Live Music

Ticketmaster to blame cyberattack, witnesses revealed for hearing 

Featured image credit: UltimateWarrior13/ CC BY-SA 4.0/ Edited for size

Ticketmaster is set to blame a cyberattack in November for the problems encountered by fans attempting to purchase tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. 

According to a report from Politico, president and chief financial officer of Live Nation – Ticketmaster’s parent company – Joe Berchtold will tell today’s antitrust hearing that the ticketing platform was hit by three times the amount of bot traffic than it has ever experienced before.

Not only this, but prepared notes will also say that for the first time in 400 Verified Fan on-sales, the bots targeted Verified Fan access code servers.

However, Berchtold will reportedly emphasise that the hackers did not manage to illegally obtain tickets.

The incident led to anger from Taylor Swift fans and lawmakers, with the events leading to today’s ‘That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment’ hearing from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Berchtold’s opening statement also noted that Live Nation has invested $1bn (£800m/€900m) in Ticketmaster to improve the system, since the merger in 2010. The CFO is also set to talk about how only 5% of live shows sell out on the first day on the on-sale and only 20% of shows sell out at all.

The witnesses, alongside Berchtold, also include SeatGeek chief executive Jack Groetzinger.

The ticketing platform recently lost its seven-year contract with Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to Ticketmaster, just over one year into the partnership.

Further witnesses include Jerry Mickelson, CEO and president of Chicago-based concert promoter JAM Productions; senior vice-president of Florida-based free-market think tank, The James Madison Institute, Sal Nuzzo; Kathleen Bradish, vice-president for legal advocacy of Washington-based nonprofit American Antitrust Institute; and Clyde Lawrence, singer-songwriter for the band Lawrence.