Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds: Taylor Swift’s “sickening” ticketing plan is “fleecing her own fans”

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Swift's deal with Ticketmaster encourages fans to pay more for access to ticket presales

Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds has slammed Taylor Swift‘s partnership with Ticketmaster’s ‘Verified Fan’ service as “sickening”, writing that she is “fleecing her own fans” with the campaign.

A promotional video for the campaign – Taylor Swift Tix – says it is designed to prevent bots and touts from getting tickets over fans, advertising “unique activities that advance your spot in line”.

Fans can “boost” their place in line by watching Swift’s video for ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ up to five times per day, posting about Swift on linked social media accounts, and pre-ordering the CD for her album ‘Reputation’ with a $48.03 (£37.16) guarantee that it will arrive on the day of its release (November 10). Consequence of Sound report that fans can also advance their place in the ticket queue by buying the album up to 13 times. Fans can continue to boost their place in the line with these actions until the ‘Taylor Swift Tix’ portal closes registration on November 28.

Writing on Twitter, Rou Reynolds said: “The most sickening thing is that this ultra-capitalistic exploitation of fans is beneath a veneer of morality – stopping ticket bots/touts. Bots/touts fleece fans by reselling tickets for a higher price. She’s not stopping them, she is replacing them. She is fleecing her own fans. This is profit over people; commerce over connection; accumulation over art.”

In response to the criticism, Swift’s spokesperson has defended the campaign: “If these same tickets were offered on the open market,” they said, “scalpers would snatch them up and fans would be paying thousands of dollars for them. Scalpers and bots will not take the time to engage in legitimate fan activity. Taylor rewarding her fans for posting selfies, watching YouTube videos and downloading her albums, things her fans are already doing, is a great thing. This is a program that rewards fans for being fans and makes sure they get great tickets at face value.”

Ticketmaster has also provided a statement on their Verified Fan program. David Marcus, EVP, Head Of Music for Ticketmaster North America said: “Our Verified Fan program has been very successful in proving its ability to keep bots and scalpers out of the ticket buying process. This new program extension rewards her fans for the support they have always shown, by engaging in everyday behaviours that are a core part of their experience with Taylor, including fun and free activities like posting on social media and watching a lyric video, and more free activities will continue to be added.”

Swift recently won the MTV VMA for Collaboration of the Year alongside Zayn Malik, for their Fifty Shades Darker track ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’. Her new single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ became the most-viewed music video within 24 hours of release, getting 43.2 million views in its first day – smashing Adele’s record of 27.7 million for her ‘Hello’ video.

She is due to release her sixth studio album, ‘Reputation’, on November 10 and is expected to announce North American tour dates soon.