Taylor Swift Ticket Scheme Controversial

Next steps for Taylor Swift Tix and Ticketmaster are yet to be revealed

  • by Noelle Riley
  • Published: September 13, 2017

Taylor Swift Tix is the name of the program Ticketmaster created for getting what's expected to be elusive tickets to see her Reputation Tour.

Tickets for the upcoming Taylor Swift covert tour are going to be distributed based on a unique system that gives priority ticket purchases to those who gain points through social media postings, merchandise purchases and more. 

The program and website that will sell the tickets is called Taylor Swift Tix — and the concept is already controversial. Many have criticized Swift for having fans buy merchandise to access tickets.

David Marcus, executive vice president and head of music at Ticketmaster, Swift’s ticketing partner, defended the concept and thinks the naysayers don’t have a clear picture of what it all means.

“They knock on Taylor because they think you have to buy merchandise to get a good ticket,” Marcus explained, clarifying it’s the non-commercial activity on Taylor Swift Tix that gains traction for fans on the activity meter. “Sure you can buy music and buy merchandise, but you can also share on social media,” he explained. “There are all kinds of ways for fans that aren’t limited to buying merchandise.”

Bottom line is that the goal is for artists to reduce brokers with bots from buying up all the tickets at once, he said.

Taylor Swift Reputation Tour tickets are rolling out on a Ticketmaster Verified Fan program that was specially modified for Swift, said Marcus. Ticket distribution has not been announced yet.

Many artists, including Ed Sheeran and Bruce Springsteen, already use Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, which aims to eliminate scalpers from buying massive amounts of tickets and jacking up the price — making them unaffordable for many fans.

“It’s a great strategic step for Ticketmaster and for the artist,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said on a KindredCast podcast Aug. 31. “The challenge right now is there’s about $8 billion trading on the secondary market. That’s just purely because of the inefficiency of how the market is priced. It’s the only product in the world that has a higher market value the second it’s sold.”

The goal is to sell tickets at the prices artists want them, not the inflated secondary market prices.

“The biggest challenge we’ve had is how do we get the fan to be able to buy the ticket at the low price the artist wants to actually charge,” Rapino said on the podcast.

Marcus further explained that venues have greatly benefited from the program due to establishments being filled with actual fans on whom the Verified Fan program collects data.

Under the Verified Fan program, ticket buyers have to enter information that proves they’re not a robot, which gives them preference in the system for tickets.

Ticketmaster also collects information on each fan and uses that data to prove they’re not some PC in another city buying up all the tickets before anyone else gets a chance.

“Then you start pushing them through this more personalized digital access control. Venues will be able to understand their audiences better than ever before. I think that that is an especially valuable benefit for venues,” Marcus said. “Once the (Taylor Swift) dates are announced, fans will be asked to come back and add more data points to their profiles.”

Some artists will price front row seats at $200 and the back of the venue for $30. Unfortunately, ticket brokers will buy all the $30 tickets and charge triple for what they paid, Marcus said.

“They get in between the artist/fan relationship for the sole motive of profit,” he said.


  • by Noelle Riley
  • Published: September 13, 2017