The CEO of Liberty Media defended Live Nation against criticism after glitches and site failures during Ticketmaster presales for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour.
“The site was supposed to open up for 1.5 million verified Taylor Swift fans. We had 14 million people hit the site, including bots, which are not supposed to be there.” Greg Maffei said to CNBC Thursday. He noted that Ticketmaster sold more than 2 million tickets on Tuesday and demand for Swift “could have filled 900 stadiums.”
The public’s response on Swift’s first tour since 2018 “exceeded every expectation,” Maffei said.
Liberty Media owns a majority stake of Live Nation. Since merging with Ticketmaster in 2010, Live Nation has faced criticisms about its size and control over the market.
After the ticket sale fiasco, Senator Amy Klobuchar criticized Ticketmaster saying she has “serious concerns” about the company’s operations following a service meltdown.
In an open letter to its CEO Michael Rapino, the Democrat from Minnesota said that complaints from Swift fans suggests that the company “continues to abuse its market positions.”
“Ticketmaster’s power in the primary ticket market insulates it from the competitive pressures that typically push companies to innovate and improve their services. That can result in the types of dramatic service failures we saw this week, where consumers are the ones that pay the price,” Klobuchar wrote.