Ticketmaster’s ‘Verified Fan’ program has been sparking controversy recently, after Taylor Swift added a layer of gamification and was accused of pushing fans to spend money to get a better chance of buying concert tickets.
But Verified Fan is about more than that: Ticketmaster has positioned the program as its answer to online touting and ticket-buying bots.
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino says it’s performing well on that score, telling the KindredCast podcast that the tech has blocked 90% of bots and known touts. He also addressed the Taylor Swift issue.
“The challenge though is being more transparent. We start having a better dialogue,” said Rapino. “So you will feel better if you’ve registered and we tell you, you’re one of 100,000 that are registered. We have 50,000 tickets here. And here’s how you can now increase your spot in the line.”
We’ve yet to see sustained fan unrest over Swift’s use of the program: most of the criticism has come from journalists.
Which is not to say they don’t have a point about the dangers of being seen to milk fans for cash – but rather than so far, this particular artist’s fans seem fairly happy with the level of transparency described by Rapino.