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A Look Through the K-pop Fan Culture

A Look Through the K-pop Fan Culture

One of the leading players in the Hallyu Wave‘s success is Korean pop or K-pop. However, K-pop acts and their works are not succeeding on their own; they need the undying and unconditional love of a K-pop fanbase or fandom. K-pop fandoms, then, are the main driving force of K-pop’s success. And although not a surprise to the local K-pop community, sometimes, being a K-pop fan is much more than identifying as a fan.

K-pop Fan Culture in a Nutshell

K-pop fandoms have a different support culture; they take on a more active role. In what we call the fansumer culture, today’s K-pop fans act as productive consumers, aiding in the success of the K-pop acts by being involved in the overall production process. In other words, K-pop fans do not just purchase the products; instead, they, too, provide products and services that will benefit the K-pop act.

How K-pop Fans Act as Productive Consumers

K-pop fans utilize different ways to show support to their loved idols. And as stated above, some of these ways involve providing their own products and services. With this, here are some ways on how K-pop fans show support to their idols vis-a-vis the fansumer behavior.

Content Streaming

Content views and engagements are a big deal in today’s K-pop sphere. Due to this, K-pop fans will spend time streaming music, music videos, daily content, performances, and more on different sites to ensure the K-pop idols’ high media standing. In relation, fanbases will also organize mass-streaming activities. Some of these mass-streaming activities are fan-funded, especially if the mass-streaming initiative will be held on paid streaming platforms.

Fan-Funded Advertisements

K-pop fandoms also conduct fan-funded advertisements. When idols hold their comeback or celebrate special events such as birthdays and debut anniversaries, fans will sponsor different advertisements on various platforms. These fan-funded advertisements range from traditional billboard ads, subway ads, social media ads, and TV ads.

Extending Support in All Media Platforms

Media initiatives by K-pop fandoms extend to all media outlets. Still, the most prominent among all is the digital media platforms. K-pop fandoms will hold mass-trending events to celebrate a song release or an important event for the idols. They will also conduct mass-voting events whenever their idols are nominated on music shows or year-end award shows.

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Fan-Organized Projects

Fan-organized projects are, of course, not limited to media support; fanbases will also organize different activities to show appreciation for their idols. Examples of fan-organized projects are banner support for concerts, cupsleeve events for various occasions, and giveaways or raffle events featuring the group’s different merchandise.

The K-pop fan culture truly changed throughout the years, which is understandable as new generations of fans grew more interested in K-pop. And although this fansumer behavior can be eyebrow-raising to some, fans still voluntarily do them and, more importantly, they find joy in conducting it.

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