From fan tradition to sustainability considerations, let’s discover the challenges and dynamics of the Ok-pop ecosystem.
Whereas there may be a lot controversy and criticism of the Ok-pop idol trainee system, efforts in direction of one’s personal desires shouldn’t be simply criticized.
Rookie lady group FIFTY FIFTY is making new historical past, topping the Billboard Major Chart for six consecutive weeks with their music “Cupid” and reaching No. 41 on the Scorching 100 Chart. Particularly, FIFTY FIFTY member Sio is revealed to have persevered via her trainee days by considering passages from Dale Carnegie’s e book “How you can Win Associates and Affect Individuals.”
The picture of an idol with versatility, expertise, and excellent character can evoke feelings that transcend easy criticism of commercialism. BIGBANG’s Taeyang, who appeared on tvN’s “You Quiz On The Block” on April twenty sixth, additionally said that his sincerity is what made him an idol within the first place.
Social evaluations of idols haven’t all the time been beneficiant. In 1994, when Park Jin Younger was criticized by the director of MBC for his outfit, he responded by making his second album’s title “Tantara,” a time period used to derogatorily confer with lower-class circus performers, to make enjoyable of the director’s remark.
The looks of idols was as soon as a shock to the conservative in style music business, however they established a brand new picture and adjusted public notion with their strong fan base. Lee Soo Man launched the idea of an “entertainer” in response to criticism from the media in 1999. Since then, idols have been often known as all-round entertainers who’ve confirmed their expertise and charisma past simply singing.
Within the 2010s, the expansion of abroad fandoms has led to criticism from Western media. The idol system, which motivates trainees, encourages expertise growth, emphasizes model and star picture, and strictly controls the personal lives of idols to advertise environment friendly operation, can result in extreme commercialization of idols and uniformity of musical genres.
One of many typical criticisms of idols is the notion that they lack inventive and inventive qualities. Nonetheless, with the emergence of distinctive and artistically robust idols equivalent to BIGBANG and BTS for the reason that 2010s, this criticism has considerably diminished.
Previous idols have been usually pressured to comply with their corporations’ top-down branding technique, no matter their opinions or individuality. Lately, nonetheless, corporations have shifted in direction of branding methods that concentrate on particular person authenticity and id.
For instance, throughout BTS’s debut course of and trainee days, their producer Pdogg and Bang Si Hyuk, the CEO of Huge Hit Leisure on the time, labored to boost every member’s autonomy and creativity, permitting them to develop their inventive id.
The truth that (G)I-DLE’s chief Soyeon got here up with the idea of the group’s album herself, SEVENTEEN’s Woozi is credited as the primary songwriter and composer for nearly each music of the group, Stray Children’ manufacturing group 3RACHA participated in writing and composing your complete album is a testomony to the inventive creativity of up to date idols.
Nonetheless, the latest adjustments within the business, highlighted by the SM acquisition, increase considerations. SM 3.0’s core technique, IP diversification, includes a shift from the artist-centered 1st IP enterprise mannequin (album, music, efficiency, look) to the 2nd IP enterprise mannequin (MD, IP licensing, video, fan platform), which focuses on merchandise and licensing.
Merchandising has been a long-standing income technique within the leisure business, however SM’s new technique for bettering artists’ IP administration is obscure. Idol scouting, debuting, and administration as IP rely closely on shareholder-centric decision-making based mostly on profitability, which frequently discourages robust individuality for product diversification.
In a construction the place the artist and the distributor have separate contracts, the corporate must acquire the artist’s general permission for IP diversification and prolong copyright via new contracts whereas paying the related prices.
Nonetheless, as a result of nature of unique and 360-degree contracts, idols have little negotiation energy. If the company transitions and concentrates on the 2nd IP enterprise mannequin based mostly on IP diversification and income technique, it’s evident that the income will enhance.
Nonetheless, IP diversification can solely strengthen the corporate’s management and domination over its idols. The partnership between HYBE and SM’s platforms is predicted to have a major affect on the business.
Lately, SM artists entered Weverse, and HYBE introduced that they’d add a non-public chat perform to Weverse, referred to as Weverse DM.
Strategic partnerships between HYBE and SM are anticipated to end in quantitative will increase in domination via purposeful platform integration or fairness change. Fandoms might get pleasure from numerous types of comfort and delight, however the platform-centered fandom communication might finally result in social perform limitations of Ok-pop fandoms.
Regardless of the worldwide music market’s transformation right into a subscription-based streaming service, the Ok-pop business, which has efficiently transitioned from a music-centered to an artist-centered market construction, has been capable of keep the worth of bodily albums as a purchase order merchandise.
Shopping for items to help favourite artists or to take part in occasions offers Ok-pop followers a brand new buying expertise. Nonetheless, there are additionally uncomfortable side effects, equivalent to overt advertising that encourages extreme purchases or pricing items that don’t match their high quality.
There’s ongoing dialogue in regards to the sustainability of the Ok-pop business. Nonetheless, what sustainable administration means is usually missed.
It’s mandatory to think about how we understand idols as artists and the way we understand followers. The Ok-pop business should think about a extra inclusive and sustainable ecosystem for idols by recognizing and resolving strategic dangers of shareholder-centered capitalism, id points for idols, and the function of fandom.
Model and picture administration for idols are shifting towards shareholder worth, which can’t be seen solely in a constructive mild.
The platformized neighborhood of leisure corporations makes it much more tough for followers to enter and exit, forcing each artists and followers to stay in passive roles.
Whereas it could be too idealistic, true sustainable progress for Ok-pop may be achieved via decentralization right into a domestic-based small and medium-sized ecosystem and the deconstruction based mostly on self-sustaining communities of fandom.