Tackling High Prices in China: Are Price Caps a Feasible Option?

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CCTV recently published a great article that brought light to the fact that top-tier concert ticketing prices are often unrealistic, especially when you compare the prices here with those of developed markets. It seems that concert promoters’ considerations when setting prices are very one-sided, as you can read in this quote from Live Planet Group’s Bin Rao:

Before we hold every concert, we will conduct market research, to learn about his fans and his market influence. Based on our research, we will then choose a venue. Then we will set the ticket price according to the venue size and our budget…”

Of course another point that wasn’t raised is that artists’ expectations are often also unrealistic, with bands charging the same prices in China as elsewhere (plus they’re often very inflexible regarding their back-line needs). In the case of heritage acts like Metallica, they might get away with charging a premium for the pleasure, but young guns need to realise they’re breaking into a new market and can’t expect Chinese fans to pander to them without any background or credibility in local music circles.

Here’s an interesting idea that came out: cap prices to protect the market and encourage growth. Music Reviewer Sun Mengjin suggests:

I think there should be a rule limiting the highest performance price and should be reasonably operated, because the situation varies. For example, you can’t set the same price cap for both a small band and a big star. Rules for them should be different case by case…”

It’s an interesting thought, but perhaps a little idealistic. What interests are at stake within these big players, and how /who would enforce the cap? Also there are the scalpers, who will go about their business cap or no cap.

We like this thinking though, it’s one to be debated perhaps. Read the original article here.

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