Why Online Concerts are the Future of K-pop

With the number of K-pop groups embarking on "world tours" (often featuring less countries than I can count on one hand) on the rise, it's our chance to take a look at why online concerts are the future of the K-pop concert industry.

They're more affordable

Concerts, especially concert tours, are magnificent beasts of extremely expensive proportions. Costs can balloon to unimaginable extremes, with some of the biggest global concert tours costing in the tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars to produce. And, to combat the ever-expanding expense accounts of the concerts, there's an ever-increasing ticket price just to recoup their losses.

Online concerts, though? Tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people, can attend the concert virtually. This means that the concert only needs to be produced the once, with the expenses drastically reduced from the potentials of a world tour, as well as allowing for a higher quality show with a slightly higher per-show budget. And with so many people watching, the ticket price can go down, making the attendance much more affordable to a wider spectrum of the global audience.

They're more accessible

Overwhelming crowds? Inescapable sensory overload? Screaming while being crushed alive in a human stampede while the 1% watch from above at Astroworld? None of these sound like a lot of fun.

Step aside. My living room is waiting for me. There, I can control how many people are in the house - which is great if I don't feel like being exposed to a virus that's killed millions of people from around the world. I can also control the volume of the noise of my TV, which I'd great for keeping potential sensory overload at bay.

In fact, sensory overload is such a factor it's cited as a leading reason why many people on the autism spectrum don't attend concerts or festivals. And being able to control it to your own level of comfort can never be understated.

Also, with all the camera angles you get from the filmed version of a concert, why would you ever want to go back to being stuck at the back of an arena filled with 20,000 people where you can barely make out the singers face?

Of course, live concerts have a great many upsides to them as well - the vibe of a live music event is almost impossible to replicate at home. But the ability to be accessible to more people also can't be understated either.

They're less mentally tolling on the artists

As K-pop fans, the parasocial relationship we develop with idols often leads to a situation where we view the entertainment agencies as personally responsible for the health and well-being of the idol, and often see them as the enemy, while as fans we feel the need fo protect our favourite artists. And why wouldn't you want the best for your favourite artists?

While seeing your favourite singers and performers live and in person is an unforgettable feeling, concert tours can be especially draining on the performers, who can often feel homesick, become ill from not looking after their physical and mental health while on the road, or can become completely exhausted due to the unrelenting schedule.

Online concerts allow artists to give their all in one unforgettable performance where they can deliver to the highest quality and not leave their fans wanting for more.

These are just three of the reasons why online concerts should not be forgotten as a relic of a pandemic-ridden world as we reopen to international travel and fewer restrictions, but seen (much in the way of flexible working arrangements) as a sign of the new normal.

By no means am I saying that concert tours should be completely eradicated. But maybe an arrangement merging the two could be made, where artists could have a lighter schedule, fans can tune in to a live concert featuring a live audience, and more please from all over the world could have access to seeing their favourite performers live.

This is already being tested, with artists like Stray Kids and TXT giving it a go in the coming months.

Ford Carter

Ford Carter is an online blogger studying journalism who's hundreds of articles across half a dozen fansites from the music and television industries have now been read more than 300,000 times. From his home in regional Australia, you'll often find him binging kdramas or rewatching old editions of the Eurovision Song Contest.

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