The Ticketmaster scandal is a perfect example of the consequences of poor software quality assurance management. But before diving into the subject, a little contextualization is needed.
Today, Ticketmaster accounts for more than 70% of tickets for concerts held in the United States. With nearly 500 million tickets sold worldwide each year, it is the largest company in the industry. And yet on November 17, the platform had to cancel the sale of tickets for Taylor Swift’s tour. The reasons? More than 3.5 million people would have registered on the Ticketmaster website, in addition to numerous bot attacks. Ticketmaster’s various technological structures simply couldn’t handle such a large number of people. As a result of this incident, no less than two dozen complaints have been filed against the American giant. But who is responsible? Joe Berchtold, CEO of Ticketmaster, who recently apologized to Taylor Swift, mainly blames bot attacks that would slow down the platform. However, Ticketmaster claims to spend several million dollars in different technologies to better fight against these bot attacks, which allow to buy many tickets in one go. In a more general way, a bad estimation of the traffic on their infrastructures as well as a bad preparation to an above average concurrent users seem to be the two main causes explaining the situation encountered in November.
This past Monday, pre-sales for pop star Beyoncé’s tour were launched. Will Ticketmaster have learned from its past mistakes? Answer in a few weeks when the official sales will be opened.