She first added eight shows. Then, Taylor Swift announced that fans would have the opportunity to attend 17 other dates on the American stage of his upcoming Eras tour due to “unprecedented” demand, bringing the total number of performances to 52 from 27 initially.
But even with all the new dates in stadiums across the country – it’s Swift’s biggest US tour to date – many fans still worry they won’t be able to afford a ticket to sing and dance with their artist. prefer.
And they don’t blame Swift for the high prices. Their vitriol centers on Ticketmaster, the nation’s largest ticketing company. The company, which is owned by Live Nation, has made a number of changes to its ticketing process over the years, particularly for high profile acts like Swift, to prevent scalpers and bots from buying all inventory and immediately resell the bonus tickets.
The result, however, is an often confusing multi-step purchase process, plagued with additional fees that fans bemoan. And for shows like Swift’s, fans still only have a few minutes to buy tickets before they sell out.
Artists set the prices for their shows. Swift, for example, said face value for the Eras Tour will range from $49 to $449 for standard tickets (VIP passes will cost $199 to $899).
Not too bad, depending on your budget. But that’s before Ticketmaster’s fees. Due to increased pandemic-related costs and loss of revenue from streaming platforms, artists generally take a larger share of tour ticket sales. Ticketmaster and other brokers then compensate for lost revenue for artists by adding convenience fees, processing fees, and service fees, among others.
Ticketmaster adds a service fee to every ticket in “almost all cases”. Fees vary by event based on its agreement with each individual client (in this case, Swift). A processing fee is also usually added per order, unless tickets are purchased in person at the box office or on site. Delivery and installation costs are determined by the customer, according to Ticketmaster. A 2018 study published by the Government Accountability Office found that fees averaged 27% of the face value of the ticket, although they could climb to almost 40%.
And then there’s dynamic pricing. Based on demand, algorithmically controlled dynamic pricing can change the price of Platinum tickets from minute to minute. Fans further back in the online queue for popular shows, or who can’t immediately decide which seats they want, could end up paying significantly more than other shoppers. Seats may cost hundreds of dollars more than face value.
“While there is a range in place, this is subject to change, particularly for Platinum tickets, which are the most requested sections,” says Jesse Lawrence, founder of TicketIQ, a no-fee ticket secondary marketplace. , and FanIQ, a platform that helps sports teams sell tickets directly to consumers.
These tactics may prevent some tickets from entering the secondary market, but they have turned buying concert tickets into another stressful consumer experience, akin to buying a plane ticket and then having to pay again. more to save a bag or get a seat with legroom. .
Except fans have the added pressure of trying to buy the exact same tickets at the exact same time as thousands of other Swifties. This can cause some to spend much more than initially planned.
Anxious fans are using sites like Reddit and TikTok to exchange shopping tips and reassurance they’ll get a ticket. Others are buying remixes of Swift’s latest single, “Anti-Hero,” in hopes that their purchases will “strengthen” their position in the pre-sale line. And some said they opened up Capital One credit cards in hopes of increasing their chances of getting a ticket. (Capital One cardholders will have access to a presale next week.)
Some Swifties might have flashbacks to the 2018 Reputation Tour. Then the same seat might cost fans $995 a month and $595 a few months later, rolling stone written at the time. Swift sold over 2 million tickets at the time, and the Eras Tour is expected to sell even more, given that it already has 14 more dates planned in the United States.
But the problem goes beyond Swift. Most viewers have had to deal with inflated prices over the past few years as they try to beat the bots and increase demand. When Bruce Springsteen announced his latest tour, for example, some tickets were priced above $5,000 thanks to dynamic pricing. At the time, Ticketmaster said only 11% of tickets were in the Variable Price Platinum category.
“The verified pre-sale of tickets each morning has caused high levels of stress and frustration for our constituents as they see tickets disappear from the main market website as if purchased, only to reappear at higher prices,” said U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) wrote in a letter to Ticketmaster earlier this year following the Springsteen fiasco, asking the company to help customers decode its “opaque” pricing system tickets.
It became such an annoyance that the White House took notice. Last month, President Joe Biden said his administration was aiming to reduce or eliminate so-called “junk fees” in sectors such as banking, travel and entertainment.
Tickets are already available on the secondary market for Swift’s shows, despite the fact that they won’t officially go on sale in the primary market until November 15, a tactic called speculative selling. Prices range from $250 to over $1,000, depending on seat and location. Lawrence advises fans to wait for the official sale rather than buy now on the secondary market.
“For an event like this, they pick a section and set the line as the last line in the section so they can always deliver a better line than what they advertise,” he says.
Ticketmaster did not respond fortunee’s request for comment. But on the company’s website, the resale market is blamed for the increase in ticket prices.
“Market-based prices are informed by secondary market information and prices that most fans end up paying anyway,” the company says.
The official Verified Fan presale for the US leg of Swift’s tour will take place on November 15 for those selected to participate. Capital One cardholders will get early access later today on November 15. The general sale will take place on November 18.
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