Kpop fans are outraged by HYBE’s “dynamic pricing” ticketing system

Photo credit: Vogue Taiwan / CC of 3.0

Avid K-pop fans like the BTS ARMY have taken to social media to express their concerns and dissatisfaction with HYBE’s dynamic concert ticket pricing system – a system that borrows from the Ticketmaster playbook.

K-Pop fans like the BTS ARMY are raising concerns about HYBE’s dynamic pricing system for concert tickets. Fans took to social media to launch a campaign using hashtags like #SayNoToDynamicPricing and #NoDynamicPricing to express their opposition to the agency’s new policy.

One fan’s tweet, in particular, seems to have started the fire underneath fanbase Regarding the dynamic pricing controversy, he criticized the lack of notification to fans about the implementation of the system and asked, “Do you really believe in music?” This fan shared an example of ticket prices originally set at 300,000 KRW (about 225.16 USD). and increased to KRW 1 million (approx. USD 750.54) due to dynamic pricing.

HYBE unveiled its dynamic pricing system during an investor conference to announce the agency’s first quarter 2023 results. As with Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing system, ticket prices fluctuate based on demand, similar to airline ticket and hotel pricing models. As demand increases, so does the price, which changes throughout the ticket sales process, making it impossible to know the final price in advance.

“Dynamic pricing has already been applied to current concerts such as SUGA and TXT and will be applied to all our artists going forward,” HYBE said during the conference.

Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing structure is controversial, as its implementation for Taylor Swift’s November 2022 concert went awry and led to a congressional hearing. The system was put in place to combat scalpers who profit from buying and reselling tickets, while Ticketmaster claims it allows artists to generate more revenue.

BTS ARMY’s complaints about HYBE’s dynamic pricing began when purchasing tickets for BTS member Suga’s solo concert in the US. While fans initially assumed that Ticketmaster’s policy was to blame for the price fluctuations, they would be shocked to discover that it was a policy that HYBE had recently implemented.

“I paid 2.5 million KRW (~1,876 USD) for the ticket alone,” commented one fan. “I didn’t buy it from a scalper. I bought it direct from the source. At first I slandered Ticketmaster, but now I see the worst (from HYBE).”

“After paying $22 to sign up for a paid membership, I got the right to buy a ticket through a lottery,” explains another. “But on the day the ticket was issued, the ticket price — which was $400 for a ground map — skyrocketed every time I clicked on it. It went all the way up to $1,800 for a ticket and I finally gave up. In the end, only those who have a lot of money will be able to go to concerts.”

“We have the right to purchase performances from HYBE artists at the original price,” concluded one fan on his blog. “I am against the dynamic ticketing system that increases prices and was set under conscious agency leadership.”