Outside of the Staples center in Los Angeles, fans waited in tents and sleeping bags overnight for Wednesday's concert by BTS, the Korean seven-member pop group that has produced record-breaking hits and sold out shows.
The group's singers — known as Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, Jungkook and Jin — are kicking off appearances in the U.S. as part of a global tour with Wednesday's performance in L.A., before heading on to cities like Chicago and New York as well as stops in Canada.
Tickets for every U.S. show are sold out, and prices are soaring on secondary markets. According to data available to secondary ticket marketplace TicketCity, the most expensive single ticket sold so far went for $3,849.38. That ticket was for the group's Chicago show, and was purchased in Massachusetts.
Event search engine TicketIQ, which collects information from over 400 secondary ticket sellers, has not tracked any BTS ticket sales for the 12 U.S. shows higher than that number either.
On average, BTS tickets are selling for $823 on the secondary market, according to TicketIQ. That's more than double the average for Taylor Swift's 2018 Reputation tour, which runs though October; based on five months worth of historical as well as current secondary market data, tickets to see Swift perform average $413, TicketIQ's founder Jesse Lawrence tells CNBC Make It.
But that doesn't mean Swift is less popular than the K-pop stars, known for their extravagant music videos and dance choreography, Lawrence says.
"[Swift is] playing multiple shows at the biggest venues in each city," he explains, while BTS is playing fewer shows at often smaller venues. "If you think about it from a supply and demand perspective, there is a lot less supply for BTS than there is for Taylor Swift."
For example, if you compare (secondary market) prices to attend Swift's July performance at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium against prices to attend BTS' performance at New Jersey's Prudential Center, the numbers are widely different: The cheapest ticket for BTS costs between $350 and $400, while the cheapest for Taylor Swift was $70, Lawrence says. And that's due in part to the supply.
For Taylor Swift's show, there were "5,401 tickets available in Metlife, while there are less than 500 tickets available for BTS at Prudential," Lawrence says. "Prices are about 80 percent lower for [Swift], with 1,000 percent higher quantity."
Still, demand for BTS is very high, he adds. The group is well known for their adoring fans, known as ARMY. When the group arrived in the U.S. to perform at the 2017 American Music Awards, fans flocked to the airport in droves. Ellen Degeneres described the scene in Los Angeles "like the Beatles were here."
Their fans have also driven BTS to be the most tweeted about musical artists in 2017, and the record holder for the most watched YouTube video for the song "Idol," with 45 million views in the first 24 hours.
The previous YouTube record holder? Taylor Swift.
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