Ticketmaster swears this whole Taylor Swift fiasco was the robots' fault

Ticketmaster swears this whole Taylor Swift fiasco was the robots’ fault

Right: Taylor Swift (Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for MTV), Right: THE MACHINE (Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

Right: Taylor Swift (Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Imges for MTV), Right: THE MACHINE (Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

There are a vanishingly small number of scenarios, in our modern world, where Ticketmaster—which is, at this very moment, facing government scrutiny for how goddamn huge it got after merging with venue operator Live Nation back in 2010—can be seen as the underdog. But the sole exception might have emerged this week, because while there are very few things bigger than a multi-billion-dollar company that controls 70 percent of ticket and event sales in the country, the ire of Taylor Swift (and her fans) may yet be bigger still.

Hence a very defensive note that the company posted on its own blog last nightechoing statements that Greg Maffei (CEO of Liberty Media, Live Nation’s largest shareholder) made earlier this week, asserting that the clusterfuck surrounding ticket sales for Swift’s Eras Tour was due to those pesky bots, not any fault of Ticketmaster’s, so please stop yelling at them/screaming at them/siccing the Department of Justice on them, please.

Among other things, the Ticketmaster blog asserts that they actually did a good job—despite the incredible chaos that surrounded the sales, which saw people wait hours in online queues only to have tickets snatched back out of their carts—since the 2.4 million tickets that did get sold all supposedly went to registered users of their Verified Fan system , which is supposed to keep the robots and the unwashed masses from scooping up tickets for resale on the secondary market. (Ticketmaster claims only 5 percent of Eras shows are currently being resold, as opposed to the 30 percent it often sees for big tours like this.)

Also: How the heck was Ticketmaster supposed to know this many people were going to want tickets, just because this is Swift’s first tour in five years, and she has a new album out, and she’s Taylor Swift, planet-class superstar?! Ticketmaster claims it got traffic requests to its web site on November 15 that were four times its previous peak—although it didn’t address Swift’s own statement that she’d been assured that Ticketmaster could handle the load it was going to have to bear. (Ticketmaster also claims that only 15 percent of people using the system had problems, which seems suspect, anecdotally, but is still, in the company’s own words, “15 percent too many.”)

Ultimately, the post argues, there’s just not enough Taylor to meet the current ask. Truly, it is the world, for wanting so much of her, that is at fault. (And the robots.)

Even when a high demand onsale goes flawlessly from a tech perspective, many fans are left empty handed. For example: based on the volume of traffic to our site, Taylor would need to perform over 900 stadium shows (almost 20x the number of shows she is doing)…that’s a stadium show every single night for the next 2.5 years.

None of which, we have to assume, is going to do thing one to alleviate the anger surrounding The Eras Tour, either from Swift personally, or from her fans.

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