Younger Okay-pop followers across the globe are doling out tons of of {dollars} to fund 90-second video calls with their favourite singers. We talked to three of them.

  • Fansigns have been round because the early days of Okay-pop.
  • Through the pandemic, corporations began providing video calls as an internet various.
  • Every name can price tons of of {dollars}, and Insider reached out to devoted followers to seek out out extra. 

It isn’t daily you get to speak along with your favourite superstar, particularly in the event that they dwell in a unique nation.

However for Ashley De La Torre, a 19-year-old geology main who lives in Los Angeles and loves Okay-pop, the dream has develop into a actuality not as soon as, not even two occasions — however eight occasions over the previous few years.

Most lately, she managed to snag a name with Keeho, a singer within the common Okay-pop group P1Harmony. They spent their 90-second name discussing the group’s latest music launch and their upcoming plans.


She recorded the decision and later uploaded it on TikTok, racking up greater than 3.8 million views as of Might 18. The pleasant banter between De La Torre and Keeho might come throughout as a name between two shut mates.

However he’s a celeb, she is a pupil with no A-list connections — and the decision, in fact, was paid for.

To take part in these video name occasions — usually held by music distributors or e-commerce platforms — followers have to purchase bodily albums for an opportunity to win a ticket.  

De La Torre advised Insider she has utilized for 9 video name occasions, and that she’s been fortunate sufficient to win eight of them. 

And she or he has paid handsomely for the privilege of chatting with a star — every name has averaged $300 per 90-second name, De La Torre estimates. 

De La Torre’s not alone. Legions of Okay-pop followers across the globe are doling out tons of of {dollars} for seconds of interactions with their favourite Okay-pop artists.

Welcome to the world of video fansigns.

What’s a fansign?

Ha Sung Woon attends the "V HEARTBEAT" Fan Signing Event at Hoa Binh The Theatre

Okay-pop idol Ha Sung Woon at a fansign occasion in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

JTBC PLUS/Getty Photographs

Fansigns are occasions the place followers can meet their Okay-pop idols and get their bodily albums signed.

Sometimes held in South Korea, they often come on a first-come-first-serve foundation or lottery-based, in response to Okay-pop information outlet Koreaboo.

To win a ticket to a fansign, followers must purchase bodily albums. The primary-come-first-serve system is fairly self-explanatory — the primary few consumers win a spot. 

As for lottery-based occasions, every album you purchase will get you an opportunity to enter a raffle — the extra you purchase, the upper your probabilities of profitable.

Through the pandemic, the fansign’s digital counterpart — the video fansign — took off. 

Belicia Ngow advised Insider she has spent near an estimated $2,200 to purchase albums in bulk and enter raffles for eight video fansigns. She managed to win tickets to 2 of them.

In 2021, she received a name with Dino from the Okay-pop group Seventeen. He is her “final bias” — her favourite Okay-pop idol in Okay-pop communicate — and she or he wasn’t going to squander the possibility to make an impression.


Ngow confirmed as much as the 90-second video name in a dinosaur onesie and recited the idol’s catchphrase — “chanranghae” — to him, even drawing amusing. She posted a video of their encounter on TikTok, drawing a refrain of envy from different Okay-pop followers.

“Think about listening to Dino’s iconic snigger and the one u made him snigger was you,” learn a remark. “Crying that is so cute,” learn one other in all caps. The video has since racked up 1.2 million likes as of Might 19.

Calls can final from one to fifteen minutes, and dialog matters range

Arada Varaputtanon, 21, who goes by @antzhooray on TikTok, shared a video of her doing a TikTok development along with her bias Mark from the Okay-pop group NCT.


“Boys in school by no means take a look at me,” the 21-year-old mentioned, lip-syncing a viral TikTok sound, to which the Okay-pop idol continues “properly, however I did.”

The enterprise main who’s finding out in Japan advised Insider that she has had round 11 video calls with Mark. Earlier than every name, she would spend about half an hour making ready a script or potential dialog matters. 

“In my second name, I feel I sang for him,” Varaputtanon mentioned. She additionally famous how Mark’s fluency in English has saved them loads of time on translation.

Taking over facet gigs simply to afford a video name

All three followers have needed to get strategic about cash to make all of it work.

De La Torre took on a part-time job to afford her Okay-pop bills. Varaputtanon pays for her calls along with her personal financial savings from her earlier part-time job at a cookie store.

Ngow, who research arts enterprise at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore, has arrange a facet hustle of kinds to assist fund her passion. She organizes group orders to assist different Okay-pop followers in Singapore purchase albums. With the majority purchases, she enters raffles and ups her probabilities of profitable.

However to face out among the many many different Okay-pop followers who use an identical technique, Ngow tries to maintain her costs low by absorbing prices.

South Korea’s music trade reaped a gross sales income of over $7 billion in 2021, a 55% enhance because the yr earlier than, per Statista.

kcon 2019 in US

The 2019 KCON in New York. KCON is an annual Okay-pop conference that attracts big crowds.

Noam Galai/Getty Photographs

South Korea’s Okay-pop scene is understood for its myriad of distinctive improvements to advertise consumerism,

As Okay-pop continues to take the world by storm, the trade will ceaselessly invent new methods for followers around the globe to spend cash.

Regardless of being an costly passion, the trade mannequin continues to work on followers as they kind more and more sturdy parasocial relationships with their idols.

“This unending shindig builds an intense cycle of adoration and intimacy as the fun of the change comes with every potential to attach,” wrote Solar Meicheng for CNA. 

Solar has a doctoral diploma in communication research from Nanyang Technological College, and research the transnational transmission of Okay-pop in China, per Analysis Gate.

“So, idols do not come throughout as unattainable celebrities. They really feel nearer, relatable virtually like a big different to followers,” mentioned Solar.

When requested if she feels that spending a lot of her money and time for only a few minutes of facetime along with her favourite stars was price it, Ngow shared that her interactions with Dino have impressed her to observe even tougher as a Okay-pop dance cowl artist.

“It is most likely the one platform that I get to speak to somebody I look as much as, and with how completely happy they make me really feel, I feel it’s going to be price it,” Ngow advised Insider.