Ticketmaster’s Time Is Ticking


Julia Maina, Editor-in-Chief

In November 2022, Ticketmaster dropped renowned  singer Taylor Swift’s tour dates and tickets for her Eras Tour, leaving many eager to get their hands on tickets. With 52 dates spread throughout the world, entertainment companies Ticketmaster and SeatGeek dispersed the shows. 

Now globally addressed, Ticketmaster failed to control the high demand of fans, leaving millions waiting for hours left with nothing. With all that Ticketmaster is, lawmakers had a lot to say during the hearing with Line Nation president and chief financial officer (CFO) Joe Berchtold. During the intense, grilling hearing, senators armed Live Nation with Taylor Swift lyrics to emphasize their concerns. 

The main goal of the hearing was to find an equilibrium, whether or not that meant decreasing Tickewtmaster’s dominance in the entertainment fields, or continuously allowing Ticketmaster to overrule, harming musicians and their fans. One point made during the hearing was the need to stop the heavy bot traffic, making reselling tickets easier for buyers. CFO Berchtold stated that during the ticket release, Ticketmaster was “hit with three times the amount of bot traffic then we had ever experienced.” With that traffic, sales slowed down and ultimately ended in the website as a whole crashing. Another point, as stated before, entails the dominance the entertainment company has over others. Controlling the majority of popular venues and entertainers in the world, CEO of SeatGeek Jack Groetzinger fears Ticketmaster’s “monopolistic influence over the primary ticketing market.”  

Through countless concerns of pricing, security, and accountability, senators responded in comedic ways. “I believe in capitalism and to have a strong capitalist system, you have to have competition. You can’t have too much consolidation. Something that unfortunately for this country as an ode to Taylor Swift, I will say we know all too well.” chairwoman for the Senate JudiciaryAmy Klobuchar  said. “Ticketmaster ought to look in the mirror and say: ‘I’m the problem. It’s me,’” Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal added. Utah Senator Mike Lee expressed his concern with the restrictions placed for reselling tickets, quoting Swift’s 2014 song “Blank Space”. It’s “a nightmare dressed like a daydream” Lee said. 

Understanding the potential of becoming a meme, politicians’ use of lyrics was mainly to emphasize the points they were trying to make. Through the debacle with Swift tickets and many more, Ticketmaster only has so much time to redeem themselves as the shining entertainment company they are.