Ticket Master I formally apologize to Taylor Swift and her fans over the ticket situation that left millions frustrated and angry this week. The company’s apology came in a statement Friday night, about half a day after Swift expressed her anger over the fiasco in a feisty post, calling herself “furious” about a “painful” situation and apparently blaming her headline-making woes at Ticketmaster’s feet.
“We strive to make purchasing tickets as easy as possible for fans, but this has not been the case for the many people trying to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras’ tour,” the company wrote in its statement late Friday. First, we want to apologize to Taylor. And all of her fans – especially those who have had a horrible experience trying to buy tickets.”
Much of the lengthy statement associated with a tweet Ticketmaster sent out around 11pm EST was identical to the one the company posted and then deleted on Thursday — but now with a freshly apologised tag at the beginning. The previous day’s version of the since revised “Explanation” contained no apologetic language, angering many fans before it was removed from the Ticketmaster website.
So far, the statement focuses on stats that demand for tickets has been unpredictable, describing the sale as mostly a success story and a record-breaker, noting that while there were problems, “two million tickets were sold at Ticketmaster … in 15 November – Most tickets sold by an artist in one day.
Ticketmaster had to amend its previous defensive stance to include an inevitable apology after Swift expressed her unhappiness with the company Friday morning. In a statement on her Instagram Stories, Swift wrote: “I’ve brought home a lot of elements of my career. I specifically did this to improve the quality of the fan experience by doing it myself with my teams who care so much about my fans. It’s really hard for me to trust an outside entity with these relationships and allegiances, and it hurts for me to I watch mistakes happen without recourse.”
Although Swift didn’t name Ticketmaster in her statement, she actually referred to “they” leaving no doubt as to who she was referring to. “There are many reasons why people are having difficulty trying to get tickets and I am trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward,” she wrote. I won’t make excuses to anyone because we asked them several times if they could handle this kind of request and we made sure they could. It’s really amazing that 2.4 million people got tickets, but it’s really infuriating that so many of them feel like they’ve had multiple bear attacks to get them.”
In the amended statement released Friday night, Ticketmaster was still emphasizing the positive, arguing that its Verified Fan program, which adds extra steps in getting tickets queued, has been particularly successful at keeping tickets from going to scalpers. The company noted that “less than 5% of tickets for the tour were sold or released for resale on the secondary market.” “In non-approved fan sales you typically see 20-30% of inventory ending up in the secondary market.”
Ticketmaster’s statement, titled “Onsale Explaining Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour,” can be read in full over here. (The former no-apology version of Swift can still be seen in the Music Business Worldwide story over here.)
In a reiteration of previous language, Ticketmaster suggested that the ticket rollout wasn’t “perfect,” without vaping too much at the blame. “The biggest venues and artists turn to us because we have the world’s leading ticketing technology — which doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and it clearly wasn’t in the sale of Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’. But we’re always working to improve the ticket-buying experience. Especially for high demand on sales, which continues to test new frontiers. We are working on enhancing our technology for the new bar set by demand for Taylor Swift’s ‘The Eras’ tour. Once we’re done with that, if there are any next steps, updates will be shared accordingly.”
The company announced earlier in the week that the general sale audience for the Swift tour had been canceled entirely, because there was very little inventory left after cardholder and Capital One cardholder pre-sales depleted the vast majority of tickets available for US 52. It appears on the pitch that the singer was due for next summer.
Ticketmaster also confirmed that it would be impossible to meet the demand for Swift tickets. “Depending on the amount of traffic to our site, Taylor will need to perform over 900 stadium shows (nearly 20 times the number of shows she performs),” the company wrote in its statement. “This is a stadium show every night for the next 2.5 years.” The company didn’t specify exactly what kind of site traffic it was measuring to come to the conclusion that Swift would have to sell nearly a thousand consecutive stadium shows to meet U.S. demand.
It was an unusually busy Friday night for both Ticketmaster and live nation On the public relations front. The two related companies (Live Nation’s parent Ticketmaster) were almost simultaneously issuing statements defending themselves amid heated controversies that came to a boiling point this week, though Ticketmaster was on the mend with a belated apology for the Swift mess.
Live Nation’s not entirely apologetic statement late in the evening was in response to reports that the Justice Department was looking into antitrust issues with the companies, It followed the resulting drop in Live Nation shares by about 8% in Friday trading before closing at $66.21.
In a separate statement of its own, defending Ticketmaster’s policies and practices, Live Nation wrote that there was nothing untoward about the company’s massive dominance, opining that “Ticketmaster has a large share of the basic ticketing services market due to the large gap that exists between the quality of the Ticketmaster system and the underlying ticketing system.” The Next Best.However, the market is increasingly competitive, with competitors making strong bids for venues.Ticketmaster’s continued leadership in such an environment is a testament to the platform and those operating it, not to any anticompetitive business practices….We innovate We invest more in our technology than any other ticket company, and we will continue to do so.”
Although there have been complaints about Ticketmaster’s move aggressively into hosting resale tickets on its own site, Live Nation wrote, “Secondary ticketing is very competitive, with Ticketmaster competing with StubHub, SeatGeek, Vivid, and many more. No serious argument can be made that Ticketmaster It has the kind of market position in secondary ticketing that supports antitrust claims.”
Live Nation has expressed perhaps surprising agreement with one idea often brought up by disgruntled fans, namely that the many surcharges that are set on each ticket sale should be combined into one price that consumers see. Live Nation “strongly advocates all-inclusive pricing so that fans are not surprised by the true cost of tickets,” the company said in the statement.
It remains to be seen if Live Nation shares will move to the upside next week or if they will continue to be subjected to – as Taylor Swift puts it – “bear attacks”.
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