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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Taylor Swift, Queen Midas of pop

Por Jade

When tickets for a concert go on sale, people hardly have time to react and get a seat on their favorite band's show, while the artists who sell all their tickets are congratulated in a matter of seconds, as if none of those tickets will reach the hands of the resellers. For the Reputation Stadium Tour, Taylor Swift was in a frank war against resale. And while governments and regulators continue to be blind in their attempt to curb the resale of tickets, artists begin to win their first battles against this scourge that seriously harms their relationship with fans. This is the case of Taylor Swift, who released half of the tickets for her "Reputation" tour through a fan verification system that has proven to be quite effective.

The program "Verified Fan" gives priority in the sale of tickets to the followers that more video clips, discs and merchandising consume (that is to say, to the most faithful), and although it is not free of criticism (some fans of Swift have shown their indignation to be excluded), is yielding very estimable results. To "finish" the resale, the American artist has also taken another risky measure: raise the prices of the tickets, to approach the prices of the secondary market and thus limit the incentives to speculation.

With the program - which also includes U2, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen, Snow Patrol and Malú, among others - users had the opportunity to purchase pre-sale tickets with prices up to 25% lower than those sold to the public, The Wall Street Journal reported, while prices for the best places ranged between $ 800 and $ 1,500. Taylor had the highest and lowest costs covered. According to a statement from Ticketmaster collected by the specialized website Industria Musical, only 3% of the tickets of the "Reputation" tour put on sale with this system have ended up in the secondary market. Representing a decrease more than significant, since in the case of artists such as Swift, that figure is usually between 30 and 50%.

Before Swift's tour began, in early May, it was said that there were many empty places for the tour of 53 dates, which put the artist in an uncomfortable role: several media claimed that she was not as popular as she believed. This has meant that they have hardly seen "sold outs" at her concerts this year, but on the contrary, their benefits have increased. As indicated by The Wall Street Journal, with all and empty seats, the Swift tour has already sold more than The 1989 World Tour, in 2015 with which raised more money -250 million dollars worldwide -that in the tours that U2, The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, Madonna and The Police have done in recent years. If considering the 17 stadiums that Swift took into account for the two tours, her earnings rose 15% with Reputation Stadium Tour. The economic gains of Taylor - and the emotional gains of his hardcore fans - are largely due to the Verified Fan program, since through it half of the tickets of the tour were sold, and only 3% of tickets ended up on resale sites like StubHub.

"The market has been relinquishing control of prices to secondary sales," acknowledges David Goldberg, former executive of Ticketmaster. So, it is understandable that Taylor does not mind that people think that tickets to her concerts are expensive and that stadiums are not full: her fans ensure access to her shows; she obtains multimillion-dollar profits and makes things harder for the resellers, many of whom yield to the low profit margin they can get. Verified fan is the ticketmaster service to avoid the resale of tickets. The platform asks consumers who will purchase an entry for a concert to provide personal information, such as telephone number, email and social identifiers. Verified Fan evaluates whether the buyer is a real person performing a search in social publications, ticket purchase history, etc. and once it has been verified positively the transaction is made.

The objective is to avoid the resale of tickets in the secondary market, a situation that has become a problem of the first magnitude for artists, record companies and followers. Speculators and bots make massive purchases of concert tickets that they sell later at prices well above the starting price. Solutions like Verified Fan, which allow fans to access tickets at the starting price, fighting the market for reselling tickets are essential. Only one question remains, which side do "medium fans" play on? Those who do not have all her records, do not know her live by heart or buy merchandise. Those who dance with her great hits and although they would not give their lives to get tickets for her shows would pay to attend a Taylor Swift concert.