Dollar, dollar, blow it all in one day: Being a KPOP fan is expensive!

Elly Zulaikha
March 17, 2020
5 minutes

‘Run, run, I make and waste my own money’, and so the song Go Go by BTS goes. Just as you think KPOP can’t get any crazier, wait until you hear the expensive side of a KPOP fans’ hobby. We’re here to show you why these fans are willing to spend on their favourite idols.

1. Album

Image via kpopusa

Every time a group announces their music comebacks, fans are thrilled at the prospect of seeing their beloved idols actively producing music for them. However, due to the cut-throat nature of the KPOP industry, whenever a group fails to produce consistent music content, they stand losing their fans and their value themselves because their business mostly depends on their album sales.

To illustrate the costs of album purchase, the latest BTS album, Map of the Soul 7 for 4 albums, costs $82.99 (MYR353.72). While the price tag is expected for a super boy group like BTS, the price for other groups’ albums can get competitive as well.

Screencap via youtube

Oh, have we mentioned the shipping fee and currency exchange involved? Definitely not for the faint-hearted.

2. Fansign/fan meeting

Image via makestar

Akin to a lottery game, attending fansign/fan meetings is the wildest dream for KPOP fans. After all, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for fans to be able to meet their idols face-to-face. One will need to dream and work hard if they truly love their idols.

There are various ways for fans to attend these events. One of the basics is by joining their fan cafe sites or any official communication venues created by these idols’ company. When artists are on their promotion period, that’s when all the updates can be found on their own websites.

Image via ew

A majority of artists use the lottery system for fan signing, where a purchase of an album is equivalent to one ticket ‘entry’ into the lottery. However, each store has their own limits when it comes to choosing the lucky fans. Additionally, for newly-debuted groups, they use the ‘first come, first serve’ basis, but it also depends whether you get a spot or not.

Unfortunately, as this is pure luck, some fans who bought hundreds of albums never get the chance to attend fan signs, whereas some fans who only bought one album, managed to get in.

3. Concerts

Image via kpopjacketlady

In the past, hearing concert announcements outside of South Korea was a rare occurrence. Nowadays, the number of concerts being held outside of Korea has increased exponentially. For many fans, this is both good and bad news.

We’ll start with the good news. As more Korean groups are actively promoting and interacting with fans worldwide, they have shifted their focus on increasing their tours all over the United States, Europe and some parts of Asia apart from Japan. Yay! This means fans wouldn’t need to fly all the way to Korea to catch their favorite idols performing.

Screencap via Forbes

Yikes, onto the bad news. Depending on the groups performing, concert tickets can range anywhere from $50 - $350 (MYR216 - MYR1,515). Despite the high price tags, many KPOP fans are seizing these tickets without hesitation. While famous groups often performed better in terms of ticket sales, some lesser-known groups resorted to selling it for as low as $1 to fill up the venue.

4. Merchandises

Screencap via youtube

Just as fans can’t get enough of their beloved idols, merchandise is the next important aspect of a devoted fan. With every album purchase, there is merchandise that often comes with it. One could feel like she’s the luckiest girl alive for owning everything that has her favorite idols’ faces.

So, KPOP companies often get creative when it comes to appeasing the young KPOP fans. Of course, like many businesses, this is one of the ways for entertainment companies to sustain themselves. The more they earn from merch sales, the better for the company and the group’s popularity.

Screencap via youtube

Thus, comes a long list of must-haves for these fans like photo books, photo cards, light sticks and so forth. For non-KPOP fans, this is crazy!  

5. Brand Endorsements

Image via youtube

From beauty to NGOs like UNICEF, more companies/organizations are jumping on the bandwagon in this Hallyu (Korean) wave, primarily through securing a million-dollar endorsement deals with KPOP groups.

Due to a rise in the younger audience and their purchasing power, many companies are gearing up their effort to market their products to the young. Through the usage of social media for effective marketing, they can easily influence these fans to buy or use their products/services.

Image via kpopmap

Blackpink has endorsed almost every major athletic brand worldwide, and even a small gopchang (small intestines of cattle) restaurant became famous when MAMAMOO’s Hwasa ate there.

Truly a Midas touch from these KPOP idols.

Image via rollingstone

We spend our paychecks to pay bills and other important things in life. But for these KPOP fans, their paycheck goes straight into purchasing the latest album from their favorite idol. Whether it’s worth it or not, it’s important to remember that everything, including KPOP, can be enjoyed in moderation.