Taylor Swift accused of 'scamming' fans 'in a really fun way' with new Ticketmaster programme
Fans are accusing the singer of testing their loyalty by how much money they're willing to spend.
Ticketmaster recently launched its Verified Fan programme, designed to keep out bots and stave off touts.
It works like this: fans register for prospective tickets online and are sent a code when tickets go on sale. The programme uses an algorithm to verify whether the buyer is a bot, a tout or a fan.
It hasn't yet been rolled out in Ireland but in the US, Bruce Springsteen and Paramoure are among the first acts to sign up with Taylor Swift announcing last week that she's joining the programme.
But the Look What You Made Me So singer is taking a slightly different approach with her 'Taylor Swift Tix' programme.
According to her website, "Taylor Swift is committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans...NOT scalpers or bots. So she’s collaborating with Ticketmaster #VerifiedFan to create an exclusive program to help YOU get the best access to tickets in North America, in a really fun way.
"Once you register, improve your place in line by participating in boost activities until initial registration closes."
To "boost" activity scores, fans can purchase Taylor Swift merchandise using the email address attached to their Ticketmaster account.
Fans can also pre-order her new album Reputation for "high boost" (fans are also encouraged to purchase the album multiple times to boost scores), while signing up to her mailing list and watching the lyric video for her new will give fans "low boosts".
When fans boost their activity scores, they can bump up their place in the Ticketmaster queue, with the Verified Fan Activity Metre confirming whether fans are at "wait list" or "priority."
But on closer inspection it seems that nothing is guaranteed as the fine print reads: "Your standing may change as more fans join the line and participate in boost activities. Keep checking back for new boost activities you can do everyday."
So fans who have the means and are willing to spend more money to improve their "boosts" may have a better chance of securing a ticket.
While it's commendable that Taylor Swift wants to help her genuine fans purchase tickets ahead of scalpers, a lot of people feel the programme favours the wealthy.
The programme has already attracted a negative response online with many people accusing the singer of scamming her fans to boost album and merchandise sales.
Independent.ie have reached out to Ticketmaster for comment.
"Wow I can't wait to get my Taylor Swift concert tickets"— kae (@sportyidk) August 27, 2017
Ticketmaster&Taylor: Do you want to play a game? pic.twitter.com/cmH50tzS3N
ok we need to talk about taylor swift's ticketmaster system because it's a mess :— sophie (@favoritedun) August 27, 2017
1) Taylor Swift has a deal with Ticketmaster where the more you spend on her music/merch, the better chances you have of getting tickets for— Caleb Alofs (@CalebAlofs) August 27, 2017
the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster Partnership really makes me worried for ticket sales in the future. It's such a cash grab scam— David (@DavidOfTheState) August 27, 2017