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Taylor Swift hits high note in battle against ticket touts | Financial Times

After missing out on an estimated $150m in sales to touts on her 2015 tour, Ms Swift, equal parts musician and entrepreneur, hatched a plan with Ticketmaster to stamp out resales.

For the tour supporting her latest album, Reputation, she initially only sold tickets to those who registered weeks ahead of time through Ticketmaster’s new technology, called Verified Fan. Ms Swift added an additional hurdle to potential touts, unveiling a points system that gives fans who watched her videos or bought merchandise a better chance at buying tickets. Later, tickets were released on general sale but at steeper prices, with the best seats running into the thousands of dollars, slicing the arbitrage opportunity for touts.

“A certain amount of patience is required for an industry that for the past 40 years measured success by: ‘how fast can I sell out?’ The goal was to write ‘Sold Out’ on the marquee,” said David Marcus, head of music for Ticketmaster. Now, however, he said, sold-out tours are a sign of “underpricing” tickets below what people are willing to pay, drawing the eye of touts.

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Taylor Swift hits high note in battle against ticket touts | Financial Times.

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