In the K-pop sphere, discussions on what healthy fandom culture is comes and goes. The latest round of heated arguments recently surfaced on Twitter, many K-pop fans’ social media platform of choice, on how excessive music streaming can be. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Within the K-pop sphere, discussions on what wholesome fandom tradition is comes and goes. The most recent spherical of heated arguments lately surfaced on Twitter, many K-pop fans’ social media platform of selection, on how extreme music streaming may be. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Within the K-pop sphere, discussions on what constitutes wholesome fandom tradition might be referred to as a naturally occurring phenomenon.
The most recent spherical of heated arguments on the topic lately surfaced on Twitter, many K-pop fans’ social media platform of selection, this time underneath the hashtag #SayNoToStreaming, shedding mild on how labor-intensive K-pop fan tradition may be.
Utilizing the hashtag, a string of worldwide K-pop fans referred to as for moderation in streaming. The idea of “extreme music listening” might sound absurd to any unfamiliar with K-pop, but is a key exercise amongst fans of the style. Many K-pop fans stream their favourite artist’s music or a selected track continuous — on mute if essential — as a way to enhance their rankings on the charts.
Proponents of #SayNoToStreaming described 24-hour streaming as, basically, unpaid labor, though it could be well-intended and carried out absolutely voluntarily to assist one’s favourite artist. They advise individuals to take part in fan actions like streaming as a passion as an alternative of feeling pressured to take action, like many loyal fans do, to the purpose of it interfering with their very own lives.
Although it could sound like an apparent assertion, and although a lot of it did obtain assist, the piece of recommendation was additionally met with sturdy backlash.
Streaming maketh the fan?
Discussions about streaming floor regularly amongst home and overseas K-pop fans alike, normally relating to whether or not it’s acceptable to strain others in the identical fandom to stream. Skeptics of #SayNoToStreaming preserve {that a} true fan would take heed to their favourite band’s music all day as a result of they genuinely get pleasure from it, and due to this fact wouldn’t discuss with streaming as labor.
“For those who don’t like listening to your favourite band’s music, it’s since you assume their songs are boring,” this college of thought claims.
Television music shows place the most emphasis on the amount of online streaming, above other criteria including physical CD sales and viewer votes, when announcing the No. 1 song of the week. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Tv music exhibits place probably the most emphasis on the quantity of on-line streaming, above different standards together with bodily CD gross sales and viewer votes, when asserting the No. 1 track of the week. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Some, whereas in the identical breath admitting that streaming sure songs continuous may be tiring, exhorted that mass streaming is completely essential for artists’ success.
“Don’t name your self a fan in case you gained’t even make an effort to assist the artist,” argue proponents of 24-hour streaming. “Would you relatively see them be unsuccessful?”
Excessive chart rankings, which suggests extra publicity to most people by way of streaming platforms, contribute to the group changing into higher recognized. Equally, the variety of streams are one of many high standards tallied by tv music exhibits. Profitable No. 1 on a music present is taken into account a profession milestone that additional promotes the group.
So inside a K-pop artist’s fandom, fans encourage one another to consistently “stream such as you breathe,” particularly when new music drops. Quite a few social media pages are devoted to encouraging fans, notifying them which songs to stream and sharing tips about how one can stream effectively so that each pay attention counts.
This consists of streaming in a single day when listeners of different songs are asleep — which explains why many K-pop idols’ songs enter home charts late at night time but aren’t seen throughout the day. Social media pages encouraging fans to stream suggest checking “very first thing within the morning to see if the music had been enjoying all night time with out interruption.”
Peer strain
Fans proudly proclaim they consciously maintain themselves again from listening to different artists’ songs even when they wish to, as a way to not interrupt the continuous streaming of their one favourite artist. They typically face strain from different fans to current screenshots that show they’ve been streaming.
Many go as far as to sentence different fans who don’t do the identical, typically with threatening rhetoric that incites worry amongst fans.
“For those who gained’t assist your favorites [by streaming], don’t complain about them not successful any awards and don’t be stunned after they disband,” quite a few responses to #SayNoToStreaming emphasize. Feedback like “don’t let this be their final comeback” are regularly seen underneath newly launched music movies by comparatively lesser-known acts.
One fan online proves with a screenshot that they have been streaming boy band Exo. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

One fan on-line proves with a screenshot that they’ve been streaming boy band Exo. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Some dismissed the hashtag motion as a non-issue, reasoning that streaming is solely every particular person’s determination. Nonetheless, contemplating that such pressures are prevalent in fandom tradition and lots of stream to the purpose of neglecting their very own private lives, it could be a disingenuous method.
One Korean fan in her mid-20s, previously a loyal fan of a still-active boy band and who wished to remain nameless, shared what estranged her from being an energetic a part of the fandom.
“You know the way the time period gaseongbi [cost-effective] fan is principally used as an insult within the K-pop idol scene,” she stated. The time period refers to informal fans who don’t stream all day or purchase CDs, but merely benefit from the singer’s works lightheartedly. They’re typically referred to as out as faux fans and will even be requested to depart the fandom.
“Till my early 20s, I felt like I needed to stream, buy a number of CDs, attend fan autograph occasions, go to concert events […] promote them and typically defend the group on-line if I have been to name myself a fan.”
As she identified, streaming is without doubt one of the many actions required from those that wish to be acknowledged as bona fide fans. They’re anticipated to place in each money and time to set a myriad of recent information for the artist, and the so-called mild fans who don’t are largely shunned by the core fandom. Many declare that those that don’t stream lack sincerity and don’t need to attend concert events or meet-and-greets.
“I bear in mind being consistently distracted throughout the day to verify if my music streaming was on,” she continued. “It disturbed my sleep. […] I knew streaming day and night time was interfering with my actual life, mentally and bodily, but the strain was sturdy on-line the place fans collect. We have been informed different fans are busy too but nonetheless put in ‘actual effort.’ The strain doesn’t seem to be an enormous deal from the surface, but as a result of fanhood relies on love, suggesting that my love was unfaithful was very guilt-tripping and influential to me on the time.”
Debates going deeper
Fans naturally wish to present assist to their favourite artists; a phenomenon seen in any pop music business. But a fandom tradition that additionally requires a lot time, cash and sincerity, each day and in a extremely organized method, is taken into account distinctive to K-pop. The place does this labor-intensive tradition come from?
A guide explaining how to efficiently stream non-stop, distributed by boy band Monsta X's fandom Monbebe. The image includes tips for streaming on Melon, though there are guides for each streaming platform. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

A information explaining how one can effectively stream continuous, distributed by boy band Monsta X’s fandom Monbebe. The picture consists of suggestions for streaming on Melon, although there are guides for every streaming platform. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Music critic Park Hee-a says relatively than singling out K-pop tradition as being totally different, the reply lies in Korean society’s work tradition basically.
“K-pop fan tradition requires a really excessive commonplace of labor-intensive actions,” she stated. “K-pop is music from Korea, so it inevitably displays the nation’s perspective towards labor as properly. Our work tradition is understood for praising lengthy work hours and dedication. Koreans’ nationwide character additionally emphasizes diligence, intensely so when there’s a aim to succeed in. Not all international locations share such a piece ethic, so it’s very attention-grabbing that this tradition of labor, in a means, has unfold to overseas fans by way of K-pop.”
These discussions on extreme fan actions have been happening for for much longer amongst home fans. Critic Park says the truth that fans abroad have formally jumped into the dialogue exhibits how they don’t solely get pleasure from consuming K-pop, but are additionally critical in regards to the fandom tradition that comes with it.
“They’re displaying a powerful willingness to deeply perceive K-pop tradition and speak about it amongst themselves,” she stated. “Finally, every fan will determine how a lot fan exercise is match for them, and fandoms may also hopefully attain a consensus on how a lot encouragement is suitable. At this stage, even the heated arguments are a pure and constructive phenomenon which proves that the dialogue surrounding K-pop goes deeper abroad too.”

BY HALEY YANG [[email protected]]

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