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Ticketmaster, More Like Ticket Disaster: How One Company Monopolized American Music Industry

Ticketmaster’s webpage that is featuring Taylor Swift’s concert date

Ticketmaster is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, California with operations in over 30 countries around the world, that was founded in 1976 by Albert Leffler, Peter Gadwa, and Gordon Gunn III.
In the last few decades Ticketmaster’s popularity grew and now it is possible to purchase tickets for many different events and concerts
However, many users and fans who attempt to purchase tickets through this platform accuse Ticketmaster of monopolizing the ticket-selling and music industry.
As a matter of fact, according to, “a monopoly is a market structure where a single seller or producer assumes a dominant position in an industry or a sector. Monopolies are discouraged in free market economies as they stifle competition and limit substitutes for consumers,” which is what Ticketmaster is doing in many cases.
On top of that, Ticketmaster is subject to numerous controversies and lawsuits. Ticketmaster charges a fee on tickets purchased and resold on the platform, which can account for a large percentage of overall ticket costs and have received criticism from regulators, customers, and musicians.
One of the most disturbing and upsetting incidents connected to Ticketmaster in recent years is how Taylor Swift fans could not get tickets because of a huge number of bots and scalpers buying out the tickets as soon as they are released.

Taylor Swift at her Denver concert this summer (Timothy Hurst)

Aztin Arnell, Class of 2025, is Taylor Swift’s fan and was one of the lucky ones who had gotten to go to Eras Tour in Denver last summer. Aztin expressed her concern about the platform since purchasing tickets for Taylor Swift’s and Olivia Rodrigo’s concerts was challenging with the amounts of scalpers buying out tickets.
Aztin mentioned that she was “originally waitlisted for the Olivia Rodrigo concert but got tickets through resale … They make the process of buying tickets very difficult and unorganized,” which makes it difficult for real fans to get tickets.
Anna Cook, Class of 2024, shares Aztin’s point of view since she went to Eras Tour and purchased tickets through Ticketmaster as well.
Anna thinks that getting tickets through their platform is unreasonably complicated “because Ticketmaster was not working properly when everyone was trying to buy tickets.” She had to go through 2 presales as well as a regular sales process to be able to get tickets, which made it hard for normal fans to get tickets. A lot of people stated that once they get the tickets and are ready to check out, the tickets would simply disappear. Another group of people could not get the tickets on time, because resellers and bots would buy the tickets before others would be able to access the tickets.
It is unclear if creating an alternative platform is going to solve the problem, since there are no stories known of people being able to create something as popular and effective as Ticketmaster. As Anna suggested, the other solution to the problem might be fans physically going to the Ticketmaster offices and staying in line, that way dedicated fans would have more chances of getting a ticket in case Ticketmaster sets a limit on how many tickets can one person buy.

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About the Contributor
Aliya is an exchange student at Coronado High School. She likes reading detective books and learning languages such as Korean and German. However, when it comes to writing, Aliya uses English and Russian languages. Usually, she writes short stories for children or small articles on current events. In the near future she is seriously considering to continue her writings by writing short stories for older audiences as well.

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