The accessibility of concert tickets has become a trending topic as music-lovers around the globe prepare to see their favorite artists perform, facing some difficulties in the process.
One of the most recent blows came after pop superstar Taylor Swift announced the U.S. leg of her “The Eras” tour in January. Ticketmaster was the main platform for purchasing tickets.
Ticketmaster experienced a bot attack on the initial day of ticket sales, causing countless Taylor Swift fans to be kicked out of queues, overcharged or charged for multiple pending tickets they did not receive.
Amy Klobuchar, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on consumer rights, spoke about the Taylor Swift ticket fiasco and described Ticketmaster as a “monopoly."
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Ticketmaster is currently responsible for 70% of concert ticket sales in the U.S., according to Klobuchar.
“The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster's dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve,” Klobuchar said following the incident.
LSU students have had their own difficult experiences when purchasing concert tickets. Ticketmaster, Stubhub and Vivid Seats are the main problem platforms based on a survey of LSU students.
“Ticketmaster is the ultimate monopoly,” LSU senior Rex Evans said. “Can’t buy tickets anywhere except Ticketmaster, and if they are sold anywhere else, they are incredibly overpriced.”
Evans’ purchase of tickets for Tove Lo’s tour was also met with excessive fees.
“The ticket was $37.50, and the processing fees came out to be $18.25, bringing the total to $55.75,” Evans said. “Why were the processing fees half the cost of the ticket?”
Senior Niya Butler has also observed price scalping due to platforms such as Ticketmaster practicing dynamic pricing.
“A lot of artists allow dynamic pricing, which is when Ticketmaster applies platinum prices to tickets due to 'demand',” Butler said. “But the demand is never an issue, because I’ve witnessed the prices start to increase a minute after a sale starts.”
Consumers experiencing these issues asked whether concert ticket-selling platforms are more concerned with garnering a profit than they are with ensuring that their platforms are offering an efficient customer experience.
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This also directly affects the LSU student body. Many students don't have the extra income to continue experiencing problems every time they want to purchase concert tickets.
“It’s discouraging having to pay $200 or more to get a nice concert experience,” LSU sophomore Jayda Morris said. “I understand demand is higher for certain artists/events nowadays, but as a college student I have more freedom to experience concerts now.”
While Ticketmaster has since released an apology for the Taylor Swift ticket incident, some students say the fact that it even happened reveals underlying issues that ticket selling-platforms are collectively guilty of and not proactively addressing.
“Ticketmaster dubs certain seats as 'Official Platinum Seats,' and specific 'high demand,'” LSU junior Paulyn Robinson said. “The problem with this is it makes so many tickets virtually inaccessible.”