Ticketmaster-Taylor Swift Senate hearing: Live Nation exec blames record number of bots for ticket debacle

Live Nation Entertainment Chief Financial Officer Joe Berchtold told a Senate committee Tuesday that Ticketmaster learned “valuable lessons” from its meltdown during Taylor Swift’s concert ticket sales last year.

In written testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Berchtold said: “In hindsight, there are many things we could have done better – including surprising sales over a longer period of time and getting fans to get tickets. Doing a better job of creating expectations.” Listen Live Nation Entertainment is the parent company of Ticketmaster.

“And let me be clear that Ticketmaster accepts its responsibility to be the first line of defense against bots in this ongoing arms race.”

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Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster crisis calls Senate Judiciary hearing, Live Nation and SethGeek as witnesses

In November, registered fans were given presale codes to secure tickets for Swift’s 52-date Eras tour days before tickets went on sale to the general public. However, fans were quickly met with long delays and error messages blaming Ticketmaster bots and historically unprecedented requests.

The company canceled the sale to the public a few days later.

Taylor Swift is all smiles in a dark purple velvet two-piece suit set

Taylor Swift sparked fan outrage in November after Ticketmaster sold out of pre-sales and canceled regular sales. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Swift expressed anger and frustration in a lengthy statement, saying she had been assured by Ticketmaster that they could handle the requests.

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Berchtold said the company saw “triple the amount of bot traffic we’ve ever experienced.”

Taylor Swift breaks silence on Ticketmaster fiasco

Although the shoes failed to get tickets, “the attack required us to slow down and even stop our sales. This is what led to a bad consumer experience that we deeply regret,” Berchtold said. continued.

Berchtold said the company invested millions each year in anti-bot technology but called for help in passing “real reforms” to prevent bots from buying tickets for resale.

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“We also need to recognize how industrial scalpers are breaking the law by using bots and cyber-attacks to unfairly try to get tickets to help improve the customer experience,” he added. “We’re doing everything we can to fight people who attack our sales and steal tickets for real fans, but we want to help with real reforms to stop the arms race. We need you.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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