The fandoms of K-Pop groups and stars have reached global proportions such that it is a challenge to meet their fans regularly due to their hectic schedules and the long distances between them.
HYBE, the record label behind K-Pop juggernaut BTS, chose to create more “artist-driven” content available to a broad audience anywhere, anytime, to promote more interaction between their talents and fans worldwide.
At the 2022 BroadCast WorldWide (BCWW) conference, Helena Chang, HYBE’s Content Business Head, participated in a session titled “K-Contents and the Korean Wave: Expanding the Cultural Horizon for World Citizens” to share how they are managing the challenge of transcending communication limitations between their talents and fans.
Chang explained that artist-driven content is an opportunity to reveal more unexplored sides of singers and play a pivotal role in marketing them. Some of HYBE’s highly successful artist-driven content include BANG BANG CON: The Live, a paid online BTS concert, and In the SOOP, a reality show that featured BTS and SEVENTEEN.
Even the content that we produced one to two years ago can still be appealing to a lot of people because the number of global K-pop fans is constantly rising. We believe our dissemination of artist-driven content has also contributed to the growth of Hallyu (Korean wave), especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when hardly any singers could go abroad.
For BANG BANG CON, viewers had a choice of six screen angles to watch BTS perform.
In the case of In the SOOP, HYBE prepared two different versions of the show, one for television and another for video on demand (VOD). The TV version was 60 minutes long, while the VOD version was thirty minutes longer and included more scenes, especially appealing to K-Pop fans.
As can be seen from these cases, we have attempted to distribute our content on various platforms. To date, we have mostly showcased our content in Korea and Japan, but we are planning to set our sights on more regions because we just realized the power of content and how it can create great synergy with our artists.
— Helena Chang
HYBE realizes that simply churning out artist-driven content is not enough; the content needs to be understood in its full context. Often BTS puns and jokes they crack are lost in translation, and international audiences are at a loss to comprehend what was being viewed.
This has led to HYBE’s new pipeline project, “What Sub,” which aims to improve fans’ understanding of K-Pop stars’ wordplay beyond just what is expressed in the subtitles. The “What Sub” project hopes to overcome language and cultural barriers through detailed explanations.
With this initiative, HYBE continues to break through communication barriers to give a better fan experience for international audiences.