Who is Joe Berchtold? Ticketmaster CFO in Senate dock over Taylor Swift 'Eras Tour' tickets fiasco
WASHINGTON, DC: Taylor Swift's new five-month Eras Tour is all set to begin from March 17, however, the ticket sale process for the upcoming tour had led to a chaos last year. When fans of the singer, also known as Swifties, tried to purchase the tickets on November 15, 2022, from Ticketmaster's website, they faced a number of issues. While some buyers were locked out of the sale when their Verified Fan codes failed to work, others who were initially able to secure ticket, lost them when they tried to check out, according to reports. The ticket fiasco has now reached the Senate and Joe Berchtold, the President and CFO of Live Nation Entertainment, has to testify before a Senate committee at a hearing scheduled on Tuesday, January 24.
Swift announced her Eras tour last year, on November 1, 2022, she shared a poster of the tour on Instagram, along with the caption "I’m enchanted to announce my next tour: Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour, a journey through the musical eras of my career (past and present!) The first leg of the tour will be in stadiums across the US, with international dates to be announced as soon as we can!" The tour will kick off on March 17, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona, and conclude on August 5, 2023, in Los Angeles.
Who is Joe Berchtold?
Berchtold, 55, is the President and CFO of Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster's parent company. He oversees the finances and leads the company’s performance improvement, strategic initiatives, and several of other corporate functions, according to the Live Nation Entertainment's website. Berchtold joined the company in 2011 and before that he served as the President of Technicolor Creative Services, which included supervising post-production, digital services, film processing and distribution businesses.
Prior to working at Technicolor, Berchtold was also a partner with McKinsey and Company, leading their West Coast Media Practice. He graduated with a Bachelors in Economics degree from Pomona College and earned a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar and Loeb Fellow.
After several issues emerged in the ticket sales for the Eras Tour, even politicians got involved, with House Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeting that Ticketmaster has become a "monopoly" after its merger with Live Nation Entertainment and that "they need to be reigned in." Ticketmaster, on the other hand had attributed the issues to "historically unprecedented demand" and announced that it was pushing back the start times for some West Coast venues, according to People.
Daily reminder that Ticketmaster is a monopoly, it’s merger with LiveNation should never have been approved, and they need to be reigned in.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 15, 2022
Break them up.
Swift had said it was "excruciating" to watch fans struggling to get tickets, and that she had been assured Ticketmaster could handle the demand, as reported by BBC. The company had earlier explained that its systems had been targeted by software "bots" used to illegally obtain tickets. These attacks came despite the use of Ticketmaster's "Verified Fan" scheme, which requires customers to pre-register their interest, allowing the company to check whether they are genuine fans intending to see the show.
Berchtold is all set to testify before a Senate committee on Tuesday, January 24, along with Jack Groetzinger, CEO of the ticketing platform SeatGeek, according to CNN Business. The scheduled hearing is titled “That’s The Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment” and will examine the lack of competition in the ticketing industry.
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