Chinese Poptimism

CCTV, China’s state broadcaster, is reporting that for the first half of 2009, pop concerts are doing better than expected in terms of ticket sales while classical concerts are doing much worse.

CCTV reported that Beijing alone hosted about 50 major pop concerts during the first six months, which is twice as many pop concerts in any previous comparable period. In addition, 20 of the concerts made money.

However, demand for classical concert tickets has shrunk quickly. One concert organizer told CCTV that demand for tickets for symphonies and operas has decreased by about 30 percent this year from last year.

The main reason, according to Cao Mu, the vice general manager of major ticketing agency, is that corporate buyers have recently cut their budgets.