and the ticketing platform are leaning heavily into lobbying as they continue to grapple with regulatory scrutiny – referring particularly to legislation supported by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as an antitrust investigation into their merger.