It’s hard to pinpoint the birth of people recording their reactions to a YouTube video. Maybe it was 2 Girls, 1 Cup? Either way, what first started as people’s sheer horrific reactions to scat porn was soon reappropriated and taken over by fandom, specifically K-Pop fandom.
Now, I’ve written of my slow admiration for K-Pop, which has become almost an obsession now. I used to just love YG acts like 2Ne1 and BigBang, but this is truly the summer of SMTown and new comeback music videos from Super Junior, SHINee and f(x) have been totally kick-ass. Yes, I drank the K-Pop kool aid and wear my badge proudly. I mean, how can you not be a fan of this?Now, back to the phenomenon of the K-Pop reaction video. Legions of K-pop fans record themselves watching these music videos, many for the first time, to capture their genuine and many times shrieking glee at watching their fave acts dancing in slick music videos. It’s astounding and truly amazing to see fans from all over the world, hungry for K-Pop and Korean pop culture in general. And the music companies, like the aforementioned YG, SM Entertainment, as well as JYP Entertainment (who manage the Wonder Girls), are utilizing the power of the Internet to develop their audience base that is no longer restricted by borders or territories.
In the late ’90s, I was really into J-Pop, especially visual kei and Shibuya kei. But it was really hard to get these CDs and other paraphernalia because it was only sold in Japan, and many times, the Japanese music companies didn’t care about foreign fans and just focused on domestic campaigns only. And if I did get the opportunity to buy an import CD, it would be like $50!
Fast forward to decade and some odd years later, K-Pop has become a global phenomenon, simply because the Korean companies are not insular in their promotions or operations. Sure, domestic market is still important, but the global market is equally of not greater in this new business model. For example, all music videos are now hyped up all online and debut on YouTube and it’s a huge event. Many K-Pop videos, especially from the big three companies, garner tens of millions of views (Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” Music video has almost 90 million views, for example). Their music is also released on iTunes worldwide. Their are sites like allkpop, soompi and Eat Your Kimchi that regularly report on K-Pop in English. Subtitles in multiple languages are provided in many promo videos. And even K-Pop groups are recruiting heavily from the US, China and other countries and releasing bilingual, and sometimes trilingual tracks.
Some of these groups are already mounting major world tours, with stops in the US, Europe and South America and have started world campaigns like contests and other promos. BigBang, one of the biggest K-Pop boy bands, recently did a “cover contest” for two songs they released earlier this year, and here’s a video announcing the winners:Hence, K-Pop fandom is growing rapidly and it can be clearly shown by the thousands of fan reaction videos uploaded and found on YouTube and other video sites. It’s simply crazy. I’ve been watching a few of them and I share in their glee! It also builds an online community and many of these fans have built their own mini-followings, simply from uploading their reactions and musings on K-Pop.
So, here are a few recent K-Pop fan reaction videos from the last couple of weeks. First off, I love these two girls, Cortney and Jasmin from Georgia… Here’s their reaction to Super Junior’s latest single, “Sexy, Free & Single:”(DISCLAIMER: Turn down the volume when viewing, because there’s a lot of girl screaming in this video. In fact, turn down the volume for all the fan videos.)These girls are super fangirls and their K-Pop knowledge is formidable.
Here’s a reaction video to the same video done by a girl who attempts to be quiet, so she doesn’t wake up other people in the house. The result is a series of muffled screams and gurgles as she is about to have a fangirl breakdown.Here’s a video by a fangirl that goes by the moniker 4maybeso, and her reaction to BigBang’s “Monster.” She gets a little orgasmic at times.Hey, there’s also major fanboy love too, with the likes of this guy, who goes by SirJorky:This dude loves 2Ne1 as much as me!
As you notice, all these reaction videos have the actual music video in picture-in-picture mode. Thanks to iMovie, which has this feature, it’s pretty much standard now. Seriously, I am three steps away from making my own reaction video…..?