Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ tour still isn’t sold out, so Ticketmaster dropped their fees


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Back in January, the tickets for Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour had just gone on sale, and Tay’s superfans were caught in a maze of price-gouging. Taylor is used to her albums selling like crazy and her tours selling out within days, but it seems like she was doing some shady sh-t to make those things happen for Reputation. There was some kind of dumb scheme to get her true-blue fans to pay for multiple albums, and there was also a scheme to get people to pay exorbitant prices – way higher than previous tours – for Reputation tour tickets. True-blue Snake Stans were actually kind of mad at their Snake Queen. And now they’re even angrier, because as it turns out, there are ZERO sold-out shows yet, so Ticketmaster is trying to encourage more people to get tickets by dropping the service fees.

With no sold-out shows for her “Reputation” tour — to begin in less than three weeks — will Taylor Swift be able to shake it off? Even Ticketmaster, which created “Taylor Swift Tix” expressly for the tour set to kick off on May 8, is signaling concern by offering a three-day break on service fees. The Beverly Hills ticket seller couched the unusual Tuesday-through-Thursday offer as a picker-upper for those depressed by tax day.

Never mind that few in Swift’s young-skewing demo have ever submitted a Form 1040 — the deal serves to reduce the average “Reputation” ticket price by 19 percent, according to a recent Consumer Reports study on service fees charged by US ticket sellers. A look at Ticketmaster’s interactive venue charts shows plenty of seats available at all 40 North American tour stops, including the July 20-22 shows at MetLife Stadium.

The lower demand contrast with Swift’s “1989” tour is also showing up in the secondary market. A six-stadium analysis by TicketIQ founder Jesse Lawrence has “Reputation” concertgoers shelling out $66 in secondary markets for the cheapest ticket — compared with $102 for the previous tour. The cheapest seats, the so-called “get-in price,” are the best proxy for consumer concert demand because they cut through VIP seating and other packages that can command wildly different prices from venue to venue, Lawrence said.

Not every Swift fan is happy about the service-fee cut. One devotee, Amy Beth Outland, tweeted: “I just got the e-mail about no service fees if you purchased tickets today,” she wrote. “But if you’ve already purchased tickets like … I did, can we get the cost of service fees back?”

Swift fan Julie Miller dressed down Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program — rebranded “Taylor Swift Tix” for the “Reputation” tour — which required participants to register weeks before tickets went on presale and to prove they were bona fide fans and not bots looking to buy tickets for scalpers.

“You all should be ashamed and embarrassed over the Verified Fan SCAM you pulled on TS fans for this tour,” she tweeted. “Months after the ‘verified’ presale better tickets at cheaper prices are being released.”

“Reputation’s” cheap-seat price may drift even lower, as Lawrence’s analysis also shows the quantity of tickets in the secondary market is 35 percent greater than the quantity leading into “1989.”

“It’s hard to create notions of scarcity when so many tickets are available,” he said.

Ticketmaster declined to comment. Swift’s reps did not immediately return requests for comment.

[From The New York Post]

I still believe that the messy messaging within and around Reputation hurt sales of the album, plus there’s the vibe from Taylor’s fans that Reputation just… isn’t her best album. There are few anthemic songs, and not many big radio hits. Plus, Taylor BARELY did any press at all for this album, and that truly must have hurt sales of the album and the tour. And yes, all of the other stuff: price gouging, making her ride-or-die fans pay crazy prices, etc.

Taylor Swift premieres her new video 'Delicate' as seen on 'YouTube.'

Taylor Swift premieres her new video 'Delicate' as seen on 'YouTube.'

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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62 Responses to “Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ tour still isn’t sold out, so Ticketmaster dropped their fees”

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  1. Astrid says:

    I’ve quit going to concerts that involve Ticketmaster. Their fees are just insane.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Oh yeah, fees are so absurd these days, I can’t even fathom it. I actually bought myself a ticket to a concert this summer, and was asked if I wanted a paper ticket or an eticket. I figured I’d get an eticket since they’re usually cheaper and it’s less wasteful, etc. To my shock, the fee was the exact same thing: $5.95! I mean, whaaaaat? So I ended up getting the paper ticket, because I figured at least this way it’s a small “souvenir.”

      It’s gouging, pure and simple.

  2. Jess... says:

    There are many shows that are almost sold out though? I checked the other day to see if I still could get some tickets for my sister’s birthday, and ended up in some Twitter account that tracks the % of tickets sold, and most stadiums are around 90/95% sold out which surprised me. I thought she was doing worse! We are taking about more than 60,000 people per show

    • FLORC says:

      I’m not sure if it applies, but it is extremely common. A maine source has the tickets (team swift). They sign contracts with large distributors like ticket master to sell as well as the specific venues. Then there are smaller distributors that buy from those larger ticket master and stadium specific venues. Those tickets count as sold seats even though theres no individual that has possession of them and will attend like a concert goer/fan.

      So, she could still he doing very poorly, but the % seems fine. And even then… she would sell out a full tour immediately. For her this is bad no matter how you look at it.

  3. Green_eyes says:

    I also think another factor to add to the equation is some in her die hard fan base are actually growing up & maturing. But price gouging any fan is pretty callous, way to show loyalty to the fans.

  4. Red says:

    She wanted to pull a Beyoncé and it backfired. Mind you, her albums sales were still amazing…but I think the scheme of verified fan really helped her in that department. Fans were buying multiple copies of her albums to get higher in line. You can see how different the public feels about her compared to 1989. I never hear her new songs on the radio, whereas the 1989 songs were on constantly, and she had dominated the iTunes chart. I really hope 1989 was her peak and her reign ends.

  5. DP says:

    I think some of it is that her songs have more mature themes now too. Some of them are a little too “sexy” for my 9 and 11 year olds.
    I think some families might not feel like she’s as kid friendly as she used to be.

    • Jayna says:

      I don’t know. I’ve seen guys on a music/audiophile board I’m on discuss this tour. They’ve taken their daughters before. Every one of them said it was the exorbitant prices that stopped them from going this tour. Their children were disappointed. They said if the prices came down, they would go if there were decent seats left.

      I doubt any great seats are left. It’s probably only nosebleed seats left where Ticketmaster decided to drop their fees.

    • JA says:

      She was never kid friendly. Moms liked telling themselves Taylor was a sweet girl singing about broken hearts and ponies. Taylor has always sang songs of the perpetual victim and more recently the anthem for bullies and mean girls. But yeaaaa her songs are Just too sexy now and that is the real issue here and the message she sending to young impressionable young ladies…sexuality=bad, taking no responsibility for ones actions= totes acceptable

      • DP says:

        Good points. Except, I never said sexuality was bad. Just that my kids might not be ready for some of it. I’ve actually talked to them about the “mean girl” and victim issues. Those are concerns as well.
        To be fair, the questionable content is much more obvious now that my kids can really understand the lyrics. When they were younger, they didn’t question the double meanings or even realize what some of the words were, just danced to the nice melodies. Now, I cringe when they sing along to questionable lyrics (of any artist). I’m trying to appropriately monitor the exposure to mature content. It’s very subjective and not always easy.

    • Jussie says:

      She hasn’t really been young kid friendly for a while. She was trying her hardest to be sexy on the 1989 tour, with the leather catsuits and booty shorts with suspenders and dance routines with a dozen oiled up shirtless men. People just don’t think of her that way so no one clutches their pearls the way they do with other female artists.

      • DP says:

        To be clear, I’m not judging how she performs. She is allowed to mature and express herself the way she wants.
        It’s up to me to decide what is appropriate for my kids. That doesn’t mean, they don’t hear or see any of it… it just means, I may want to talk to them about some of it.

      • Betsy says:

        That onecuts both ways, though. I don’t know how many times on here I’ve read that people think she’s completely sexless, that all of her attempts at being sexy were sad and phony.

    • M.A.F. says:

      She is what? 27? In what world is any performer who is 27 “kid friendly?” And her songs should be more “mature” since she isn’t 17 anymore.

  6. Christina S. says:

    I rarely go to concerts anymore. They are way too much money. I was going to see imagine dragons here in Raleigh, but the cheapest tickets were almost $100. No thanks.

  7. IsabelSinn says:

    It’s early and I misread “Reputation tour” as “Reptilian Tour”… It also works.

  8. kate says:

    Ticketmaster’s fees are insane, as are the people willing to pay this much to listen and watch the piece of white mediocrity that is Swifty.

  9. ValiantlyVarnished says:

    LOL. Taylor was under the mistaken impression that she could drop an album with no press like Beyoncé and it be a hit. She NEEDS all that press to drum up her snake pit. The truth of the matter is that Taylor is no longer relevant. Her music has stayed essentially the same: romantic revenge anthems. And the world is a very different place from what it was when Shake It Off (or whatever that album was called) came out. Not to mention that I think a lot of her fans are growing up and catching on to her shadiness.

    • K-Peace says:

      I totally see it that way too. The world has changed & moved on since her last album/tour. People now see through her bullshit and her perpetual victim mentality has gotten old. And I’m glad!–I could never stand her.

    • Betsy says:

      Are you joking? There was tons of press – UPS trucks had her CD cover on them for weeks! It still doesn’t speak to the rest of your point – that her popularity may be waning – but at least get the facts right. (I like 1989 a bunch, but this one isn’t as listenable).

      • jetlagged says:

        Promotion is different than press though. Those UPS trucks were promotion, and required almost zero actual effort on her part. Press on the other hand – interviews, multiple chat shows, magazine photo shoots, organized paparazzi outings, etc. etc. — things that would have required Taylor to put herself out there in a personal way — were practically nonexistent. Can’t say I blame her on that front.

        I’m going to disagree with @Valiantly and say Taylor and her team probably knew they would pay a price with the general public for her disappearing act, but they ran the numbers and figured the monetary hit could be overcome. In order to make up the deficit, they hiked ticket prices to wring every last cent out of the tour, and marketed to die-hard fans in a way that was designed to maximize album sales. It’s genius, in a cold-hearted mercenary sort of way.

    • ash says:

      1989 was also an album that 1) a lot of her country fans checked out to see how she made the transition to pop and 2) something mainstream listeners were eager to check out since she basically was rebranding herself as a pop star now. 1989 was a very catchy album with a ton of radio friendly tracks. She’s worn her welcome out now….

  10. Tiffany says:

    The fact that she thinks she can pull a “Beyonce” says all there is about her, honestly.
    She really thinks Queen Bey is her equal. That is a problem.

    • ValiantlyVarnished says:

      White mediocrity always thinks it’s equal to black excellence. Just look at Trump and Obama.

      • BrandyAlexander says:

        I get what you’re saying. However…. In what world is Trump mediocre?!? He’s the bottom of the barrel, not even fit to breathe the same air as Obama.

      • ValiantlyVarnished says:

        @BrandyAlexander the literal definition of mediocre is “not very good. Unremarkable, amatuer, unexceptional.” So I think that describes Trump perfectly. And if you think back to when Obama was in office Trump was obsessed with him. The whole birther movement?? His entire presidency so far has basically been about erasing Obama’s legacy. The only reason he ran was to prove he was as good as Obama – the black former law professor, man with the Harvard Law Degree and former president of the Harvard Law Review. Black excellence.

      • Betsy says:

        No, “mediocre” still isn’t the right word to describe Donald J. Fart. That man is a criminal, he is awful, he is a complete reprobate. Mediocre is mediocre.

      • ol cranky says:

        @ValiantlyVarnished he is far from unremarkable or exceptional – he is both in that he is exceptionally ill-suited and unqualified, and extremely remarkable in how crass, ignorant and ill-mannered he is

  11. JustJen says:

    I live in NE Ohio and the 1989 concert was at the Quicken Loans Arena, which holds around 20K people. The Reputation concert will be at the Browns stadium, which holds (I believe) well over 70K people. So, the fact that it’s not sold out might also be because they switched to bigger stadiums. I was rather put off that the floor seats were so exorbitantly priced, but I’ve had floor seats for one other event and hated it. If you’re not tall, it’s just not worth it. Plus there are usually no cup holders, just chairs zip-tied together.

    • Lirko says:

      So I guess her management just assumed it would be a good idea to switch to the largest arenas available? I read here that this album sold well, but, still, seems like a pretty bold move. I wonder how far in advance the venues are chosen and reserved… I still don’t really understand how this “buying more than 1 of the exact same album” shenanigan was a good business move, just because there’s no other way to perceive that than greed by way of digging into the pockets of your fanbase. Did the additional purchase at least come with bonus material or something? If not, I find that whole thing very telling. I mean, who wants 2 of the exact same album?

      • Noely says:

        I gotta admit that I have two albums because

        a) One was broken when it arrived and the audio stopped playing after the first few times (wtf??)

        and b) Taylor released two magazines which had a copy of the album inside them. They both have a different look, song lyrics, photos, etc. and they look pretty cool imo. Of course, releasing two of those magazines along with the album is also a clever way to boost album sales because many fans will want both of them.

        I only found myself playing the album a few times while I used to listen to her older albums on repeat when they were released so… :/ (Getaway Car and Delicate are probably the only songs I really LOVE)

      • Cee says:

        Getaway Car is a cool song. I love it and actually sing it out loud. The rest… sigh.

  12. Susie says:

    I think Taylor thought she was Beyonce and could be silent while still keeping demand high. The thing abt Beyonce is her quality and message since the album Beyonce has been on point. Which means fans like me know They are getting every cent out that they are putting in. Taylor can’t promise her fans that yet at least not with this album cycle which has been so shoddy. Perhaps if she had tried it during the 1989 she could have gotten away with it.
    I think she needs to go back to the drawing board and reasses where she is on the totem and what exactly she can get away with. Diehards alone don’t fill up a stadium.
    I was a fan of 1989 and if she has another one in her I’ll probably be a fan of that. But This is not that cycle.

    • Betsy says:

      This is it. Beyonce makes albums that have coherence and a personal story, which I don’t expect is the full story or anything, but it’s a plausible, personal-feeling narrative. I liked 1989, but Taylor doesn’t feel like she’s attempting artistic authenticity. Which, fine, that’s not a requirement, but she had better understand some of the reasons why people are die hard for Beyonce.

    • Deering24 says:

      Agreed. As well, Swift isn’t writing about anything interesting outside her celebrity bubble—and what she’s saying about the latter isn’t interesting. Not only does that give her authenticity (well, such as it is) yet another hit, it’s smothering her talent. As much as I don’t like Beyonce, she hasn’t let her fame cut her off to this extent.

  13. Jussie says:

    About a month before the album dropped she started telling fans that this was an album for them. Which makes no sense because it contains almost nothing fans were hoping for and it has no appreciative songs/lyrics about them either.

    I think she realised late in the process that she didn’t have another monumental commercial hit on her hands, nor a critical hit, and decided to try and play it like she meant for this to be a smaller album, an album for her fans. Hence not doing press, not promoting it properly etc. She’s going for the ‘it could have been huge if I wanted it to be huge’ look.

    She’s doing the same thing with these ticket sale stories, trying to spin it like other acts only sell out because of scalpers but she loves her fans so much she’s gone to extremes to stop scalping so true fans can get tickets. In reality over the last few years many artists have been able to block scalpers and still sell out stadiums almost immediately.

  14. Eleonor says:

    I think to do stuff like this you have to be Madonna or Beyonce: but it takes decades to achieve that kind of fanbase who will follow you no matter what.

    • OG OhDear says:

      Swift’s been in the business for a decade, though, and her fanbase is *very* dedicated. IMO she overestimated herself and her fans’ ability to spend money on her – her performances aren’t at the level of Madonna or Beyonce where it’s worth the prices that she’s charging, plus she put a lot of financial demands on her fans with that scheme to get them to buy multiple albums, etc..

  15. Prika says:

    While it’s not sold out, it is still doing well in revenues. Right out of the bat, when she released it, i remember seeing something around $180M in tickets already sold. People are mistaken by judging concerts by lower-priced tickets sales and % sold. Revenue maximization is a thing in business these days, from airlines to – yes – concerts. What people are thinking it to be a gesture of desperation may very well be a carefully evaluated business strategy to make more money. I am not a fan of Taylor, but she is a shrewd business woman. I would wait until boxcore revenues are released to judge.

  16. Case says:

    Her tickets really aren’t THAT bad, though. I bought them for my friend’s birthday and spent about $100 a piece, and could’ve gotten cheaper seats if desired. That’s about the price of most Broadway shows. I absolutely think the arts should be cheaper and more accessible, but as far as big performers go, I think she’s charging the same as her peers.

    The problem isn’t the prices so much as she has really fallen out of favor with the public. Everyone saw through the act and they’re over it. She still has her fans, yeah, but the general public doesn’t seem to have warm feelings toward her.

  17. Veronica S. says:

    IMO, this album was a whole miss from the start of the rollout. They picked the weakest songs off it to launch it, and then when the better ones started to hit the airwaves, interest had moved on to other artists. Add in the fact that it’s not one of her best albums and, well, here’s what you get.

  18. Lori says:

    I bought reputation, because spite her annoyingness I really liked her last album, play it all the time.

    Reputation is horrible. I’ve given it quite a few listens hoping it would grow on me, but its so all over the place.

  19. Claudia says:

    I have 2 young daughters and made a very impulsive purchase through the “Verified Fan” scam. I had to sign in advance, bought one album and in December 9th I bought 4 vip tickets for $2K. I am really pissed off to know that the prices are lower now and that I can’t re sell these tickets at face value because they are part of the “VIP Program’. I am praying to every Saint that the Raymond James Stadium show in Tampa Fl august 14th gets cancelled. Don’t judge me please! 😫🤪

    • Plantpal says:

      I’m praying right alongside you! You SHOULD be pissed off, and don’t just mention it here. Go to her Facebook page, her twitter page, everywhere and anywhere. Instagram a pic of your tickets, speak of your woes, etc.

      Only if we are LOUD in our frustration and disappointment and angry feelings can we possibly get through to the capitalists’ selling without conscience. Good luck!

      • Ericka says:

        Thank you for the advice! I wrote a polite comment on the Ticketmaster’s FB page asking them if they are planning on refunding the money to the people who already got charged the fees. I paid $499 per ticket because (I didn’t know that) they are going to send me some “memorabilia” to my house one week prior to the concert and because of that I can not sell the tickets even if it is at lesser value that got I paid for. It was a very impulsive purchase, they gave me 1 hour to use the code they gave me and I made an impulsive decision. I learned the lesson though.

  20. mags says:

    This is hilarious. Her fans may have helped buy her placement on sales charts, but they can’t help with this tour. If you took out the multiple buys, her record did not sell that much and this would be considered her first flop of her career. I’m going to just enjoy that this tour is a flop. She should never have treated her fans like that just to build on her own hype. She knew that without this shady business, this album is not her strongest and she was coming off of not being liked by a lot of the general pubic. She needed the hit and pulled out all the stops to get it.

  21. C says:

    She doesn’t need to sell out her tour to make money since she priced her tickets so high, but it’s embarassing to play to empty seats. Dropping the ticket prices allows her to sell out and maximize profit. But dropping ticket prices to ensure a sellout also screws over the people who paid too much money already. In the short term she’ll be fine because the tour will be a financial success, but I’m curious if this ticketing scheme has done irreperable damage to her relationship with her fans.

  22. Linda says:

    Hope this is the beginning of the end of her career

  23. Cranberry says:

    Let’s be honest. She sucks as a live performer. Mediocre is too kind considering how much $ and resources she has to put on a show. I’m sure many of her fans are maturing and getting exposed to other artists and have grown beyond her corny stage shows and her lack of any convincing expression.

  24. M.A.F. says:

    Ticketbaster needs to cut their service fees period. I’m Depeche Mode in May & one of the fees was $21! They were sued over this and I think it’s time they be sued again.

    • Tiffany says:

      I remember that lawsuit.

      I traveled for a concert and had to buy my ticket through Ticketmaster. The ticket itself was fine but the fees killed me and I knew I could not chance buying one day of (good thing I did because the show did sell out). So years and years past and I got this email about the lawsuit and what was offered as a settlement.

      I did not even use the code that they provided me because I just moved on after that. Live Nation came about and I just started using them.

  25. Cee says:

    I’ve never seen her live, but from what I’ve seen at award shows and streams, she’s not even a good performer. Her prices are astronomical, especially since Reputation was lukeluster at best.

  26. virginfangirl says:

    Maybe Taylor didn’t personally try to sell these songs, but she got PLENTY of press. I am normally very unaware when a new album of anyone comes out, but ET talked about her new album, she had this huge display at Target in the front of the store, & didn’t UPS trucks have her plastered on the side. I knew about her new album without even trying. And yeah it was really shitty what she did to her fans. They bought multiply copies of her album, played her video on repeat so she broke a record, bought her overpriced merchandise, all with the promise that it would gain them good ticket prices. But instead Taylor eliminated the bots & middle men who drive up ticket prices, and just charged the super high prices herself ultimately earning double what she normally earns. Why are some super rich so damn greedy.

  27. Miasys says:

    Ticketmaster is the friggin devil. We got last minute Hamilton tickets & paid over $20 per ticket in bs fees. It’s Hamilton, so I sucked it up…but I certainly wouldn’t pay it for Princess Vanilla.

  28. MI6 says:

    Karma will get you every time. I am loving this 😈