Ticketmaster cancels Taylor Swift public on-sale amidst chaos
The Taylor Swift presale has been a Ticketmaster-breaking fiasco, and the public on sale period, scheduled to begin on Friday (11/18) at 10 AM local, has now been cancelled. "Due to extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand, tomorrow's public on-sale for Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour has been cancelled," Ticketmaster writes.
The site also posted an explainer about the presale, saying that a record-breaking amount of people, over 3.5 million, pre-registered, and 1.5 million were given codes. However, they say that the site was hit with a "staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn't have invite codes" when it began, driving "unprecented traffic on our site, resulting in 3.5 billion total system requests - 4x our previous peak."
Ticketmaster says they sold over 2 million tickets for Taylor's shows on Tuesday, which they say is "the most tickets ever sold for an artist in a single day," and that "90% fewer tickets are currently posted for resale on secondary markets than a typical on sale." They also estimate "about 15% of interactions across the site experienced issues" that day.
Liberty Media CEO and Live Nation Entertainment, SiriusXM, and TripAdvisor chairman Greg Maffei discussed the presale in an interview with CNBC, which you can watch below. He said:
The reality is it’s a function of the massive demand that Taylor Swift has. The site was supposed to be opened up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans. We had 14 million people hit the site — including bots, another story, which are not supposed to be there — and despite all the challenges and the breakdowns, we did sell over 2 million tickets that day. We could’ve filled 900 stadiums. And the reality is this is not actually a Live Nation-promoted concert. Taylor Swift is promoted by one of our largest competitors. So though AOC may not like every element of our business, interestingly AEG — our competitor, who is the promoter for Taylor Swift — chose to use us because we are, in reality, the largest and most effective ticket seller in the world. Even our competitors want to come on our platform.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Ticketmaster a monopoly after the presale, and Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is investigating possible antitrust violations at play, Bloomberg reports. "As an industry player, you would think Ticketmaster would be prepared," Skrmetti told Bloomberg. "Because they have a dominant position, they may have thought they didn’t need to worry about that. This could be an indicator that there’s not enough competition in the market."
Senator Amy Klobuchar also sent an open letter to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino:
I write to express serious concerns about the state of competition in the ticketing industry and its harmful impact on consumers. Reports about system failures, increasing fees, and complaints of conduct that violate the consent decree Ticketmaster is under suggest that Ticketmaster continues to abuse its market positions.