During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korean music studios adapted to the public health crisis by moving K-pop concerts online. Building on the initial success of these online concerts, Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM aims to deliver an even more ambitious service to a global audience and potentially break into the platform industry in the process.
CJ ENM hosts KCON, an annual K-pop concert series that takes place in a few major cities in the world. In response to the pandemic, KCON 2020 took place online via livestream on YouTube and CJ’s own streaming platform Tving.
This first-ever online KCON attracted 4 million viewers, a number that exceeds the number of in-person KCON visitors in the past eight years combined. In addition, its attendance almost doubles the number of fans who livestreamed the Korean hit boyband BTS’ online live concert earlier that year. The unique nature of online concerts made it more accessible to a broader range of audiences, as well as providing the fans with experiences not available in in-person concerts, such as virtual meet-and-greets with the artists and behind-the-scenes footage.
CJ ENM announced that KCON 2021 will also be held online. Continued success in bringing audiences to the online venue will push the entertainment company and its peer competitors in Korea to see virtual concerts not as a temporary substitute but as a more aggressive vehicle for promoting the genre and its artists. Moreover, they will continue to leverage the audience to jump into the platform industry which could make companies like CJ ENM not only an entertainment giant but also a competitive tech player.
This briefing comes from Korea View, a weekly newsletter published by the Korea Economic Institute. Korea View aims to cover developments that reveal trends on the Korean Peninsula but receive little attention in the United States. If you would like to sign up, please find the online form here.
Korea View was edited by Yong Kwon with the help of Sean Blanco, Marina Dickson, and Jina Park. Picture from the Korea Economic Daily, courtesy of Tving.