Is K-pop Fandom Becoming Less Visible and More Fragmented?

Image by Elivelton Nogueira Veto from Pixabay

Online platforms have been a major force propelling the spread of K-pop globally, but are shifts in how they are deployed contributing to a more insular fandom?

When you ask K-pop fans about their journey into K-pop, YouTube usually features prominently. Over the last few years, K-pop fans have been treated to content by companies and artists who recognize the platform as a significant way to get content to fans. However, Jeff Benjamin reports a new trend that sees companies shifting their focus from the easily accessed platforms like Youtube (depending on your country of residence) to more proprietary platforms that promise more direct interaction with K-pop artists and more profit for companies: “The apps will enable K-pop companies to retain all of the ad revenue generated by the content they post. YouTube’s revenue-sharing model only gives 55% to channel owners, which can get more complicated when international viewership is involved.”

While access to such proprietary platforms such as WeVerse and Lysn are free, revenue is generated from fees to access more premium content with artists. Fans could pay $30 for a global fan membership or $20 to view the individual fourth season of BTS’s Bon Voyage, while an individual membership for a subscription to SM Entertainment’s personalized message system “Dear U” costs $3.45 per month for an individual member, and  a subscription for all 14 members of NCT could run about $40 (Benjamin 2020).

What are the implications for K-pop fandom, which for years was sustained by free content on platforms like YouTube? On one hand, this move could limit access for fans who choose to not pay for such services, and they may lose interest in K-pop.  On the other hand, fans have been circulating artist-related material for decades, keeping interest going for K-pop long before the companies started to look to proprietary platforms for revenue.

There would be a particular dilemma for the multi-fan of groups who may end of on several different proprietary platforms. Moreover, it could contribute to the continued balkanization of K-pop fandom, with fans becoming even more territorial and defensive about their groups. Channeling fans to proprietary sites may translate to even less exposure to other K-pop groups as well as the larger K-pop industry.

Such a move could also make fandom less visible. Because of its ease of access, YouTube is not only a platform for artist content, but for fan content as well.   This put fan activity on global display. If interaction between artists and fans move to more proprietary platforms, such fan activity becomes less visible. Which stricter rules on sharing, it could also have a negative impact on the visibility of fan-artist interaction, which began on very visible social media platforms in the first place.

Source

Jeff Benjamin. “Why K-pop Content Creators are Leaving YouTube and V Live.” Billboard. 16 Mar 2020. https://www.billboard.com/articles/deep-dive/9332981/why-k-pop-content-creators-are-leaving-youtube-and-v-live (18 Mar 2020).

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Is K-pop Fandom Becoming Less Visible and More Fragmented? by Crystal S. Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

For Your Reading Pleasure: A Hallyu Bibliography, Part 6: INTERNET & SOCIAL MEDIA

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

Welcome to Part 6 of my ongoing series of bibliographic entries about Hallyu.   These entries are listed by year, not by author (TIP: If you know about a title or author and you want to see if it’s included in this listing, use the CTRL + F function).

To learn more about my searching parameters, information-gathering processes, and your ability to access these items, see my earlier essay titled For Your Reading Pleasure: Introducing A Hallyu Bibliography.”  Click for Part 1 , Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of the bibliography.

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Photo credit: geralt, Pixabay.

This is a working post, so if you would like to submit items to this list or to the bibliography, please contact me directly at kaetrena@mailbox.sc.edu

NOTE:  In order to make it easier to locate authors (and where possible), I’ve modified these APA Style citations by adding full author names where possible.

Nakamura, Lisa. (2003). “Where do you want to go today?” Cybernetic tourism, the internet and transnationality. In G. Dines and J. M. Humez Gender, Race and Class in Media. (pp.684-687).Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong. (2006). Living in Cyworld: Contextualising Cy-Ties in South Korea. In Bruns, Axel & Jacobs, Joanne (Eds.) Uses of Blogs. (pp. 173-186). New York: Peter Lang.

Ramesh, Bharadwaj. (2006). A Hallyu Story: Behind the origins and success of the Korean wave in China & the future of content in a broadband world. Accessed 17 June 2016 from http://bit.ly/23ggIuk   

Farrer, James. (2007). Asian youth culture in a globalizing world: Networked and not inhibited. Global Asia, 2(1): 102-110. Accessed 17 June 2016 from https://www.globalasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/129.pdf

Kang, Seungmook & Hadong Kim. (2009). Korean traditional space creator for digital contents. The International Journal of Virtual Reality, 8(3): 33-37. Accessed 22 August 2012 from http://www.ijvr.org/issues/issue3-2009/6.pdf

Kim, Kyung Hee, Yun Haejin & Youngmin Yoon. (2009). The internet as a facilitator of cultural hybridization and interpersonal relationship management for Asian international students in South Korea. Asian Journal of Communication, 19(2): 152-169. Retrieved 16 June 2016 from http://bit.ly/1rstmZd

Cha, Hyunhee & Seongmook Kim. (2011). A case study on Korean wave: Focused on K-pop concert by Korean idol groups in Paris, June 2011. In T. Kim et. Al (Eds.) Multimedia, Computer Graphics, and Broadcasting. (pp. 153-162). Heidelberg: Springer.

Jung, Eun Young. (2012). New Wave formations: K-pop idol bands, social media and the remaking of the Korean Wave. Presented at the Nam Center for Korean Studies’ Hallyu 2.0: The Korean Wave in the Age of Social Media Symposium. Accessed 16 June 2016 from https://wwwprod.lsa.umich.edu/ncks/eventsprograms/conferencessymposia/hallyu20eunyoungjung_ci   

Jung, Sun. (2012). K-pop, Indonesian fandom, and social media. Transformative Works and Cultures,8. Accessed 16 June 2016 from http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/289  

Lee, Moonhaeng. (2012). Star management of talent agencies and social media in Korea. In M. Friedrichsen and W. Muhl-Benninghaus (Eds.) Handbook of Social Media Management. (pp.549-564) New York: Springer.

Oh, Ingyu & Gil-Sung Park. (2012). From B2C to B2B: Selling Korean pop music in the age of social media. Korea Observer, 43(3): 365-397.

Ahn, JoongHo, Sehwan Oh & Hyunjung Kim. (2013). Korean pop takes off! Social media strategy of Korean entertainment industry. 10th International Conference on Service Systems and Service Management. IEEE. Pp. 774-777. Doi 10.1109/ICSSSM.2013.6602528

Oh, Chong-jin & Young-gil Chae. (2013). Constructing culturally proximate spaces through social network services: The case of Hallyu (Korean Wave) in Turkey. International Relations / Uluslararasi Iliskiler, 10(38): 77-99.

Oh, Ingyu and Hyo Jung Lee. (2013). Mass media technologies and popular music genres. K-pop and YouTube. Korea Journal, 53(4): 34-58. Accessed 17 June 2016 from http://www.iwahs.org/research/data/3)%20Mass%20Media%20Technologies%20and%20Popular%20Music%20Genres%20K-pop%20and%20YouTube,%20Ingyu%20OH%20and.pdf

Jin, Dal Yong & Kyong Yoon. (2014). The social mediascape of transnational Korean pop culture: Hallyu 2.0 as spreadable media practice. New Media & Society. Doi: 10.1177/1461444814554895.

Kim, Minjeong, Yun-Cheol Heo, Seong-Cheol Choi & Han Woo Park. (2014). Comparative trends in global communication networks of #Kpop tweets. Quantity & Quality, 48(5): 2687-2702. Doi 10.1007/s11135-013-9918-1.

Kim, Yong Hwan, Dahee Lee, Nam Gi Hong & Min Song. (2014). Exploring characteristics of video consuming behavior in different social media using K-pop videos. Journal of Information Science, 40(6): 806-822.

Kim, Yonghwan, Dahee Lee, Jung Eun Hahm, Namgi Han & Min Song. (2014). Investigating socio-cultural behavior of users reflected in different social channels on K-pop. Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on World Wide Web. (pp. 325-326). Accessed 17 June 2016 from http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2577324  Doi 10.1145/2567948.2577324

Seong, Cheol Choi, Xanat Vargas Meza & Han Woo Park. (2014). South Korean culture goes Latin America: Social network analysis of Kpop tweets in Mexico. International Journal of Contents, 10(1): 36-42.

Sung, Jun. (2014). Youth, social media and transnational cultural distribution: The case of online K-pop circulation. In A. Bennett and B. Robards (Eds.) Mediated Youth Cultures. (pp. 114-129). New York: Springer.

Hebrona, Matthew Niel. (2015). Ermagerd! Oppa so hot: Examining K-pop through Internet memes. Master’s thesis. The Graduate School of the Catholic University of Korea. Accessed 7 April 2020 from https://www.academia.edu/25809417/Ermahgerd_Oppa_so_Hot_Examining_K-Pop_through_Internet_Memes

Song, Min, Yoo Kyung Jeong & Ha Jin Kim. (2015). Identifying the topology of the K-pop video community on YouTube: A combined co-comment analysis approach. Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, 66(12): 2580-2595.

Xu, Weiai Wayne, Ji Young Park & Han Woo Park. (2015). The networked cultural diffusion of Korean wave. Online Information Review, 39(1): 43-60.

Baek, Young Min. (2016). Relationship between cultural distance and cross-cultural music video consumption on YouTube. Social Science Computer Review, 33(6): 730-748.

Kim, Grace MyHyun. (2016). Practicing multilingual identities: Online interactions in a Korean dramas forum. International Multilingual Research Journal, 10(4): 254-272.

King, Elizabeth. (2016). Kpop Twitter: group identity in a globalized space. Master’s Thesis, Ball State University. Accessed 17 June 2016 from http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/123456789/200254

Yecies, Brian, Jie Yang, Aegyung Kim, Kai Soh & Matthew Berryman. (2016). The Douban online social media barometer and the Chinese reception of Korean popular media flows. Participants: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 13(1): 114-138. Accessed 17 June 2016 from http://www.participations.org/Volume%2013/Issue%201/6.pdf

Yoon, Kyong & Dal Yong Jin. (2016). The Korean wave phenomenon in Asian diasporas in Canada. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 37(1): 69-83.

Abd-Rahim, Atiqah. (2019). Online fandom: Social identity and social hierarchy of hallyu fans. The Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography, 9(1). Accessed 7 April 2020 from https://ojs.library.dal.ca/JUE/article/view/8885

Crow, Teahlyn Frances. (2019). K-pop, language, and online fandom: An exploration of Korean language use and performativity amongst international K-pop fans. Thesis, Northern Arizona University. 

Utami, Evi Farsiah. (2019). Social media, celebrity, and fans: A study of Indonesian K-pop fans. Thesis, Taylor’s University. 

Song, Min. (n.d.) Detecting topology of K-pop stars on YouTube with bigdata analytics. Accessed 17 June 2016 from http://informatics.yonsei.ac.kr/tsmm/download/Presentation_Youtube_Kpop_131210.pdf

Happy Reading!

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Digital Humanities is 21st Century Librarianship

Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, M.S.L.S.

University of South Carolina Lancaster

This past May I presented at a Library and Information Science (LIS) conference to talk with my colleagues about how I am using my professional skills at KPK (and why they should do similar work). If you browse the KPK site, you will quickly come across the essays and Shout Outs pieces I’ve published, and my main projects –Digital Documentation, News Archiving, and KPK Intern training — rely heavily on the data mining, information organization, and emerging technology skills and tools I’ve honed and come across in my work as an academic librarian.

Continue reading “Digital Humanities is 21st Century Librarianship”