Many K-Pop followers are very targeted on streaming and mass-buying albums to assist their favourite artists. Fans create “streaming parties” and comply with particular pointers to make sure their streams depend.

An instance of streaming pointers | @jakeyarchive/Twitter

| @jakeyarchive/Twitter

Streaming is an energetic approach for followers to assist artists by displaying their love for his or her songs. When working collectively, followers may even break data.

However, some followers fear that “streaming culture” can go too far, with some so strongly encouraging streaming that others really feel the necessity to publicly apologize after they don’t have time to stream an artist’s new release.

Album gross sales are one other approach followers can actively assist their favourite artists, with many followers mass shopping for if solely to allow them to accumulate all their favourite photocards.

But, identical to with streaming tradition, negatives include firms encouraging followers to purchase so many albums.

In December 2021, a put up on a web-based discussion board went viral for displaying simply how poisonous mass shopping for tradition had change into. The viral put up was a photograph of discarded new NCT Universe albums on the facet of the road.

Not solely is littering unlawful in South Korea, however netizens voiced issues over the impression on the setting when albums are so usually discarded.

Some leisure firms are taking steps to reduce the impact of their albums on the setting. But, as music critic Jung Min Jae factors out, so long as firms encourage followers to purchase many variations, followers received’t “remain perfectly rational and environmentally conscious.”

The media paints it as if these loopy followers are overspending on lots of of the identical album, destroying the setting. But fanhood stems from love. When companies exploit that love with all these techniques inducing them to bulk-buy, we will’t anticipate the followers to stay completely rational and environmentally acutely aware.

-Jung Min Jae

But though firms usually make use of techniques that encourage followers’ devotion, producing extra album gross sales and better music streams, Jung Min Jae shares that the measure of an artist’s success is basically irrelevant to these metrics.

Jung Min Jae explains that in contrast to media tradition prior to now, now we have change into fragmented within the media we eat. Social media platforms curate particular person feeds to accommodate every individual’s distinctive pursuits, that means that each individual consumes completely different media and it’s straightforward to restrict your focus.

The time period ‘popular appeal’ hardly holds any that means anymore. It as soon as had that means within the mass media age, when pop stars appeared on the identical tv exhibits and everybody watched the identical exhibits. But at the moment, popular culture content material is fragmented and so is the general public.

-Jung Min Jae

BTS | @BTS_Official/Twitter

Jung Min Jae factors out that even world sensation BTS doesn’t have the identical “popular appeal” that boy teams of the previous may need had. This isn’t on account of any failure on BTS’s half. But as a substitute, despite the fact that BTS’s success permits for his or her names to change into extra mainstream, “the majority of Koreans have only heard of “Butter’” as a result of they aren’t uncovered to BTS’s different songs.

To most people, BTS doesn’t have that a lot in style attraction both. People know who they’re from the information that they topped the Billboard charts and whatnot. But nearly all of Koreans have solely heard of “Butter” as information and haven’t actually listened to the music.

-Jung Min Jae

This media fragmentation is one purpose Jung Min Jae doesn’t imagine that streams or album gross sales precisely measure an artist or music’s success. Jung Min Jae additionally evidences the antiquation of CDs as a approach of listening to music for the failing metric of album gross sales.

How many individuals are you aware that purchase CDs to really take heed to it? Considering that, it is senseless that these boy bands promote two, three million copies. It’s largely because of the followers shopping for in bulk.

-Jung Min Jae

| @1204.membership/TikTookay 

So, as a basic stance, Jung Min Jae doesn’t imagine that CD gross sales, music video views, and streams can point out a K-Pop group’s reputation.

I don’t suppose they replicate most people’s response, when it comes to whether or not the release was in style and extensively listened to among the many plenty.

-Jung Min Jae

Instead, Jung Min Jae argues that the metrics are higher served to guage a fan base’s dedication.

That being mentioned, do these indexes not replicate actuality in any respect? It’s turning into more and more murky, as a result of what’s that actuality individuals speak about? Let’s say 10 followers every purchase 100 copies of an album. It doesn’t imply that 1,000 individuals bought that album, however are these 10 loyal followers not a part of most people? It’s nonetheless significant that the singer has a sturdy fan base, and that’s an necessary actuality in at the moment’s K-Pop.

-Jung Min Jae

| @goquinn.album/TikTookay 

According to Jung Min Jae, there’s a metric extra consultant of success with most people. Because of the fragmentation of media, Jung Min Jae argues that virality and the inclusion of a music amongst completely different platforms and inside completely different media is a extra evident method to spotlight an artist’s success.

Nowadays, a music is successful if most people is speaking about it, and particularly if components from the music are used extensively as a meme.

-Jung Min Jae

aespa | @aespa_official/Twitter

Jung Min Jae particularly highlights aespa‘s “Next Level” as an example of a highly successful song. At the time of its release, “Next Level” went viral for its interesting song structure and simple but memorable choreography. The song structure provoked conversations among netizens, the dance went viral on TikTok, and the song even became a meme that the South Korean news used.

 A great recent example was “Next Level” by aespa, which was a megahit in the sense that the public chatted about it like, ‘Have you seen its strange lyrics and song structure?’ It ultimately become a viral meme on social media and was even used on the poll counting TV broadcast animations through the presidential election again in March. When one thing turns into a meme, it signifies that a big a part of the general public acknowledges it.

-Jung Min Jae

Source: Korea JoongAng Daily

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