The parent business of Ticketmaster will later testify before the US Senate about the “important lessons” it learnt when cyber assaults prevented the sale of Taylor Swift’s 2023 US tour.
The attack caused Ticketmaster’s systems to become overloaded, which resulted in protracted delays and thousands of disgruntled fans who were unable to purchase tickets for the performances.
In written testimony made public ahead of the hearing on Tuesday, Live Nation president Joe Berchtold stated, “In hindsight there are multiple things we could have done better.”
He apologized “to the many unhappy fans as well as to Ms. Swift,” acknowledging that the sale had been “a poor consumer experience.”
Fans and politicians have frequently criticized Ticketmaster for having too much control over the live music market and artificially inflating ticket prices with fees and service costs.
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70% of US ticket sales, according to Senator Amy Klobuchar, who serves as chair of the Senate committee on consumer protection.
“Actually, there isn’t any other option. It is monopolistic “Last year, she spoke with MSNBC.
“The exorbitant costs, site outages, and cancellations that customers encountered highlights how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the corporation does not face any need to consistently innovate and improve,” she continued in reference to the Swift tour.
Swift said that watching supporters struggle to get tickets was “excruciating” and that she had been reassured that Ticketmaster could meet the demand.
In its written evidence, the corporation disclosed for the first time how software “bots” used to fraudulently get tickets had targeted its systems.
The attacks occurred in spite of the usage of Ticketmaster’s “verified fan” program, which asks customers to pre-register their interest so that the firm may verify whether they are actual fans who want to attend the performance.
We made plans in advance because we anticipated a bot attack, according to Mr. Berchtold.
“Poor customer experience” ”
Then, for the first time in 400 Verified Fan onsales, we noticed a three-fold increase in bot traffic, and they started attacking our Verified Fan access code servers.
“The attack forced us to slow down and even suspend our sales even though the bots were unable to access our systems or buy any tickets. This is what caused a dreadful purchasing experience that we are very sorry for.”
In order to prevent system overload, Mr. Berchtold stated that the company should have spaced out the sales “over a longer period of time” and that it should have “done a better job setting fan expectations for receiving tickets.”
Less than 5% of the 2.2 million tickets that were ultimately sold, he continued, ended up on resale websites, where scalpers frequently charge exorbitant amounts.
In response to other accusations, he stated that “the majority” of such fees “go to the venue, not to Ticketmaster” and that “Ticketmaster does not set ticket prices.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Tuesday, which will explore competition in the ticketing sector, was triggered by the controversy surrounding Swift’s tour.
Senators will also hear from SeatGeek, JAM Productions, and singer-songwriter Clyde Lawrence, a vocal opponent of Ticketmaster’s business practices, in addition to Live Nation.
Several letters of support, including one from country music icon Garth Brooks, urging US politicians to take a harsher stance against ticket touts, were submitted with Live Nation’s testimony.
He asked, “My question is, why don’t we just make scalping illegal as a nation?” “A major factor in program failure is the overcrowding of bots during an on-sale.
The client, who should bear the least of the cost, is always made to pay for this tragedy.
Without proof of anti-competitive behavior by Ticketmaster, such as unjustly pressing artists to utilize their services, it is uncertain whether Tuesday’s hearing would result in any significant change.
The business has vehemently denied any such transactions.