BY TER STAFF
Scalpers, look what you made Taylor Swift do! In an effort to combat ticket scalpers and ensure that real fans get tickets to her concerts, Taylor Swift is getting a lot of undeserved hate for her new Taylor Swift Tix program with Ticketmaster Verified Fan.
For those not familiar with the program, Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift have created a program to “beat the bots”, where fans can engage in a number of activities (including buying her album and merch) to boost their future chances of buying tickets. The thought process? Bots and scalpers are less likely to engage in these activities to buy tickets.
First off, is her war against ticket scalpers legitimate? Of course. Taylor isn’t the first, she is joining artists and entertainers like Bruce Springsteen, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles and even Louis CK, to help ensure that their fans don’t get ripped off by horrible resale prices.
Why are people upset? Of the many things fans can do to boost their chances at tickets, they can pre-order her album and buy merchandise. Some view this as Taylor ripping off her fans. However, are fans at her concerts not already buying merch and ordering her album? Of course they are. So why not reward them for it?
Do you have to spend money to participate? A simple review of the Taylor Swift Tix program will show you that there are many more free activities than paid ones, to help boost your chances at buying tickets. You can watch her new music video, lyric video and a number of behind the scenes videos all up to 10 times a day. Sure, watching a 2-minute video doesn’t get you as much of a boost as pre-ordering her album, but someone who orders her album is more likely to be a true fan.
In no way though are you required to spend money. You don’t have to have the most boosts of all her fans, you just need more boosts than the 15,000th person in that city or whoever is the first person who is met with the horrible “SOLD OUT” message when buying tickets.
It’s impossible to know exactly how much you will need to do to ensure tickets, but after less than an hour of watching some Taylor Swift videos online, my status bar was filled up nearly 90% for her next potential Cleveland concert.
What’s the alternative? One way to avoid scalpers making huge profits off fans, in an economics sense, is to price tickets at their true market value. On her 1989 World Tour, Taylor sold out stadiums and arenas all throughout the world, including two sold-out shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field. If $100 tickets sell out in minutes, where a percentage of those tickets go to scalpers who sell them for 2x or 3x that, the alternative is Taylor bumping up prices of her tickets by another $100 or so. Every $200 in profits that a scalper doesn’t get for selling tickets, is another $200 in the pockets of a true fan, Taylor’s sheer profits off tickets remains the same.
Even when tickets are expensive in your mind, if they sell out well before showtime, then the tickets clearly aren’t priced as high as they could be. That’s why scalpers take advantage of this, and often make a killing.
So unless you’d rather pay much more for your seats, be happy that fans have a free avenue to ensure they get tickets from Taylor directly and not some creep off Craigslist, tickets which may or may not be authentic.
So cool your jets… Maybe Taylor will see a spike in pre-orders and merch sales, but who cares? No one is forcing a gun to anyone’s head. Taylor isn’t some capitalist pig. If that was the case, she would raise her ticket prices even more and her last concert (and her only show in 2017) wouldn’t have been a completely free event, where fans in Houston and throughout the country were able to win tickets via a number of online and in-person contests.
If you want to see Taylor Swift in concert in the relative future, sign up for the program and watch a couple videos, otherwise take a seat, because the haters gonna hate.