Music Industry

Published on February 5th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Taylor Swift’s tour rollout hasn’t gone very well. Let’s take a look at why.

Last month, I wrote a three-part column for GlobalNews.ca on the problems we have with concert tickets. The issues run the gamut from bots to the secondary market to how tickets are sold through Ticketmaster. (You can read those stories here, here and here.)

Last year, I wrote another story for the Globe and Mail on how Ticketmaster is attempting to deal with the ticket-buying bot problem and the rollout of something called “verified fan.” This technique was used by Taylor Swift to roll out tickets for her Reputation tour.

It hasn’t worked very well. Digital Music News covers the disaster like this.

Because it is not my intention to offend Taylor personally when I agree with and explain why so many industry observers and journalists are 100% correct in describing the rollout and on-sale of her Reputation Tour a total disaster.

It is the current best example of how not to sell tickets to a large tour.  No one wants to be this case study, especially an artist who otherwise is poised and sets such an excellent example to her young fans.

The ticket ecosystem is complicated, multi-layered, and involves many players.  Because touring and sold-out concerts have unseated the sale of albums as the biggest piece of the pie, selling tickets is now what it’s all about.  In stumbling hard to grab the entire pie — initial sales and all resale of tickets — the Reputation Tour was doomed from the start.

This is really worth reading. Please continue.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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One Response to Taylor Swift’s tour rollout hasn’t gone very well. Let’s take a look at why.

  1. Doug says:

    I call bullshit on that. I’ve bought tickets for several shows through the Verified Fan system, and it works great, and is not inherently more expensive. It doesn’t increase the price of tickets on its own – the ones I’ve bought in VF presales are the same price as public onsale. The problem is that TS’s management (and likely TM) decided to make her fans buy merch with the tickets, jacking the prices WAY up. It’s their greed that’s to blame. This article blames the Verified Fan messenger.

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