Buying concert tickets these days is a crapshoot. It’s not unheard of for tickets to sell out in a matter of minutes. Now that a concert ticket is just a click away, not only do you have to contend with thousands of other fans as excited as you are, you also have bots and professional scalpers to deal with. This is why Taylor Swift — and other artists — are partnering with Ticketmaster and its Verified Fan program.
Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program was originally created as some sort of two-factor authentication that ensures real fans, not bots and scalpers, get to buy concert tickets: you create an account and you get a unique code that you use to purchase a ticket. Simple enough.
In Taylor Swift’s latest
scam scheme though, you perform tasks and earn points (or “boosts” as Tay Tay calls ’em) for activities such as watching her latest music video, posting photos, and engaging on social media. The more boosts you earn, the better your chances of getting a spot in line at her concerts. If you want “the greatest boosts,” you’ll have to pre-order her new album Reputation. Think of it as earning priority placement in a ticket waitlist.
As fans are wont to do these things anyway, it’s a unique way for Taylor’s followers to get access to tickets they might have otherwise missed out on.
The problem is, if you’ve done all these things and want to improve your spot, you are now compelled to buy her merch for “high boosts,” like this $60 snake ring (approx. P3,000)…
…this $50 t-shirt (approx. P2,500)…
…this $40 hat (approx. P2,000)…
…or this $75 hoodie (approx. P3,800).
While Ticketmaster said fans are not required to make a purchase to receive an access code for Taylor’s concert tickets, buying something “may improve” a user’s spot in line to get tickets.
This is on top of her already expensive concert tickets, which ranges anywhere from $200 to $1,000 (approx. P10,000 to P50,000). This puts a lot of her fans — who might only be interested in watching her live — at a disadvantage compared to those who have free reign over mommy and daddy’s credit cards.
No matter how you look at it, this program benefits Taylor Swift more than her fans. Not only is Swift turning her fans into her own marketing machine, she is also making them pay more for the “opportunity” to buy her tickets. Supporting your favorite artists should be fun, not akin to a Hunger Games competition.