Front Burner

Ticketmaster's Taylor Swift trouble

Ticketmaster's meltdown over Taylor Swift’s Eras tour sales is shining a harsh light on the company’s virtual monopoly over wide swaths of the live music industry.
Taylor Swift attends the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 9. Ticketmaster announced Thursday that it was cancelling a public ticket sale for the pop star's upcoming tour days after millions of fans swarmed the ticket-selling site in search of pre-sale tickets. (Evan Agostini/Invision/The Associated Press)

Last week, Ticketmaster pre-sales for Taylor Swift's Eras tour quickly devolved into chaos, with site crashes, many people waiting eight hours or more in online queues, and tickets going for upward of $40,000 US on secondary sales sites like Stubhub. 

This is far from the first incident to prompt widespread outrage against Ticketmaster. Sky-high prices for Blink-182 and Bruce Springsteen concerts have been among the sore spots. But the Swift fiasco is shining a new light on the company's virtual monopoly over wide swaths of the live music industry, prompting many — including several U.S. lawmakers — to call for the company to be investigated and broken up.

Today, Jason Koebler — editor-in-chief of Motherboard, VICE's technology site — joins Front Burner to break this all down.

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