How Taylor Swift Is Using Live Nation to Help Sell Music and Merch
Taylor Swift mania is upon us as the mega-pop star late tonight (Aug. 24) dropped the first single “Look What You Made Me Do” from her upcoming sixth studio album Reputation out Nov. 10 on Big Machine Records. Details surrounding the release point to a precision roll-out designed to maximize revenues and give hardcore fans (i.e. Swifties) a myriad of opportunities to spend their hard-earned cash on their favorite artist.
One creative way to further incentivize fans to buy merch and music is a collaboration between Live Nation’s Ticketmaster and Team Swift entitled “Taylor Swift Tix powered by Ticketmaster Verified Fan,” which gives fans greater access to buying concert tickets while cutting out scalpers and bots and likely increasing Swift’s bottom line.
This is because depending on how much fans consume and interact with Swift’s various offerings — including CDs, posters, magazines and more along with watching her videos and engaging in other “unique activities”—the better chance they have at obtaining concert tickets.
According to a video (below) featuring a cute animated kitty and what sounds like Swift’s voice, fans can register on TaylorSwift.com and unlock access to the Taylor Swift Tix portal where they can pick a preferred city to see her show and then have the “opportunity to engage in unique activities that advance your spot in line.” This “fun way” to get tickets includes activities like shopping at the Taylor Swift store, buying her music and watching her videos.
With the new single rolled out on all the streaming services (including Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, Tidal and Deezer), preorders of Swift’s new album is already available at iTunes, Target, Walmart and TaylorSwift.com. Other offerings include one of five different double-sided exclusive posters in each CD and two 72-page magazines (Volume 1 and Volume 2) available exclusively at Target that include Swift’s poetry, photos, artwork and handwritten lyrics. These, too, can be pre-ordered and should theoretically help fans move up in the virtual concert ticket line.
While many artists have bundled music with concert tickets, including Prince, Metallica and Katy Perry, among others, this may be the first time holding out only greater access to concert tickets (and likely not guaranteed) has been used as an incentive to sell an artist’s products. This model, however, may only work for artists of Swift’s caliber who can sell out multiple arena nights.
While certainly the goal of getting tickets into fans’ hands and cutting out scalpers and bots is laudable, doing so at the expense of fans and for the profit of artists and their teams may ruffle some fans’ (and parents of fans’) feathers as the spend for concerts, recordings and merch quickly adds up. But for many Swifties, that’s a small price to pay—and that may be the point.
Post script: As of 1:00 a.m. PST, the Taylor Swift Tix site was down due to “an extreme amount of fan activity.”
This article originally appeared on Billboard.