Netizens Point Out Discrepancy In SM Entertainment’s Claims That HYBE Is Causing High Ticket Pricing In K-Pop

They raised some issues in the points made by the company’s CFO.

On February 20, SM Entertainment‘s CFO Cheol Hyuk Jang uploaded a video on the official YouTube channel of the label, expressing his concerns about the “hostile” takeover of the company by HYBE. 

| SMTOWN/YouTube

In the video, Cheol briefly explained why he is against the acquisition, pointing out three issues that might arise from the merger.

SM Entertainment Discloses Three Major Concerns For Their Company And Artists Amid HYBE’s Takeover

He also explained his fear that HYBE’s acquisition of SM Entertainment will create a market monopoly in K-Pop, which, according to Cheol, will only hurt K-Pop fans. Taking ticket prices as an example, Cheol stated that HYBE has taken “advantage of its position in the K-pop market” to charge higher ticket prices. In contrast, SM has kept ticket prices lower “to allow a broader scope of fans to enjoy cultural performances.”

| SMTOWN/YouTube

A graphical representation on the screen showed the difference between the concert ticket prices of SM artists and HYBE artists. Cheol claimed that apart from the original subsidiaries, HYBE also bumped up the ticket price for its acquired labels. Following this trend, Cheol said that an HYBE and SM merger would only hurt concert-goers.

The consolidation of SM and HYBE will accelerate the ticket price increase, adding burden to fans who love and support K-Pop and K-Pop artists.

—Cheol Hyuk Jang

But netizens are not convinced of the logic offered by the SM CFO. A few hours after the video was out, the ticket pricing issue became a hot topic on social media. Those who opposed the explanation raised two counter-arguments.

First, netizens argue that as HYBE manages the biggest K-Pop group in the world, BTS, concert ticket prices are bound to be higher. But even then, netizens believe the prices are fair in comparison to those for Western artists.

Second, netizens noted that the price points included in the graphics are different for the two labels. Specifically speaking, the representation compared the regular ticket prices of aespa‘s concert and the V.I.P. ticket prices for TXT‘s concert, which include benefits like sound check. When similar tickets are considered, there is little price difference between SM and HYBE’s concerts.

Some people also pointed out that bigger venues and more expensive stage production are valid factors that might increase HYBE’s concert ticket pricing more than competitors, but not beyond a reasonable bound.

Check out more about this issue here:

SM Entertainment Releases Video Denouncing HYBE’s Takeover Of The Company, Vows To Protect SM As It Is