Comment: Why are K-pop fandoms spending so much money?

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The $ 5 billion K-pop industry has gone global. Korea’s Foreign Ministry estimates that there are around 1,835 K-pop fan clubs in 98 countries – with 104 million members.

The Hallyu wave has gotten so out of hand that this month the Chinese social media accounts of some 20 K-pop fan groups were suspended or stopped to curb obsession and overspending.

UNIQUE IDOL-FAN RELATIONSHIP

What seems irrational to those outside the research makes perfect sense to the fans, all too willing to fuel this “fan economy”, ranging from big buyers to “data workers” who work hard to post, repost, comment and constantly stimulate social networks. media metrics for their idols.

Fans understand that the K-pop industry values ​​commercial success – with intense and constant competition from new contenders who can displace their beloved idols if their fans fail. So they spend a lot of money on multiple album copies, buy imported goods as a group, and stream video clips on a loop.

They’re used to idolizing survival shows and popularity contests that encourage repetitive voting and don’t flinch when competing against fandoms to demonstrate their power.

While The 2021 season of the Chuang idol survival show, the Chinese version of the Korean idol survival show Produce 101, fans of the 25 finalists funded more than $ 23 million to vote.

E-commerce company iPrice estimated last November that K-pop fans can spend up to US $ 1,422 on albums, concert tickets and merchandise, with the BTS Army at the top of the list.


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