Why ticket brokers can get Taylor Swift tickets when you can’t


Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the massive Ticketmaster/Live Nation program—sanctioned in 2010 by an Obama administration seemingly asleep at the wheel— It led to a disastrous outcome for music lovers. In this case, I was writing about Blink-182 fans who went crazy because algorithm-determined “dynamic pricing” resulted in astronomical prices for the reunion tour.

Ticketmaster – one of the most hated companies in America – is a constant target of wrath from fans, artists and politicians. Anyone who’s tried to buy tickets to a hot event has probably been disappointed with Ticketmaster, however, and ticket-buying hasn’t gotten better in the 12 years since it merged with Live Nation to create the largest live event business in the country. In fact, to the extent that the experience has changed at all, the experience has simply become worse.

This week, as expected, tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour went on sale in advance, and a similar, but worse, cluster event occurred, highlighting once again the disastrous effects of the Ticketmaster/Live Nation event monopoly.

In this case, the Ticketmaster website crashed as tickets went on sale, a common occurrence at major events during the late 2000s. Ticket Master Blame “Historically unprecedented demand” for the collapse. The company also announced in a tweet that many future sales have been postponed.

This is, of course, one effect of having a centralized service that sells the vast majority of all tickets in the United States. When this service goes down, millions of people are screwed at once. Alexandria representative Ocasio-Cortez tweeted A daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it is [sic] The merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they should be controlled. break them up. “

There are many issues with the way Taylor Swift tickets are being sold, almost all of them structural and almost all of them stacking cards against fans. I know this because in college I was a ticket broker and learned the tricks of the trade. I stopped selling tickets a long time ago, but I have spent since then More than a decade of reporting On Ticketmaster, ticket brokers and ticket resale marketplace. I also posted a months-long investigation of Wiseguy Tickets, a company that “broke” Ticketmaster with bots The FBI eventually raided him after purchasing thousands upon thousands of tickets to America’s most popular shows.

Taylor Swift’s management did not respond to a request for comment.

Why sell tickets

The biggest reason Taylor Swift tickets are so hard to come by is because Taylor Swift is the most popular artist in the US, has an incredibly loyal fan following, and hasn’t toured in several years. There are, simply put, more people who want to see Taylor Swift than there are tickets out there.

For her part, Swift helped mitigate this (a bit) by playing in soccer fields, which are the largest in the US. They mitigate that by running multiple shows in each city, and they mitigate that by adding shows. All of this increases the supply of tickets, thus (in theory) lowering prices and making it easier for everyone to see. But, again, Swift is one of the few stars left and has fans willing to pay to meet her many times over. She had to play a Many Offers to meet demand.

With that out of the way, there are other, more infuriating reasons why Taylor Swift tickets are impossible to get and why the cards are stacked against casual fans.

Not all tickets are for sale

One of the biggest reasons why it’s so hard to buy Taylor Swift tickets is that not all tickets are on sale at any given time. Let’s say you want to buy Taylor Swift tickets at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. When will tickets go on sale? Well, it depends on who you are:

Screenshot 2022-11-15 at 2.40.34pm.  png

During each of these advance sales, a certain percentage of tickets are sold. The number of tickets destined for any pre-sale is a closely guarded secret, but in 2009, documents were leaked that showed Taylor Swift’s show at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, 11,720 of the 13,330 tickets sold during the pre-sale. This meant that during the “General Sale”, only 15 percent of all tickets were actually available.

Advance sales nominally give fans additional opportunities to purchase tickets if they are busy during any of the sales. However, in practice, there is really no reason to believe that this is actually the case. Ticket brokers (aka speculators) are better at buying tickets than the general public, because they do it as a job, and it has all kinds of advantages. I know this, because, as I mentioned earlier, I was a ticket broker for a little while in college.

Ticket brokers have an informational, technological and manpower advantage over the average fan. At the very least, ticket brokers know how to navigate the Ticketmaster onsale pages faster than the average person, which gives them a better chance of scoring tickets.

However, serious ticket brokers have much more advantages. There is rarely a pre-sale that ticket brokers don’t have access to. There are a variety of payment forums (Offers for Sale, which costs $150 per month, is one of the largest) where brokers share strategy, sell software, and share pre-sale passwords. Ticket brokers join artists’ fan clubs, because they can offset the joining fee in the profit on the tickets.

The Eras round is sponsored by Capital One, and anyone with a Capital One credit card has access to select pre-sales. It is common for ticket brokers to hold select credit cards and only open them for pre-sale access.

It is also worth noting that getting a “Capital One” pre-deal benefits Capital One and Capital One cardholders and does not benefit fans in any discernible way.

So having so many pre-sales doesn’t really help the fans. Because while fans have multiple opportunities to buy tickets, so do ticket brokers. And with only a small percentage of tickets for sale during any pre-sale, the brokers are the ones most likely to get tickets.

Not just pre-sales, though. 2009 Taylor Swift Bridgestone Arena Documents Show that many tickets are reserved for radio stations, advertisers, VIPs, sponsors, etc.

Waiting rooms don’t help

For about a decade, Ticketmaster has implemented something they call a “virtual waiting room,” which is essentially a (seemingly random) lottery system that puts you in line in order to purchase tickets. When you get to the “front” of the waiting room, you can then buy tickets.

Nominally, virtual waiting rooms are supposed to make things fairer to people who can’t get the Ticketmaster website to work fast enough, and they’re supposed to do it so you only have one “place” in line at a time. If you open multiple tabs of the same sale page, you will still only have one place in the line. If you open multiple browsers (Safari and Chrome, for example), you can get 2 points in a row.

In practice, again, brokers have the advantage. Brokers have software that allows them to grab not one or two points in a row, but hundreds or thousands of points in a row. Insomniac Browser was developed specifically for ticket brokers. Each “tab” in this browser is treated as a separate browser instance, allowing moderators to grab as many points in line as tabs they can open. Insomniac’s browser was once marketed specifically to ticket brokers, but now it has a few different uses; He. She It only costs $500 per month to get a license. Members of the aforementioned Offers for Sale forum get $100 off, and they can get it for $400 per month. There are other competitors to Insomniac Browser.

Ticket Draws, Multiple Addresses, Multiple Accounts (AKA: Ticket Limits Don’t Work)

For popular shows, Ticketmaster has a ticket limit. For Taylor Swift performances, the limit is six tickets. Ticketmaster says it will cancel tickets (i.e. return them to the onsale pool) purchased by people who exceed this limit. In practice, ticket brokers have different ways of getting around this limit. Many ticket brokers use multiple names or addresses to hide the fact that they are going overboard. Ticket brokerage firms do this by purchasing tickets in the names of their employees. Individual brokers may do this using a relative’s credit card, open a prepaid debit card, or designate someone to let them use their credit card and pay immediately after tickets are purchased.

Professional ticket brokers also hire or contract “ticket pullers,” essentially people who pay an hourly fee or commission to try to buy tickets the second time a sale is made on behalf of the broker.

Wiseguy, for example, had dozens of people working out of their Las Vegas office who were all trying to pull tickets the second they sold out. A good ticket puller will work on computers with fast internet connections and will have computers that can handle hundreds or thousands of browsers simultaneously.


It is very difficult to say what role, if any, bots still play in selling offers quickly. Even among ticket brokers, the use of bots is a closely guarded secret, and the use of bots — automated programs that automatically pull tickets — is one area of ​​the ticketing experience that Ticketmaster and politicians have already cracked down on.

Since 2016, Using ticket bots is a federal crime. It is not clear whether bots are still widely used by ticket brokers. But ticket bots they were problem for years. Wiseguy, the ticket broker I investigated, robots used To get almost the best tickets for hot shows.

while politicians You have They’ve addressed the bot problem, they’ve done little to get rid of the Ticketmaster/Live Nation monopoly that gives the company so much power, and they’ve done little to discourage ticket brokers in general.

#ticket #brokers #Taylor #Swift #tickets

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *