Taylor Swift has had a pretty big month. Fresh from winning her sexual assault case in court, the US music superstar also announced the release of a new album, single, and a new plan for buying tickets to her upcoming tour, which has left some fans pretty upset.
As Alternative Press reports, Taylor Swift has announced tour dates in support of her new album Reputation, partnering with Ticketmaster in the process to help distribute tickets. But there’s just one aspect to this whole deal which has left a sour taste in fans’ mouths.
See, Taylor Swift is using Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program to sell these tickets, which, on paper, is fine. The Verified Fan program is designed to deter scammers and ticket bots by emailing a code to fans who pre-register to buy tickets. However Taylor Swift’s program is a little bit different, and is encouraging fans to do tasks to boost their place in line. Tasks which may result in little to no reward.
The program, titled ‘Taylor Swift Tix’, allows users to register to buy tickets like normal, but then gives fans the opportunity to perform activities to skip ahead in the virtual line they will be placed in to receive their ticket code. These activities range from the low-effort and low-cost, including making a promotional social media post, to the other end of the spectrum, which includes buying merch, and copies of the album.
The website notes that these tasks result in a ‘high’ or ‘low’ boost. Sharing a Tweet about Reputation? Low boost. Buying a copy of the album, or Taylor Swift’s 24 karat-gold plated snake ring? Well, that’s a high boost. In fact, you can buy the new album up to thirteen times from different retailers in one day, receiving a new high boost each time, meaning that before you know it, you’ll be at the front of the line in no time, with those sweet Taylor tickets in your hand, right? Not necessarily.
If you’re to actually read into the fine print on the Ticketmaster website, you’ll notice that all of this could just be for nothing. The fine print actually reads “Participation does not guarantee access to purchase tickets or the ability to purchase tickets,” meaning that you could buy multiple copies of Reputation in hopes of getting those prime seats, but you could still miss out.
As Jezebel notes, this is pretty messed up for a number of reasons. Firstly, there’s the fact that it turns the sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating process of buying concert tickets into a game that will only reward the fans with the most money. Then there’s also the fact that even if you do partake in this scheme, emptying your bank account by buying merch just to be given the opportunity to even buy tickets, you could still be right out of luck.
This of course means that the thirteen copies of Reputation you bought are only going to serve as the soundtrack to the night in you’ll now have because you missed out on tickets to the gig.
So while this whole process if framed as a process to help stop ticket bots, and to ensure that everyone is on an equal playing field when it comes to the ticket buying process, it sort of misses the point entirely, making it just as hard for dedicated fans to get tickets as it was before.
As Jezebel says, the whole process is explained in its promotional video as a fun way to buy tickets, much like a game. However the end result is less like a game, and more of a tricky way to get fans to spend more cash on merch, which is a little bit messed up.
Check out the promotional video for ‘Taylor Swift Tix’ below.