Swifties

T-Swift’s world-tour rush crashed Ticketmaster, highlighting the reach of Live Nation's concert empire

Thursday, November 17, 2022 by Robinhood Snacks |
It’s hard to shake it off (John Leyba/Getty Images)

It’s hard to shake it off (John Leyba/Getty Images)

Alexa, play “Bad Blood”… Taylor Swift fans have major beef with Ticketmaster. On Tuesday, the Live Nation-owned ticket platform suffered outages after millions of Swifties tried buying tickets to Taylor’s 2023 “Eras” tour, her first in five years. Presale tix were going for $49 to $500 on Ticketmaster, but resellers quickly began listing seats for as much as $21K+ on third-party sites like StubHub. Some police stations warned fans about a surge in ticket scammers.

  • Fans said they were forced to wait hours for site access — and many still couldn't complete their transactions, despite having a presale code.
  • Ticketmaster said the problems were a result of “historically unprecedented demand,” and it extended the presale event for an extra day.
  • FYI: Swift’s “Midnights” became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single-day when it dropped last month.

Pop-star performances… at Super Bowl prices. The live-music industry has had a show-stopping comeback since the pandemic hit. Last quarter, Live Nation’s revenue climbed 63% from 2019, and it’s on pace to notch record ticket sales this year. But as more Americans splurge on experiences over objects, concert prices have surged nearly 15% from prepandemic. It's good news for Ticketmaster, which is said to make up 70%+ of ticketing services for major venues like Madison Square Garden.

THE TAKEAWAY

It's hard to be a hater of the top player… Music fans may be mad at Live Nation, but its live-music dominance makes it hard to escape. In January, Live Nation was accused of snubbing venues that didn’t use Ticketmaster. Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that Ticketmaster was a "monopoly" after the Swift drama. But the backlash hasn’t curbed demand: Ticketmaster sales for 2023 shows are already on track to surpass this year’s.