MOVES has always been one of the most popular and loved K-Pop companies, with some of the biggest artists. Starting as Big Hit Entertainmentthe company has grown both in success and the number of artists.
It seems like HYBE has got itself into hot waters following a recent conference call, and now Korean and international netizens have joined together in response to recent revelations.
On May 2, netizens raised their anger after new images showcased costly changes to the platform Weaver. After VLIVE was closed, most idols moved to the HYBE platform, and the new changes would make certain features that had always been free part of a premium subscription.
Yet, while the changes to Weverse were significant, it was the revelation about ticketing prices in the US that shocked fans the most. Dynamic pricing is when companies allow ticket vendors to increase the prices of tickets depending on demand.
Although many K-Pop fans have experienced it, no company had openly admitted opting into the scheme… until HYBE. Recently, HYBE had its quarterly report, when the company discussed the results of the previous months and also plans for the future. In one clip from the call
We currently do apply dynamic pricing to the US market for performances by Suga and TXT. If any of our other artists do perform in the US, the same dynamic pricing will apply. Basically, to be able to apply this scheme, you have to have sell-out ticketing power and we think that all of our artists have that. It could apply to them if they are performing in the US.
Yet, while the initial worries came from US fans, the clip also expanded on HYBE’s desire to trial similar systems in other countries, depending on the market.
What about dynamic pricing in a non-US country? Well, we are considering our options, not just in terms of the pricing scheme but we’re also looking at what type of scheme best fits the characteristics of different markets. So, it doesn’t have to necessarily be dynamic pricing, but we’re looking into different means to boost concert and performance revenue overall. For example, in Japan, the venue tends to have very sub-segmented seating arrangements. So, potentially, we can differentiate ticket pricing to achieve a similar effect that is consistent with dynamic pricing.
Hybe confirming that platinum pricing (dynamic pricing) was a deliberate choice (opt-in)
Answer from the CFO
Timestamp is in the screenshot pic.twitter.com/d7MstOcbku
— BTS ⟭⟬ Merch⁷⟬⟭🔍⍤⃝🔎 (@BTSMerchUpdates) May 2, 2023
When the clip was shared, netizens shared their anger at HYBE and its founder Bang Si Hyuk. For many, admitting the dynamic pricing for revenue went against the core values BigHit Entertainment stood for, which was all about the music.
bring back music & artist for healing!!!#NoDynamicPricing #Hive Ticket Price Inflated pic.twitter.com/bZRlzI60kH
— ⋆ 🥢 (@btsluvkive) May 3, 2023
“We believe in music” was labeled as HYBE’s mission. And yet they applied Dynamic Pricing which betrays the relationship between fans and artist’s real music. What a hypocrite #NoDynamicPricing #Hive Ticket Price Inflated
— laughs 🌌 (@fallfortaegi) May 3, 2023
no cuz this is so true #NoDynamicPricing#Hive Ticket Price Inflated pic.twitter.com/CrSb6sIG82
— 🔍⍤⃝🔎 (@tanniesgay) May 3, 2023
While many expressed their anger that HYBE had taken fans’ love for K-Pop and idols, and found a way to capitalize on that admiration to create a profit.
hybe mistook our endless love and support towards tannies as our weakness and thought they could unfairly benefit from us. we ain’t here for you but for bts and we’ll protest against everything that’s unrighteous and unethical.#Hive Ticket Price Inflated #NoDynamicPricing pic.twitter.com/2WRieDedJY
— zoe⁷ 2.0🔍⍤⃝🔎 📚busy (@barbiejunkoo) May 3, 2023
taking benefits of our love for bts? #Hive Ticket Price Inflated #NoDynamicPricing pic.twitter.com/cWr4qKaaBa
sauravi⁷ (@junggukie613) May 3, 2023
Bts released so many songs only in soundcloud for us to enjoy them free. Jimin said he will love us regardless when one army said they watched the concert illegally. Bts always does free lives. But look at their greedy company. #Hive Ticket Price Inflated #NoDynamicPricing pic.twitter.com/WoRgfeYelw
— Cat⁷ D-DAY🥢 (@btsthemed) May 3, 2023
Biting the hand that feeds you @HYBEOFFICIALtwt?
Stop this exploitation of our love and support for BTS, yes we love them enormous amount (that’s the reason you are to this level) but we aren’t stup!d and we are not your ATMs.#NoDynamicPricing #Hive Ticket Price Inflated pic.twitter.com/I9zXcgusDZ
— jungkook pics (@kookpiics) May 3, 2023
After more fans had been made aware of the dynamic pricing, they took matters into their own hands and started canceling Weverse orders. While the cancelations were not regarding albums, as it would directly impact the idols, they focused on merchandise and those not affecting groups and music.
Dear @HYBEOFFICIALtwt @BIGHIT_MUSIC
Yes you have every right to make business decisions that you think may benefit your company.
But you will also have to deal with the consequences that come with some of those decisions. #Hive Ticket Price Inflated#NoDynamicPricing pic.twitter.com/0qRnkzV6lK
— Kathleen⁷ Kathleen 💜 (@kmarch67) May 3, 2023
While it wasn’t surprising that international fans joined together to share their anger, the issue made its way to Korean netizens, who also expressed their own stance.
Like many international fans, Korean fans shared screenshots of themselves canceling non-album orders and stating that the reason was to protest the “Dynamic pricing,”
K-ARMY are cancelling non-album weverse orders and describing the reason as protest to dynamic pricing#Hive Ticket Price Inflated #NoDynamicPricing @HYBEOFFICIALtwt @BIGHIT_MUSIC https://t.co/fvdRD5nyQD
— MJ⁷ saw yoongi 🐱🧡🥢 (@sugalaxy_93) May 2, 2023
I know that I can’t force purchases during my free time, and I’m so angry that I can only do this, but I hope that as many people as possible will consider canceling goods other than albums. Financial therapy is the answer to Hive, who is blinded by money.
Please consider canceling all pending orders from weverse shop that are not…
— George j̶o̶n̶n̶a̶ awesome Đ-Đ₳Ɏ🧃 (@jojiwithjk) May 2, 2023
While HYBE has always been popular, netizens are starting to doubt how genuine it is. From a small company focused on music, artists, and fans, many netizens believe HYBE has lost what it made it special and become another corporation.
You can read more about netizens criticizing HYBE’s recent plans with Weverse, which has also caused controversy.
Netizens Raise Anger After HYBE Reveals New And Costly Changes To Weverse