Ticketmaster expected 1.5M verified Taylor Swift fans but 14 million people, including bots, flooded site

Demand for Taylor Swift ‘could have filled 900 stadiums’

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 13: Taylor Swift accepts an award onstage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022 held at PSD Bank Dome on November 13, 2022 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) (Jeff Kravitz, 2022 Jeff Kravitz)

Ticketmaster is no longer selling Taylor Swift tickets on its website.

Swifties know all too well the pain, excitement and stress felt on Tuesday and Wednesday as millions of people (including bots) rushed the Ticketmaster website for the presale.

The U.S. leg of Swift’s tour begins on March 18 in Arizona and wraps up in Los Angeles on Aug. 5. Taylor Swift is performing at Ford Field in Detroit on June 9 and June 10.

Many assumed the presale would only release a set amount of tickets, saving some for the general sale. That doesn’t appear to be what happened as Ticketmaster canceled Friday’s general public sale due to “insufficient remaining ticket inventory.”

By Friday, the Taylor Swift concert pages were still available, but you couldn’t see the seats and tickets were not being sold at all.

“Sorry, tickets are not currently available online,” the website read on Friday (Nov. 18).

Read: ‘2,000+ people ahead of you’: Fans trying to get Taylor Swift tickets frustrated with Ticketmaster

“It’s me. Hi! I’m the problem, it’s me”

So, who’s to blame for this mess? If you ask Live Nation’s largest shareholder, he’ll tell you it’s just the demand for Taylor Swift -- and bots.

Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Media Corporation Greg Maffei did an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” Thursday. He’s Live Nation’s largest shareholder.

“It’s a function of Taylor Swift. The site was supposed to open up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans. We had 14 million people hit the site, including bots, which are not supposed to be there.”

He said Ticketmaster sold more than 2 million tickets on Tuesday and demand for Swift “could have filled 900 stadiums.”

Read: Why has buying tickets for Taylor Swift been such a nightmare? Fans met with errors, disappointment

Does Ticketmaster have too much power?

This fiasco has raised some questions about Ticketmaster and how much power it holds over people who want to see live shows.

US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Tuesday, “Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.”

Activists argue that because Live Nation controls 70% of the ticketing and live event venues market, competitors have little choice on where to sell their tickets. They have called on the Department of Justice to reverse the 2010 merger.

“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, in reality, we are the largest and most effective ticket seller in the world,” Maffei said. “Even our competitors want to come on our platform.”

How much do Taylor Swift tickets cost?

Tickets in the upper deck started at $109 and tickets on the floor started at $749. That’s before fees.

Now people are pushing them for way more than they initially cost (even including Ticketmaster’s fees). Those $109 tickets are listed for anywhere between $500 to $8,000. Floor tickets are being listed for between $1,000 to $2,000.

Please don’t buy those overpriced tickets. We already have to deal with overpricing from Ticketmaster through their “dynamic” pricing system. The higher the demand is for tickets, the more they cost.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.