With COVID-19 putting a halt to many K-Pop artistsâ€™ promotional activities overseas, entertainment companies have decided to switch up their strategy by providing domestic and international fans a chance to see their favorite groups virtually.
Most notably, SM Entertainment fronted the popularization of online concerts by greeting fans from across the globe through their Beyond Live Concert with an explosive lineup: SuperM, NCT Dream, NCT 127, and WayV. SM also incorporated both AR (augmented reality) and CG (computer graphics) to take these stages to a level that would be difficult to reach in a typical venue filled by an audience. The estimated gross revenue of these concerts from ticket sales alone was said to be around about $2 million USD.
In the following months, Bang Bang Con: The Live, a concert that was meant to celebrate worldwide K-Pop sensation BTSâ€™ seventh anniversary, created quite the buzz as this would be the groupâ€™s first time performing a full-length concert since the announcement of their world tourâ€™s postponement. On top of breaking records by amassing over 750,000 viewers who purchased tickets to the event, Bang Bang Con: The Live also raked in nearly $20 million from ticket sales alone.
Not too long after, many entertainment companies have decided to hold virtual concerts for their artists which also showcased much success worldwide. Artists and groups such as MONSTA X, Twice, Stray Kids, IZ*ONE and more have contributed to the overwhelming responses from international supporters by holding their own online shows.
Most recently, BTS held another virtual concert, Map Of The Soul ON:E, to unveil never-before-seen performances from their latest album released earlier this year. The two-day live event was much anticipated as fans from across the globe, including those from countries that didnâ€™t make the cut on the tour list, to experience watching the world-class K-Pop act perform.
These concerts werenâ€™t just a way for people who live in different countries to view their favorite artists perform in real-time; they also connected the artist to their beloved fans by allowing the latter to interact with other viewers and even the artist themselves. BTSâ€™ Bang Bang Con and Map Of The Soul ON:E concerts both had live chatting features and the latter event even offered the opportunity for select fans to act as an audience while the group performed on stage. SMâ€™s Beyond The Live also allowed fans from select countries ask artists questions via live video chat.
Outside of American fans, many U.S. publications have recognized the force behind these concertsâ€™ successes. Buzzfeed News, Forbes, and Reuters have acknowledged K-Pop artists and their respective entertainment companies for receiving love from people all around the world.
(Los Angeles Times Advertising Supplement)