95% of Taylor Swift's 'Verified Fans' Just Got Shafted

Only 5% Taylor Swift’s ‘Verified Fans’ were able to purchase a concert ticket through Ticketmaster.

Several months ago, in a move that riled the singer’s most loyal fans, Taylor Swift teamed up with Ticketmaster to launch a new program.

The ‘Taylor Swift TIX powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan” program would allegedly help “get tickets into fans’ hands.”  The program would reportedly use an algorithm that verified whether a buyer is a bot, a scalper, or a true fan.

Sounds like a great idea, right?  Nope.  Not at all.  Fans immediately took to social media to blast the singer over how the program worked.

Here’s how the program supposedly worked.  Every buyer (scalper, bot, or fan) would first enter into a virtual line on Ticketmaster.  But, to guarantee that you would obtain a ticket to an upcoming Taylor Swift concert, you’d have to prove first that you’re a diehard fan.

How?  According to Ticketmaster, simple.

First, you’d have to head to tickets.taylorswift.com.  Then, through the site, you’d log in to your ticketmaster.com account.  Finally, simply complete the Promotion registration form, and just wait for upcoming tour dates to purchase your tickets.

Upon closer look, however, Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster fered a dubious way to “improve your position in line.”  To score a ‘Boost,’ you’d have to do one or more the following:  you could purchase merchandise from store.taylorswift.com.  You could also receive another boost if you pre-ordered her latest album, Reputation, or purchased the album at Target.com, Walmart.com, or on iTunes.  Ticketmaster would also fer boosts for joining the singer’s ficial mailing list or watching specific Taylor Swift music videos.

After performing these steps, fans would receive a unique Order ID sent to their e-mail.  Finally, they’d simply have to register the Order ID on their ticketmaster.com account and wait for a concert announcement.

Unsurprisingly, things didn’t exactly work out how Taylor Swift fans had expected.

Yesterday, tickets went on sale for Swift’s Reputation tour.

About an hour in, Ticketmaster told fans that the ticketing website was “experiencing a delay.”  They also “purposely slowed code distribution to ensure the best purchasing experience for everyone.”

What caused the delay?  According to Billboard, the ticketing platform giant only allowed “three people on average per concert.”  The Reputation tour has 33 scheduled shows in North America.

Speaking with Billboard, Ticketmaster Head Music, Davis Marcus, said,

According to the company, they had spent the last few weeks “sorting through and organizing ticket buyers.”  Around 180 people registered per hour during the 8-hour shopping window.

Marcus admitted that only 5% people who enrolled in the Verified Fans Program were able to participate in yesterday’s sale.  Once fans purchase their tickets, new fans would have a shot at purchasing their tickets.  Prices range from “$49.50 for upper-level seats” to $249.50 “for floor-level seats.”  Several snake pit and VIP range between $800 and $1,500.

Some fans immediately took to Twitter to slammed both the program and Taylor Swift.  One tweeted,

“Tickets for the snake pit should be $800 minus the amount times you watched Taylor eat cookie dough #TaylorSwiftTix.”

Despite the criticism, tour promoter Louis Messina seemed satisfied about the Verified Fan program.

Marcus assured Billboard that all fans in the program would eventually have the chance to purchase tickets.  The ticketing platform giant estimates ticket sales 2.5 million to 3 million.


Featured image by suri.henderon (CC by 2.0)