Former country star and pop sensation Taylor Swift has sold over 114 million albums and is one of the best-selling female musicians of all time.
Not all her wealth comes from selling records and songs. It also comes from live shows. Now, major controversy is surrounding Ticketmaster and their involvement in selling tickets to Swift’s shows.
Ticketmaster is undoubtedly the largest ticket sales company for musical, theatrical, and gaming shows in the U.S. Though it’s been in trouble various times with respect to abusive price monopolies, the system crashing, and other controversies.
One of their top partners is the group Live Nation. Ticketmaster recently worked closely with Live Nation to sell tickets to the Taylor Swift show.
At the time, crazed Tayler fans had problems buying tickets on Live Nation’s sales website. When opening the cart selling tickets, users consistently experienced a system crash. Taylor’s fans were enraged and didn’t waste time issuing complaints against the company.
Fans claim that the company fluctuates a lot in the price of ticket sales, that the support given to them is horrible, and they have a very long waiting period for making the purchase.
This is not an isolated fact for Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Problems like this have happened at other events.
They also bring up big issues around monopolies and why some companies have such a stranglehold over live events, a subject that is now coming up in the US Congress.
Here's 52 seconds of senators making Taylor Swift references at the Ticketmaster hearing. https://t.co/8lwL29Qh9w pic.twitter.com/DZkejPy55h
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 24, 2023
Taylor Apologizes To Her Fans
During the show, Taylor apologized to her fans, but the controversy wasn’t over. On Tuesday, January 24 hearings were held in Congress about what exactly is going on with these companies.
According to the senators, during the Senate hearing, the mega integration of these two companies has led to major abuses of consumer rights. Live Nation and Ticketmaster have too much dominance in the live events and concert industry.
The monopoly of events is in the hands of these companies that earn a lot and care little about how they will satisfy their customers during and after sales.
After all, if they’re the only ones you can buy from, they have no private market incentive to offer better services. Amy Klobuchar, a Democratic senator from Minnesota, said Live Nation dominates ticket sales across the U.S.
According to Klobuchar, more than 70% of shows in the country are run by Live Nation. Also, the integration with Ticketmaster has hurt the rights of the consumer. She’s not wrong.
You can hear it in @Ticketmaster’s silence following the @taylorswift13 ticket fiasco. The only way that we’re going to change the broken system is to embrace web3 providers like @KYDlabs and put the power back in the hands of artists + event creators and cut out the middleman https://t.co/sjOVkIoL1e
— Mo Shaikh (@moshaikhs) January 25, 2023
The Bottom Line
The current dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster does not make room for competition.
It’s reasonable that competitors are asking the government to separate these companies so the market can have more equivalent rights in terms of competition and offering better services to ticket buyers.