[생글기자 코너] Non-contact Services Heighten Popularity of K-pop Culture
K-pop platforms have begun to spread worldwide even in the outbreak of the COVID-19. ‘Lysn,’ ‘Universe,’ and ‘Weverse’ are the frontiers that help K-pop culture expand its horizen beyond the Korean Peninsular. It is nothworthy that the platforms have found out ways to break the barriers that Covid has built. The ways are ‘non-contact’ communications between fans and K-pop stars. To take examples, video calls and online concerts.

Lysn and Universe are new comers that drew a huge attention from the young after the COVID pandemic. They are not free. Subscribers have to pay fee for the service that links fans with stars in 1-on-1 chatting system. Stars would read the messages from fans, and personally respond to them.

The communications do not simply end after a short response. Stars would share chats not only about arts but also about their life. Sometimes they talk about their inner states of mind and the behind-scene stories of the entertainment circles that they cannot open up anywhere else. That‘s why Lysn and Universe are so popular at home and abroad. Subcribers are not allowed to leak stories they shared. This tends to build the popularity and cement the connections between K-pops and consummers. This is the important element to make fans more fanatic.

Fan sign meetings with video calls are the killer-service that were first introduced after the outbreak of the COVID-19. Artists first converse with their fans for minutes, sign their albums on line with a personal note on them, and send them by parcel delivery. Fans refer to it as ‘Video fan sign.’ What a brilliant idea! Video fan-meeting is kind of a solution to the virus. In this non-contact era, ‘non-contact communication’ is the winner that links fans and their stars. There is not against the social-distancing guidlines that limits spatial contacts. It has been seen as an excellent measure that could build the fandom of K-pop around the world. Each idol meets as many as thirty fans.

As K-pop became a global phenomenon, the ratio of overseas fans has risen up quite fast. The disersity of nationalities and ages has shown that K-pop has reached a certain point that foreign producers should pay attention to what is going on with K-pop. Entertainment companies are praising non-contact events, for example, online-sign meetings and online-concerts as ways to lower the cultural barrier to K-pop culture.

김채은 생글기자(원화여고 2년)