They’ve spent years now refining their technique of using bots to vacuum up as many tickets to an event as possible, and then turning around to the secondary market and reselling them at a profit, often using even more formulas and machinations to continuously set and reset the price based on the market.
But now, Taylor Swift is fighting back.
Along with her recently released single (which we will not comment on at all because that’s not what we’re in the business of…), she also announced a new scheme for buying tickets for her upcoming tour that is the latest attempt to try and finally undercut ticket scalpers.
Basically, it boils down to ticket priority goes to people who complete the most tasks to earn what I am choosing to call Taylor Points (they’re not actually called Taylor Points). One can earn Taylor Points by doing things like watching her music videos, completing social media related tasks, buying her merchandise, buying her back-catalogue of albums, and pre-ordering her next album.
Admittedly, there’s a lot of “buy my stuff” involved with earning Taylor Points in order to get priority to buy tickets, but the scheme could work to drive more tickets from the hands of scalpers and to the superfans who really want them. For scalpers, the formula gets way more complicated (and, ideally, way more trouble than it’s worth). If they want to bulk buy tickets now, they have to bulk earn Taylor Points. So forgo the ticket scalping or end up sitting on boxes and boxes of marked up Taylor Swift shirts along with your tickets you still have to resell.
The Taylor Points system is of particular interest to us because, full disclosure, we’re the digital publication arm of Jukely, and we have a similar system set up. For our most desirable shows, which make up a small part of our inventory (music discovery people, go see new artists!), unfortunately we can’t send everyone who wants to go. We therefore have a system in place called “Standby,” which organizes priority for spots to shows on Standby according to an algorithm. Part of that algorithm involves members being able to improve their standing on Standby by earning “member points.” You can do things like follow us on social media, see emerging artists, have friends see emerging artists, tweet out the shows you’re going to etc. to earn those member points and improve your Standby position.
The Global Citizen Festival in New York also works on a similar system. Tickets to the event are free, but in order to earn them, people have to complete various charity-related activities to gain priority for tickets. Most of the activities are tracked through their app. They’re often things like signing petitions, calling your representatives, and other similar activities, essentially driving collective action and civic action (especially among the young) with the desire for concert tickets.
Time will tell if the activity for ticket priority system will actually be successfully applied as directly to ticket buying as Swift is trying. If her experiment works, perhaps, it can lead the charge for a change in the ticket industry. Because as much as this is definitely beneficial to Swift in a “buy my shit” kind of way, it’s also a major artist standing up against the ticket industry. And major artists are really the ones with the kind of power to do that. In the end, it’s the fans who stand to benefit.
Go out tonight, and any night. Jukely is a concert subscription that gives members guestlist access to hundreds of music events – for one price. Whenever you want to go out, you’ll always have something to do. Learn more and sign up at jukely.com.