Is Taylor Swift's "Beat the Bots" Scheme Helpful or Totally Exploitative?

A word of advice T. Swift: you don't want bad blood with your fans

Musician Taylor Swift with bright red lips, wearing white sunglasses while performing

(Photo: Getty)

The more you buy, the more chances you have at landing yourself a sweet seat. At least that’s what Taylor Swift’s Taylor Swift Tix promises—turning her newest partnership with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program into her chance to become capitalism’s most cherished pop star too.

The 27-year-old music maven recently posted a video on her YouTube channel, promoting her new method for fans to get the best tickets to her shows. “It’s time to beat the bots,” the vid claims, outlining how fans can sign up on Swift’s website to access a portal that puts them in line for tickets. Fans must then complete “fun” activities to boost their spot in line, like tweeting #TaylorSwift, buying her merch, buying her new album… and buying into this misleading scheme?

Lots of other musicians, like Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry, have used similar methods to ensure fans get priority access to tickets. But in these cases, fans only had to divulge some extra personal information to prove that they are real human beings, not bots. Seems fair enough, right?

Swift appears to be taking it one step further. She’s basically asking her fans to spend their hard-earned dollars (or badger their parents for theirs) on as much merch they can afford, and get all of their friends to do the same thing. And here’s the thing: As of right now, the Taylor Swift Tix program terms don’t state exactly what her video promises. “A purchase or payment of any kind will not increase your chances of getting an access code,” it states in all caps. See for yourself:

Taylor Swift tix - terms

Twitter users were quick to call out Swift. Looks like they aren’t too sure about this game she wants to play either.

This method is marketed in a way that makes fans believe they have a guaranteed and undeniably better chance of getting amazing seats (and tickets at all), but this is not so.

According to CBC, who spoke to the company about this issue, Ticketmaster is backtracking on all of this, and will be updating the fine print to reflect the fact that buying and tweeting will indeed up your odds.

Ticketmaster, tell us the truth!

Jack Nicholson in the film A Few Good Men saying, "You can't handle the truth!"

(Source: Giphy)

In all seriousness, the inequality this scheme displays is totally astounding, especially coming from a pop star that seems to always be talking about fan loyalty. The only loyalty this demands is one backed by wads of cash.

Encouraging Swifties to purchase an album along with a ticket is one thing. Tricking them into playing a scam game—with no actual guarantee of getting tickets—and benefiting off your loyal fans is downright cruel.

Music producer Rou Reyno said it best: Having fans mass-purchase merch with the “promise” of getting a ticket is exploitation under the “veneer of morality,” and that is the true crime against her minions.

You don’t want bad blood with your fans, T.

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