• moriama29

    Another interesting article that I have read today on this website. Sometimes, it is good to be reminded that Korean groups are generally made for the Korean public (unkess they are releasing in Japan or a song in English), and that the international fans are a bonus for them – a way for companies to exploit fans – It’s business at the end of the day.

  • Cherry Blossoms

    Rather interesting. I never intended to join any fan cafe mainly cause I can’t read Korean, and I don’t want to spend a lot of money on useless gifts. I usually check out international fan cafes. I know there is one for MBLAQ which actually does projects and sends stuff to MBLAQ.

    I’m also interested in how Kpop will evolve. Will companies cater more to the international fans with so many Kpop groups debuting each year? Will we finally have more Eng subbed videos that won’t be taken down? (I love KBS World for this).

  • Tetramorium jedi

    Hopefully SM takes these problems into consideration. Asociates Soshified (for example) as an official international fandom (giving them the benefits of it) because they need them for the potential success of SNSD´s currently in the making U.S. english album.

  • MADad

    Interestingly the article, but I have to point out a few things that I find interesting … Some of the fan club of groups you name it, their creation dates back to 6 and 7 years ago, where the kpop had not been noted internationally and therefore each group cared for his Korean fans, the record with id Korean and other check it. Other groups more resent as such bap, entered the game in 2012, highlight of the hallyu wave and seeing their company as kpop is toward bigger and bigger int, paid attention to their international fans, but if you look there fancafe certain group information can not get out of there and remains restricted only to kfans.

    For me, fan cafes play another important role for the group statistically. This shows how popular demographically “that group” in your country and this is crucial for you and notoriety praised the group contracts, if they would allow international accounts without any identification, you could not see the truth of this fact because in some requirements to enter true fan cafe includes unique data not avoid repetition and account fraud to increase the number of members of the fan cafe.

    Even with all this I agree that many of the benefits are lost by not having the official membership of the group

  • shannie4888

    This article needed to be written because the hypocrisy should be called out.

    Sometimes I just don’t understand K-pop companies. They want it all, regardless of how ill-prepared they are to deal with it. How can they properly succeed in their overseas endeavors if they are ill-equipped and seemingly clueless?

    There are so many foreigners in Korea that love Kpop. Hire a few to run an international fan cafe or create the ability for the current cafe to include int’l fans. Also, talk to the broadcast companies and make sure that all fans are treated equally. They may not always listen to the Kpop companies, but the instances of int’l fans being disrespected would lessen. This incident is not the first and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’ve heard something like this.

    Foreign fans have been looked over or disrespected because of race, nationality, language, and other prejudices. Foreign fans need to fight back. The Hallyu Wave has kept going because we haven’t turned out backs on it yet, so when will K-pop companies realize that they need to treat us better if they want to keep the girl/boy group machine in motion?

    Most of South Korea is tired of idols and if the int’l demand suddenly disappeared, I can see more than a few idol groups disappearing because they wouldn’t have enough domestic fans to keep them afloat.

    • Jazz1105

      “Too many people in South Korea are tired of idols and if the int’l demand suddenly vanished, I can see more than a few idol groups disappearing because they wouldn’t have enough domestic fans to keep them afloat.”

      What’s ironic about this is that EXO is one of the main groups that this would happen to. Competition for new groups to gain fans in Korea is fierce, you have to really stand out and have good marketing strategies. EXO is not that popular with the Korean public at least thats what I’ve been hearing from people who live there. Most of their success has been internationally because korean kpop fans believe in the idea of supporting only one group whereas international fan support many groups. And since korean kpop fans believe this idea the majority of them already have a group they support so its really hard for newer groups to get fans.

      With that being said, I’ve never once myself even thought about joining a fan club or cafe whatever you wanna call it. I feel this whole system would fail in a cultural like mine but maybe I’m wrong. I mostly think this because like I said we don’t have this whole loyalty system like Korea does in which your suppose to stick with one group and support only that group. I can’t see myself buying a bunch of merchandise (because apparently the more merchandise you own, the more likely you are to get into a fansign) just to get into a fansign like these korean kpop fans do, I’m sorry I’m just not that invested in kpop to do any of that. I really like B.A.P, Infinite, and 2pm those are my favorite groups but I just don’t see myself wasting money on that and then being criticized for liking three groups instead of one. So with that being said I understand why kpop companies do that, because the Korean fans are willing to do much more for these idols because of the culture but then again I could just speaking for myself. Maybe if international kpop fans had more opportunities to support there idols in the same way korean fans do we would see people buying merchandise to get into fanmeetings and signing up for these fan cafes. But in my honest opinion I don’t see that working out in America particularly, I feel like fans feel like buying there CD and going to their concerts is enough to be called a fan and not having to sign up for certain things whereas in Korea thats not enough.

      However, like you said kpop companies can’t have their cake and eat it too. Its either they want kpop to stay strictly for Koreans, or they want to be global, you can’t treat people supporting your company like trash. Although I might not buy tones of merchandise like other fans do, I do however collect CDs that I feel are worth the buy. I have a total of at least 10 kpop CDs, add how much I’ve spent on them plus supporting them on Itunes. I do feel like it should count as something, and I think I deserve respect just like the Korean fans. On top of that these companies are now having concerts and fansigns all over the world, they like to brag about it all the time, international fans are the ones who make these things possible. Kpop may have started out as a thing for just Koreans, but are now actively seeking out global success, these companies do not want to stay in just Korea they have made that pretty clear because they talk about global success all the time. This is not something that just happened out of the blue, these kpop companies are making a conscious effort to advertise their idols as global icons, than they need to be more respectful.

      • http://deathofhallyu.blogspot.com/ Death of Hallyu

        It won’t happen to EXO because their international fans are mindless slaves, obviously.

    • dapoktan

      I wish people would realize that the requirements for signing up for an account on these Korean cafe sites such as Daum, Nate, Naver… are all in place because the government mandates it.. It’s required to enter your ID number if you want access to adult or expanded features.. its not the websites’ fault.. not the fan clubs’ fault… simply a government regulation…

      you cant complain about being excluded from some community without going as far as to research simple cultural and social differences..

      • Jazz1105

        This article was started mostly because of controversy surrounding SM potentially kicking international fans from attending Exo’s comeback performances at m countdown. So I think its not just about the fan clubs.

        But if we speaking specifically about fanclubs than I agree with you, I didn’t know that so it would be ignorant of me to assume its purely out discrimination.

      • shannie4888

        I understand what you are saying, but the companies can create int’l fan cafes that offer similar services and most of them still do not. So even if int’l fans can’t sign up for Daum, Naver, etc. to access Korean fan cafes, it doesn’t excuse the fact that K-pop companies do not view us as important as Korean fans. While it is ignorant to assume that it’s because of purely discrimination, the number of incidents involving the exclusion or mistreatment of int’l fans go beyond fan cafes, so that’s only one facet of the problem.

        If K-pop agencies intend to go beyond Korea’s borders, then they need to put certain things in place to maximize success, while giving domestic AND int’l fans equal treatment. The fact is that we spend money on idols and end up getting the short end of the stick because K-pop companies are money-hungry, yet unorganized and ill-equipped to deal with int’l consumer demands.

        Also, even if we remove the fan cafe portion out of the equation, many int’l fans are still not treated the way we should be for an audience who have taken such an interest in K-pop. Placing int’l fans in the back of the line has nothing to do with a fan cafe. It’s just plain discrimination (if it is true).

      • -cl0ud9

        Korean fan cafe entrances though are determined by the cafe owners.
        for ex. DBSK’s fanc cafe only needed me to answer a simple question like when their debut was, while for other groups they required a ssn.

      • http://pennsylvasia.blogspot.com/ Pennsylvasia

        I know it’s extremely annoying to have to jump through these hoops, and as this post points out it’s very hypocritical to want international markets without international fans.

        However, it’s not that hard for a non-Korean to sign up for Naver or Daum. Granted, he or she will need some Korean-language skills, but that’s to be expected from a Korean-language site.

        Of course, if groups were interested in removing as many obstacles as possible, they’d switch to a format more easily accessible to everyone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rucinskic Christopher Rucinski

      Now I did not read the whole article, however, how are the fan clubs tied to the record labels?

      I say that because, I don’t think the record labels set up a fan club, they choose one that is most dominate, and the rules to get into that club have already been written down. The record labels have not such say in that.

      This is a response to the several comments about Kpop companies that I have seen in these comments. Also, MNet staff are not apart of the record labels either, so it is there own rules…however, that should not mean that people should be selectively let in to see the shows.

      • shannie4888

        The Kpop agencies set up fan clubs for each of their groups using Korean websites such as Daum, Naver, etc. The Kpop agencies are responsible for the fan-clubs, well the official ones, which are the ones we’re talking about. Any unofficial ones are run by fans, etc.

        Only Korean fans can join these fan clubs because Korean government regulations require that internet users enter their Korean SS# to sign up for fan cafes. It is a precaution to track cyber-bullies, antis, etc. Int’l fans don’t live in Korea, so of course we don’t have an SS#, but my problem with the situation is that most K-pop companies don’t create int’l fan clubs, among other things to cater to their non-Korean fans.

        Mnet staff is not part of the record labels, but the idols are the products of the record labels. Fans spend their money or take time to support idols. Remember that if there are no fans, there is no one going to buy CDs or support the artist. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Also, if K-pop companies did a better job of communicating to broadcast companies that int’l fans should be treated better, there would be less instances of mistreatment.

        But I don’t expect much from K-pop companies because of them have no idea how to properly respond to the growing int’l demand for idols. The broadcast companies, such as MBC is just an extension of the same sloppy, unorganized mindset of the K-pop companies.

  • lollipopop

    There used to official fanclub membership for International ELF for the 1st generation ELF but SM never opened it again after that. Funny, considering SJ has become more known globally than they are in Korea every year.

  • http://samsoondowntherabbithole.com/ dewaanifordrama

    As many have already mentioned, as you did in the post, it’s about business. Many of the idols are themselves trapped in the machine of the Korean entertainment machine. Of course, in some respects they have chosen this lifestyle, but I wonder sometimes if any of them actually knew what they were signing up for to become an idol. I have also wondered just how much of the money generated actually goes to the idols. I know that some Korean actors shoot Chinese dramas (like Kim Bum is doing now) because they get paid so much more.

    All that aside, I think there is a HUGE disconnect between the Korean entertainment labels and the international fandom. I know that JYP Entertainment has been subbing videos for example, and in recent months, LOEN TV has also been subbing their music videos in recognition that they have international fans. MBC K-pop has also been doing a lot more live-stream events on Youtube (a service that Korea does not fully use – Simon & Martina from EYK have mentioned how many Koreans have no idea about how vibrant the Youtube community is – and seeing that Internet cafes in South Korea still use Internet Explorer despite being the most connected nation on earth, they might be a long way from universally embracing Internet norms we are accustomed to in the west), and KBS has been subbing several variety shows, etc. for their international audience. I think that these show that at least some people are listening.

    This of course does not answer the question of why international fans are not allowed to officially participate in official fan clubs etc. The entire structure of the South Korean fan club system seems to have been built on exclusivity, and never on inclusivity, even to South Koreans. If they are not fully embracing their domestic fans, I don’t see why they would then decide to embrace international fans. Of course, I think they need to adjust their perspective because I am an international fan, but the cynic in me thinks this will be a long time coming.

    A final thought. As I have talked with many of my Korean friends, and then western friends who have lived in Korea, some Koreans think it’s really strange that I love K-pop and K-drama. They ask me why, and when I have no profound dissertation to explain why, they just shake their heads confused. Of course that is not the reaction from many Koreans because often they think it’s cool that I love K-pop so much. The other issue is a general issue of cultural identity. Historically, Korea is incredibly culturally and ethnically homogenous. It is still a big deal for many Korean families to completely discourage inter-ethnic and inter-cultural marriages. Korea has struggled in many ways with the multiculturalism that comes with globalisation, and while it is changing, it is still an issue within Korean society. For those of us more used to the idea of inter-cultural and inter-ethnic marriages, this might seem archaic and strange to us, but it’s a very real aspect of Korean society. For many Koreans, obviously not all, I don’t know if someone who is not ethnically Korean, can ever fully be accepted as Korean, or being part of the inner clique. I think this influences the idea of accepting foreign and international fans, and fully embracing them as part of the fandom. Hopefully it will change soon, but I am not exactly waiting for bated breath for it to really change any time soon.

    • mangochic

      Uh, what is wrong with using internet explorer? Its just a web browser like Mozilla, chrome, safari and the rest.

      • http://samsoondowntherabbithole.com/ dewaanifordrama

        Well, each browser has specific pros and cons, and IE is notorious for being behind in it’s advances for browsing convenience and speed. IE9 is a decent update from it’s predecessors. IE is also generally pretty buggy compared to some other browsers, and IE has generally been found to be a less secure browser than others. IE9 did a good job of fixing some of those problems. The securest browser in tests was Chrome. It is doing better though than it was in the past. If you want to get super technical about browsers, here’s a great article from PC Mag: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369160,00.asp

        The reason I brought it up in my comments, is that IE has traditionally been a rather backwards type of browser to use. And the whole reason Korea uses it is because of a deal Microsoft made with the Korean government. http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120507/12295718818/south-korea-still-paying-price-embracing-internet-explorer-decade-ago.shtml

        • Gaya_SB

          haha that’s like how my high school used to prescribe us these god awful science textbooks just because a picture of our (admittedly, heritage-listed) windows was in it.

          • http://samsoondowntherabbithole.com/ dewaanifordrama

            LOL! Bad science, but pretty windows…sometimes I think people really don’t think too much about the future.

          • Gaya_SB

            Luckily for us the teachers produced their own material for teaching, but it must have been such a strain on them — I’m sure they had enough to do already

          • http://samsoondowntherabbithole.com/ dewaanifordrama

            Yay for awesome teachers!

        • mangochic

          I used to think that way but lately I have found IE to be better than both Chrome and Mozilla as the latter 2 keep crashing all the freaking time and getting on my last nerves. They have become worse in my opinion. So for me and my needs now, I prefer IE.

          • http://samsoondowntherabbithole.com/ dewaanifordrama

            Well, Chrome works just fine for me ^^ plus, I am a Mac user…so no IE for me ever. I think in the end, whatever works best for people is awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

    Glad to know I’m not a Koreaboo.

    • Guest

      Feels good to be a special snowflake huh? You sound like a fun person to be around. I bet you have loads of friends.

      • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

        I’m adorable

    • Iro Mage

      You must be so mature at the adult age of…what 18? Please.

      • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

        What mature person would go around calling themselves an ELF, HOTTEST, Kamilia, Shawol or SONE?

        That stuff is for the kids.

        • Iro Mage

          I just can’t help but wonder if you dislike the love of Korea and k-pop so much…why you are on this site. And 18 years old does not make you an adult and does not a mature person make.
          A lot of people like k-pop for not only the music, but the fact that it’s young and appears to be carefree and allows them the opportunity to be a little childish.
          To you I quote the Doctor: “There’s no point in being grown-up if you can’t be a little childish sometimes.” I do sincerely hope your cynicism serves you well in life, and that you may find happiness in what you do and who you are. Meanwhile, I will take my 19 year old college-bound butt and go love k-pop.
          Sincerely,
          A VIP, Baby, BBC, Blackjack, Shawol, A+, Exotic, Angel and KissMe.

  • ShineeWorld52911

    Why the hell does a fanclub site need your damn SSI #!? I think an address is sufficient because asking for something as personal as an SSI is just ridiculous! I feel that as fans we don’t need to and shouldnt have to go through all that! Memberships should be free anyways

    • Lavlavs

      I think that has to do with the internet system in Korea. Whenever you register to a site you have to show credentials that you are who you say you are. It’s to cut down on cyber-bullying (among other things) so the police can track you down if needed. However, I’m not super knowledgeable about this subject so I don’t know why exactly a SSN but I’m guessing it has to do with the aforementioned stuff.

  • Guest

    Kpop companies suck. Period.

  • Lianna

    This is stupid, they just want our money but they don’t accept us. Sucks. Period.

  • KrisMyStar

    An official international fanclub would be nice, but seeing how most kpop artists only promote once or twice a year overseas, it would be kind of pointless anyways.

  • Shichi

    I have a question: If they do these things to international fans, why do they bother promoting their artists internationally…?

  • Shichi

    I have a question: If they do these things to international fans, why do they bother promoting their artists internationally…?

  • http://mymusicradar.blogspot.com/ My Music Radar!

    Wow, well, this pretty much covers what I’ve been saying for years. I myself had a tiny little incident that caused me to stop short several years ago. There was a very famous Korean singer coming to New York City for a quite prestigious event. My daughter came running into my room and with tears in her eyes begged me to go because back then, Korean singers in the states was very rare. “This will probably be our only chance ever to see him” she cried kneeling in front of me. It was difficult but we went. We made signs professing our love and congratulating him on his award. We represented his US-International fanclub. We cheered and screamed! My daughter was interviewed by YTN TV station that was shown all over Korea. When this singer returned to Korea he thanked…..his Korean fans. I stopped short. What? We bought his cd’s and movies. We traveled with much difficulty to see him. We loved him….were not my daughters tears worth being thankful for? Okay okay I’m a little butt hurt cause of my daughter but still. He was HERE! In the states, in NYC for God’s sake. Yes take MY money, but thank your Korean fans only. Needless to say, I have never felt the same way about this man that I use to love. I still love kpop, but, I’m a whole lot more reality based about it now.

    • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

      To be a Kpop fan, you must first throw “reality” out the window

      • http://mymusicradar.blogspot.com/ My Music Radar!

        LOL! indeed that is truth! I actually run a Kpop blog and guest write as well, so believe me, I probably know more about the realities of Kpop than the average fan.

    • adde96

      it was rain wasn’t it?

      im sorry, i actually read your entire thing and i totally understand where you’re coming from (im a black kpop fan, so stuff like this happens to us all the time)…

      (it was totally him wasnt it? he’s the only one who makes sense)

  • MangoMagic

    To be honest, international fans being discriminated against is not surprising. KPOP is first and foremost, Korean.

    International fans, as the writer stated, are simply a bonus and not the main goal. If i-fans really want to protest this, then stop buying the albums; stop buying the concert tickets and the fan goods. It seems to me like KPOP companies are starting to take the i-fans for granted but if that giant cash cow goes poof, the turnaround will be quick as lighting. KPOP, especially with its growing desire to enter the international market (read: America) can’t survive without i-fans so i-fans should just band together and stick it to these companies.

    You won’t serve us? We won’t support you.

    • Lavlavs

      I’m curious, how many international fans really buy albums and other fan goods? I know a few people who like K-Pop but out of them only one has any K-Pop related items and those were gifts. Is it different for each country how much international fans spend?

      • MangoMagic

        TBH, I’m not sure but from my experiences with i-fans on forums, many of them (most especially the younger ones who have less qualms about spending money on things that aren’t quite that important) spend a TON of cash supporting their biases. Especially when idols release “member-specific” versions of albums, many fans feel inclined to buy most if not all of the albums to show their support/loyalty

      • http://samsoondowntherabbithole.com/ dewaanifordrama

        I buy albums I really want, partly because they are so awesome, and partly to support some of the groups I really like. I know that tweeting some of the labels actually gets results sometimes. I have tweeted KBS one time, and they replied right back and fixed something that was stopping international fans from viewing a video. I think that PSY unlocked the door for perhaps a bigger awareness of the international fandom. I know that iTunes for sure has been getting K-pop albums a heck of a lot quicker since “Gangnam Style”.

      • carrot♔semi-hiatus

        Most of the time we don’t cause the inability to even find them. It’s either you find a store where they solely sell K-Pop CD’s or buy them online and pay the hefty price of shipping. I could be based on countries. I live in a South East Asian country which makes it easier for me to buy merchandise but I doubt countries further west even have them.
        I don’t know about the rest but I know a few who buy merchandise and CD’s. Most of them bulk buy, even me.

        • silentmoon

          That’s exactly my problem. I’m in south america and even though there are a few shops specialize in kpop and some that sell CDs, you usually have to make an special order for them to order it for you and it always cost 2-3 times more than a normal albums. Ordering online is an option but the shipping cost can be just or more expensive that the actual product, and lets not start with kpop Japanese releases cause god, those things are expensive >.< I used to buy my favorite bands whole discography but with kpop I just can't, its too expensive and too much trouble.

          • Mariana Ferreira Albuquerque

            At least, you can buy it and there’s shops. In Spain, no hay ni una mierda.

        • Mariana Ferreira Albuquerque

          Then imagine the most unfortunate ones in this: We, the ever-so-disgraceful EUROPEANS.

          NO concerts.
          NO shops with K-Pop merchandise.
          BARELY NO songs heard in any shops. So far, I’ve on listened to WG’s ‘DJ is mine’ and SNSD’s ‘I Got A Boy’. One of them was in a chinese store… imagine.
          NO korean recognizement. We’re always ‘japanese or chinese-american’ netizens.
          WE CAN NEVER BUY THE KOREAN ALBUMS, THAT ALREADY ARE EXPENSIVE, BUT WE ARE ONLY LEFT WITH THE JAPANESE VERSIONS, THAT ARE BLOODY EXPENSIVE.

          Bolivia friends have told me that they’ve seen BACKPACKS and all kind of K-Pop merchandise there.

          Here ?

          ‘Oh well, Spain is such a visited, famous country. That’s why only JYJ and Teen Top came here, JYJ had tickets so cheap as 60$ and not even 3000 people attended. Why ? Because top groups NEVER EVER EVEN THINK ABOUT COMING HERE. WHAT’S SO WORTH ABOUT LIVING IN SPAIN OR EUROPE THEN ?!’

          • carrot♔semi-hiatus

            Why are you telling me this?

            Living in a country isn’t just about the music or the availability of whether artiste’s come to my country for concerts or not.
            And the reason why artiste’s rarely go to European countries is because of the cost and time to bring them thousands of kilometres away from Korea.
            Not only that but also to have not even a full house in the venue as you said above is another reason why they don’t bring in concerts. There aren’t many fans to cater to.
            Listen, to them it’s easier to just cater to fans closer by and save on costs rather than spending thousands to bringing acts where nobody would attend.

          • Mariana Ferreira Albuquerque

            JYJ didn’t fill the venue for only 10 or so seats, and they even aren’t that popular here. SUJU or BIGBANG would easily fill up 15,000 seats venues like Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. I was complaining because the TOP ACTS don’t come, but smaller acts, and when they come to Europe they always go to London and Paris, bloody expensive cities for us.

      • Jenna Nelson

        Well I’ve been a K-pop fan for about 3 years now and have never bought any K-Pop mechandise. I don’t see the point in buying a CD when I only use my phone or Ipod to listen to music, and I can get mp3 tracks for free too. So even though I absolutely love K-Pop, I`ve gotta go to school and can`t be spending my money on things I won`t use. I do however have no problem paying for a pricey concert ticket if it means I actually get to see my idols preform. I went to GD`s solo concert (about 100$ US dollars) in Japan while I was living there this past year and did buy a small souvenir as well. I had an awsome time and I`m really glad I went. Unfortunatly though groups never come to my home country Canada, so I`m not overly inclind to spend.

        • Tanya Joshi

          Sorry, I have to say this, but “CANADA!!!” I’m Canadian and everytime I see the word Canada I get happy… SORRY! But I agree, for some reason Canada isn’t ever seen as part of the world (in terms of entertainment stuffs) because we’re north of America and are easily ignored *sadness* (despite what Classified said)
          But I agree, I’m not going to buy all of my favourite groups’ CDs, I’m in University (Engineering) and it’s the second most expensive program in my university so I definitely don’t have the money to buy merchandise, especially if they don’t wanna come here themselves.

      • http://deathofhallyu.blogspot.com/ Death of Hallyu

        Buying albums is not difficult, so when people ask this question, it’s quite stupid actually.

        • Lavlavs

          Obviously you’re missing the point of my question. It was not how easy is it to buy the CD’s. My question was how many people actually do buy them instead of just downloading off the internet. There’s no need to be rude.

      • omgitskmd

        I personally prefer buying physical albums over just having the music digitally. I try to buy albums (with posters, though I ran out of wall space a long time ago haha) if I really like at least three songs on them. If I just want a single, I’ll see if it’s on Soribada first (counts on the charts) and check iTunes if it’s not. I’m only a part-time minimum wage worker, but I’ll spend more on my favorite groups, like B.A.P. My only non-album goods are for them (Recording Take 3, lightstick, whistle) and I currently own four copies of One Shot. Three of those were extra signed ones I bought when the webstore was up — one for me, one for an upcoming birthday gift, and one for a giveaway. If it weren’t for a couple of my friends (who buy much less than me) getting me back into kpop, I wouldn’t be spending this much, But I may be a rare case, haha

    • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

      So when Idols come to the States, treat them like the crowd at the Palms treated T-ara?

      • MangoMagic

        Um, no. Not buying merchandise does not equate to mistreating idols that come to perform in the states. Not sure how you made that inference. Not buying merchandise merely deprives the companies of a cash flow and this deprivation, in turn, could possibly (not guaranteed) force them to re-evaluate how they treat i-fans

        • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

          Merchandise is a drop in a 43 gallon bucket compared to live events.

          • MangoMagic

            OK…so what’s your point? Drops in merchandise sales won’t force companies to re-evaluate how they treat i-fans? No surprise there. As I stated above, not buying merchandise would possibly (NOT GUARANTEED) force them to re-evaluate. If that doesn’t work, then fans can stop buying concert tickets for overseas and domestic shows.

            I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at.

          • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

            Not supporting the events will have a bigger impact than not buying the merchandise. Thats what I meant

      • Jazz1105

        That was a pretty tasteless comment. The people who booed Tara of stage where not international kpop fans, they didn’t know who the girls where and the girls were performing at a place that is largely influence by hiphop music, they are not going like bubble gum pop music. If Tara had performed at Kcon or planned a concert in the states where there fans would mostly likely come to support them this wouldn’t have happened. Especially with that douchebag Chris Brown, but this is more proof that kpop companies jump at any opportunity for international recognition yet don’t want do what it takes to please the actual international fans they already have. It’s really poor management in Tara’s case, its defiantly not something to joke about….it pretty sad what happened to them, I’m not a fan but I felt bad for them.

        • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

          I thought the audience looked dazed instead of booing. Also, what’s with the hate towards Chris Brown? He gave them an opportunity to perform at the Palms. A lot of newcomers would kill to perform there for their first show. It was T-ara job to put on a show and apparently they fail. So don’t blame Chris Brown for their piss poor performance

          • Jazz1105

            I read a fan account. Tara performed twice. The hate towards Chris Brown is due to the fact that he cut Tara off in the middle of their performance the first time they tried to perform, to promote his new single then after he finished cut the music back on. Tara then looked confused and tried to start back from were they left off in their performance and were eventually booed and some people even told them to get off the stage. After that Tara ended up crying backstage, so the DJ let them go on again which probably the performance you saw because during their second performance they didn’t get booed but the crowd look unfazed. WHile the performance was piss poor, that not what I’m blaming Chris Brown for. It was rude of him to cut them off a group he suppose to be helping for his own selfish reasons.

          • Ann Nunnally

            The hate toward Chris Brown is because he is a douchebag who beats up women.

          • Jazz1105

            Thats not why I’m hating on him…I actually don’t like that people continue to hold that over his head since he not only celebrity that has beat on a women and still has a solid career. Im not defending what he did, but I aint gonna bring up everytime his name is mentioned.

          • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

            U mad? Get over it and live your life

      • Zoe Brandon

        I would rather treat idols by taking them to Hooters… because that’s the classy way.

        • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

          You Kpop people are something else. I know I’m not the only one tired of you all “picking & choosing”. So what he took them to Hooters, it’s a popular place that millions of people eat at. You all only hate it because of its name. Would you all cry a river if he took them to Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles?….I seriously doubt it.

          • Zoe Brandon

            I thought you were simply light trolling so I did some light trolling back. I didn’t expect a serious response. I actually never cared that he took them to Hooters. It seems like a pretty good restaurant and I’ve heard that they’ve got fantastic buffalo wings.

            I think fans would cry a river if he took them to Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles because the name seems rather “low class” (but their waffles look mighty fine). But then again, this is Chris Brown vs kpop fans we’re talking about. If he had taken them to a floating restaurant called Le Chic that served dodo eggs boiled in mermaid tears, it still wouldn’t have been enough.

          • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

            You’re cool with me. I thought you were one of the rabid fans

          • Jazz1105

            Do you like kpop?

          • http://twitter.com/JohnDeSims JDSono

            Kpop is alright from time to time

  • Lavlavs

    Interesting article & well written!

    Personally, I don’t care too much about being ‘written off’ by K-Pop companies because I doubt I’d spend money on CD’s or other paraphernalia (tbh I almost never pay for music right now anyways) and even if idols had more concerts in the US I doubt they’d come to FL and I’m not going to pay to fly to NY to see them. And I think for a lot of US fans at least, the same is probably true for them. The truth is, there’s less revenue to be had with international fans than domestic sales will produce.

    However, I find it interesting that so much is talked about the Hallyu Wave when companies are ignoring the international fans they’re trying to pander to. Why try to break into the market if you’ve been ignoring the fanbase in that country?

    One thing I do want to mention is dramas. I’m curious as to why broadcast companies haven’t tapped into that source of revenue. And by that I mean instead of licensing other websites to host and do translations, why not do it yourself and directly collect revenue from ads? Obviously, I don’t know all this would entail such as a translated website, staff, etc but I’ve heard that many shows in Korea already have English subtitles when they air (is this true?). And also, holding back drama licensing (as a few dramas have been of late) only hurts your exposure in the long run. I get that dramas are made for the Korean public MUCH more so than K-Pop but I do wonder why both sets of companies are ignoring international fans?

    Any insight anyone can provide on this would be much appreciated!

    • cancertwin2

      A fellow Floridian~!

      I was written off a long time ago.

      I’ve been a Cassie (unofficial of course) for nearly 7 years and counting. My twin and I buy TVXQ and JYJ merchandise to support the boys the best we can. But I can’t see myself booking a flight across the country let alone the globe. We’re not made of money. For years us international fans have been ignored. You have no idea how many petitions I have signed in my day to get TVXQ to come to somewhere in America. And even when they come, they don’t come here, not even nearby.

      I gave up on trying to even see sense in the way that Korean companies work. As a marketer I see that there is so much money to be made, so many opportunities available for them to further their beloved Hallyu Wave but they have no idea how to capitalize off of it.

      Some times I wonder if some of these kpop groups know all the places they have fans. I remember back in 2006 when MTV Korea informed TVXQ that they had fans all over the world, the boys looked completely shocked. They had the members greet their global fans in various languages such as Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, English and etc. All those petitions and they still didn’t know how popular they were in the world. It just seems hopeless.

      • Lavlavs

        I understand why petitions don’t work as well as hoped- even if thousands of people sign there’s no guarantee that they would all attend an event. And concerning the US, the US is very large so it’d be hard to have events in different locations even though the fans are there. But I do agree with you that they are losing out on potential revenue because they don’t know how to capitalize on it properly.
        With the Gurupop show before it stopped, people from all over the world commented and many of the idols that appeared were shocked that they had fans in South America, Europe, and even the Middle East!

        Maybe one day things might change but I really doubt it.

  • lemon224

    I think that the emphasis of the “hallyu” aspect of k-pop by some companies in countries like the U.S. is more pandering to the Korean audience, saying “look we’re spreading Korean culture, yay! Korea is the best!”, rather than an actual attempt to make money. When companies are looking to make money, aside from the occasional attempt to break into the US market, they usually go to Japan and sometimes China.

    One thing I find annoying is smtown’s “Global package” that it offers at it’s artist’s concerts in Seoul, it’s like they are trying to round up International fans and get more money from them (although I realize this sort of contradicts my first point).

  • radiopalava

    It seems to me that to call Hallyu hypocritical is to mischaracterize its purpose. It is inherently a colonizing endeavor whose goal is to propagate Korean culture abroad. Hallyu is a one-way street in which kpop artists share “Korean culture” (as they choose to represent it) and reap the financial benefits. It’s important for fans to realize that by purchasing albums, attending concerts, etc., they are literally buying in to a system that doesn’t see them as human and has no incentive to do so. (Additional thoughts here for those interested http://radio-palava.tumblr.com/post/26708932504/system-in-balance-an-argument-about-kpop-and-racism)

    • asdflkj

      Uh yeah that’s what the article is saying. It’s exposing the fact that Hallyu’s aim is to take money from its international fans and exposing the ways in which Hallyu USES multicultural, inclusive language to essentially pick their international fans’ pockets. The article is ALSO saying, by the way, that if Hallyu continues to conduct itself as a ‘colonizing endeavor’ and ‘one way street’ eventually international fans are gonna tell Hallyu to go fuck itself and go back to buying Taylor Swift albums.

      No one here is confused as to what Hallyu’s purpose is, but it’s rhetoric is still hypocritical, and its worth pointing out how/why its hypocritical as well as the potential consequences of that hypocrisy.

      • radiopalava

        My point is that I don’t think Hallyu is being hypocritical – I think the discourse is pretty transparent about what they really want, if you look at it from the perspective of the system itself. For fans to call themselves victims of pickpocketing is to admit a level of naivete about what companies are saying and what they’re about as businesses. (And for fans to demand that companies actually treat them as human beings, while justified, seems to betray a sense of entitlement to an industry that is not theirs and never will be theirs.)

        I have seen no evidence to suggest that international fans will stop buying into this system in numbers that would affect the industry, but would certainly be interested to know of any that exists.

  • nanapo

    Don’t forget that for fans from non-anglophone countries (like Chile,Brazil,Spain,Portugal,etc) is way more difficult to enter a fanclub or even buy merchandise.

  • Hayouu

    I really hate the fact how international fans a treated the only company that seems to care about us is LOEN!! Providing us english subs on their videos… more than that it seems like korea thinks international = Japan, China!!

    • Jazz1105

      JYP provides english subs as well. But regardless of that I don’t think companies should be required to provide english subs. Knowing english is a privilege in itself because it is a more global language, however its not like all kpop fans are english speakers so I feel like it sounds like an entitlement for us english speakers to ask or expect it from Koreans. I think its nice when other fans are willing to provide the international fandom with english subs and I’m with Cherry Blossom that they shouldn’t get taken down because those are fans who work hard trying to provide us with eng subs but the companies themselves are not really obligated to provide english subs, and I don’t really look at it as companies mistreating international fans like some of these other cases because in any case we could try learning Korean, because this is part of Korean sub-culture. (I say subculture because Im hesitant in stating kpop= korean culture)

      • Hayouu

        SM and YG provide english subs too. What I meant was the way Loen is. If you noticed they try their best to read our comments. Follow us on Twitter and listen to our options. I think it’s cute that they care about what we international fans have to say ^_^

        I agree with you and my korean classes will start right after summer and I know that when my korean gets good enough I will help to provide english subs because I know how grateful you get when you understand your idols :D

        But I still think big companies should consider doing it like YG they don’t only provide english subs but also Japanese and Mandarin (maybe the other companies do that as well? I’m not really into the other Big 2). Having at least english subs on their videos I think it’s a must. Yes not all of the kpop fans are english speakers but english is the worlds united language! So I kind of feel that it should be a obvious thing to have… considering how big the Hallyu wave is now!

        • Jazz1105

          Yeah its crucial for the global market if companies provide eng subs,I understand its just that I don’t want to it to sound like an obligation..ya know. But yeah I didn’t know Loen did all that, its nice to see that in a company.

  • KJessh

    I’m actually surprised about this. I remember one time when Epik High was on Inki, there were a few white people in the audience and the camera kept zooming to them as if to say “we’re so cool, even white people like us!”

  • dapoktan

    i dont know too much, and I havent done the research that I’m sure the author did, but most Korean portal sites such as daum, nate, and naver require some sort of identification to sign up for an adult id… its not the cafe’s choice, or the websites’ choice.. but a government regulation..

  • Nabeela

    I think I’m in love

  • Samie Kankiewicz

    I have a friend in Singapore who went to Korea and waited in line for M-Countdown. When she and her friends got to the door, the guy said they weren’t allowed in because they weren’t Korean. They saw the producer though and he let them in. When the guy who said “no” saw them he got mad and said they weren’t allowed in. The producer defended them saying they were with him.

    • Janine

      That’s the point. Seeing as the producer, you know the BIG boss, allowed them in, that means it wasn’t an order from the boss to not let foreign fans in.

      In fact, most Koreans welcome foreigner’s interest in Korean culture, and they’re really nice and polite and warm and welcoming when you are there. (Honestly, when you’re lost in Seoul just stay put for a minute with a confused facial expression and there’s a 99% chance someone who knows English will ask you if they can be of any help.)

      But then there are the few with conservative upbringings and the old people that do want to “keep Korea to themselves” or so the exchange students from Korea said. And I honestly believe whoever told your friend to leave, and also whoever told these EXO-Fans to leave, was not ordered to do so, but did it out of his own accord.

      Honestly, artists do appreciate their international fans and the efforts they make. I remember just recently reading a fanaccount of SHINee’s Jonghyun and Onew from when they left the SM building…and you know how some fans are always lurking there? Well, most of them are stalkers with no life so they usually get ignored by the idols (and I understand that, there’s no justification for such behaviour). That’s what Onew and Jonghyun did, too, when there was a fan trying to give them a gift. Until she mentioned she came all the way from Europe and she knew no better way to actually get the gift to them. They freaking turned on the spot and took the gifts and thanked her.

      I don’t know, but I just feel like artists as well as companies don’t have much say in what happens with music shows. It’s common knowledge that they don’t make benefits from music shows, they only send their artists there to cause it’s the only way to publicly promote a song in Korea and so they basically bow down to everything that the broadcast stations ask of them in order to not lose that opportunity. (Cause the broadcast stations can easily just forbid them to perform just like that)

      • Samie Kankiewicz

        Yes. It’s the few people that ruin it. I saw B.A.P. in NYC and they really showed their appreciation for fans and even talked to them while they were out touring the city. I have met so many Koreans that get really excited when they hear people from other countries are interested in their culture and music.

  • um

    Pretty ironic that Ukiss’ fanclub doesn’t allow non Koreans when the band stands for Ubiquitous Korean INTERNATIONAL Super Star.

    • Josh Chinnery

      Seriously? That is one… interesting sounding name XD I find it ironic that U-KISS doesn’t allow international fans, because most of their fanbase *is* international fans >_>

    • ConfuciusMee

      that’s what it stands for? then i guess they can’t understand coz it;s in english

  • http://www.m-rated.tumblr.com/ Michelle Chin

    When I was in Seoul, I wanted to attend one of those M Countdown stuff but only to find that it was almost impossible, unless you show some form of dedication by queueing a day before and provide some sort of “entrance” fee (thus, the cases you’ve heard about international fans being made used by sasaengs). Since I could do neither and won’t do neither, I just dropped the idea and watch my favorite acts live via concerts, where entertainment companies and organisers can hope to earn our capital.

    And with EXO, it’s very important for them not to deny international fans. As much as it looks as if EXO is big in Korea, it is by no means POPULAR. I’ve asked most of my Korean friends and hell, people don’t even know their existence but people do know that BAP exists. The reason for their huge album sales must be credited to international fans. I am pretty sure SM entertainment knows it but they don’t seem to acknowledge or service us international fans in the same way they would service their Korean fans (if so, they would have informed M Countdown to let international fans in). I think they really should if they want to keep EXO relevant because goodwill always generates loyalty on a whole different level.

    Even if it is about business, keeping international fans away is NOT business. It’s just plain stupidity. Say, would you go to a restaurant with the intention to order the most expensive dish only to be told that you can’t just because you aren’t Korean?

    That’s just ludicrous! A business is just a business, Korean or non-Korean.

    • skyeskye

      However, if you don’t talk to anyone who is interested in K-Pop, EXO is more visible to the every-day public than BAP. They have endorsements for The Face Shop and some drink commercial (playing pretty frequently because I swear the TV channels in Korea only have like a small number of commercials to play…) that blast the general public everyday while BAP has none (that I saw).
      (I actually looked for BAP cause I have a friend who’s really into BAP – their CDs are easy to find though!)

  • http://blossom423.tumblr.com/ Elizabeth

    interesting article :)

  • Janine

    Honestly, most of this “you need a Korean ID”-thing is a government decision. The fanclubs you can register with as a foreigner use a different system that’s harder to set up and so companies don’t even try (most of them).

    It’s really not only Kpop, up until recently you weren’t even able to get a domestic Korean mobile phone number without a Korean ID.

    But you know why companies don’t try? Actually, how many of us would join those fanclubs if we were allowed to?
    Most of us don’t live in Korea. Most of us can’t afford to go to Korea only for such a thing like the comeback promotions of our favourite group. Now most of the benefits you get from joining a fanclub you can only enjoy if you’re IN KOREA. Except for the low percentage of us who actually live in Korea for teaching-purposes or something WHAT advantages exactly would we have from joining an official fanclub except for being able to say you’re part of it?

    Almost none. None that redeem the membership-fees at least (even if it was just the amount Korean fans have to spend). So whom of you is actually willing to spend a certain amount of money every year for benefits you theoretically have but can’t enjoy in reality? Yeah, didn’t think so.

    The effort Korean companies make is actually to hold as many concerts as possible in other Asian countries and especially in non-Asian countries (where it might not even always bring in profit considering the high cost of traveling for artist, the venue etc, and then sometimes it’s not even sold out) that DON’T use the fanclub-hierarchy when it comes to tickets sales etc. That’s what we REALLY benefit from, to be honest.
    Not some HYPOTHETICAL advantage we have because we have a fanclub membership card…cause we can’t really enjoy these advantages in reality.

    Now that’s why companies don’t try. Most of us wouldn’t even benefit from it. Not saying that that’s right, that the companies shouldn’t try for the few that do live in Korea. But I’m content here…I wouldn’t mind joining the fanclub of my favourite group, but I’m not mad that I can’t either.

    (The whole MCD thing is weird btw. Don’t want to comment on that because I have heard different stories regarding different recordings from my friends where foreigners even received special treatment (first row and stuff))

  • Streby

    I see a stark resembalance between what you’re rightly pointing out and what sometimes happens to students/tourists who are from poorer second world/ third world countries who go to ‘developed countries’ and suffer discrimination/violence.

    Though I’m treading on very dangerous waters, I feel that many organizations/governments simply want the money that these students mostly and rarely tourists have to offer in terms of expensive tuition/etcetera but simply do not want their presence around. I’m not pointing fingers and I’m by no means generalizing but it does seem that sometimes, organizations want the income that a person is capable of contributing by being a part of a system but they want that grudgingly in the sense that they really don’t want the person for their support or contribution as much as they do their money.

    Its also similar in my country before the elections; I see a lot of politicians pledging to help the lowest rungs of society out but you can see that they really don’t want to associate themselves with these people. They want their votes but they really don’t actually care about their support.

    Its probably the same with Kpop, the industry obviously wants the income international fans can contribute but unconsciously don’t really want the fans to really be a part of their community.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dim.tso Dim Tso

    Wake up call for people in order to stop paying for Kpop stuff and waste good, hard earned, money. Especially since the companies don’t even acknowledge them in the first place.

  • byul1232

    Just a few thoughts:

    I am pretty sure that the M Countdown staff did not do that to those EXO fans (IF it happened). Why am I so sure? Because usually when there are pre-recordings, the MCD staff does not handle the fans, but supporters of the idol group or the company organize the fans and distribute the entrance numbers. In order to get into pre-recordings, you need some kind of proof of your dedication – a lyric book from the album, a receipt of your onlne purchase, etc. MCD does not check this kind of stuff. the company supporters do.

    Broadcast programs like MCD love to have foreign fans because it makes them look more global. They would not reject foreign fans, unless you don’t have a ticket (which is pretty self-explanatory).

    And about the security guards, security guards have a lot on their plate when organizing every fan into the hall (there are so many fans who try to sneak in). They are just doing their job, and with SO MANY people in a small area, if you’re not supposed to be in there, they will kick you out (that’s including employees of the company as well).

    Also, in recent days, broadcast companies and entertainment companies alike have been looking down on fans who have been waiting OVERNIGHT at stations to get into prerecordings. Why? Because it is DANGEROUS, especially around broadcast stations since it’s a business district and at night, there are basically NO people around to save you if you run into danger.

    So entertainment companies have been choosing different methods to discourage the sleeping over night for the first-come-first-serve method and some companies have been doing surprise pop-up locations for the distribution of entrance tickets.

    Now, in this case, it is the company’s fault for not translating the information into English, Japanese, Chinese, etc and it is something for the companies to fix, since it’s pretty evident that foreign fans are present for these recordings.

    But let’s be honest. Out of the entire broadcast hall, what percentage of those audience members will be foreign? In a crowd of 300, it would most likely be about 10-20. These entertainment companies are all about business, and for them to hire a translator to translate the notice meant for a tiny percentage of foreigners and for a free show, it could be seen as a financial loss, hence the lack of effort.

    And as much as the next kpop fan would LOVE to be in the official fanclub, being brutally honest, you won’t benefit from it. Yeah, you’ll get to brag to your friends that you’re OFFICIAL, but most of the benefits are for fans who are actually living in Korea. While living in the US, I joined a fanclub and was all giddy about it, until i found out that becase I was living abroad, I wouldn’t get to use my membership benefits at all. Yeah, I got a cool membership card, but it doesn’t do anything for me since I’m not even in the country to use it. The fanclub goods (lightsticks) aren’t even exclusive anymore, since you can buy them online or at the goods tents at concerts.

    Plus, these days, many idol groups don’t even open official fanclubs for Koreans. They haven’t for awhile. There are a rare few groups that still open the fanclubs up for people but that doesn’t mean the events aren’t open for everyone, including foreigners. My foreign friend is not an official member of any fanclub, but she still managed to get tickets to the fanmeetings with no problem.

    Yes, Kpop is going global, but you have to think in the perspective of these companies too. They never EXPECTED Kpop to blow up like it did in the past several years, and so they’re still in the learning process of how to handle all the international fame. Some companies are faster, and some companies are not, but you have to see that these companies are TRYING. Just a year ago, companies didn’t even translate anything into English and now, a good majority of them are. Just a few years ago, no one would have ever though a Kpop group could hold exclusive concerts outside of Asia, but now they’re going to South America, Europe, Australia, etc.

    I’m not saying that companies have absolutely no fault, but there are certain logistics and calculations to be figured out before companies can completely accomodate everyone from every other place in the world.

    • ibmelol

      They didnt LOl Foreign fans just misunderstood them. -.-

  • Maemei

    I think this works both ways. When I watch interview shows like StarDate and spot a foreigner in the crowd, I often see them get pulled out for a one-on-one with the celebrity. Even though international VIPs can’t currently join the official fan club, you can now buy official merchandise from the eBay store, whereas previously it was more difficult and the site was all in Korean. I think we are at an interesting transition point when companies are getting more sophisticated in this area, but it is still largely dependent on choices of individual promoters and their forethought in recognizing this as an opportunity.

  • Lex Lexicon

    I’m not really sure why people are making this specific to EXO. They performed at a show with several other performers. If anything, the broadcasting company ought to be the main point of this discussion.

    • Kazi Raya

      While the broadcasting company does play a role in letting fans in to the program, it’s the entertainment company’s responsibility to make sure that the queuing lines are orderly and that the fans have the latest CD, membership card, etc. That’s why there are “fan staff”- basically people who decide who gets into the shows, and this is Exo we’re talking about, whose comeback was probably the most anticipated as of now. Hundreds, if not thousands of fans were bound to show up for what? 200 seats? 300? It depends on the music show. And with hundreds of fans, the fan staff has to line them up and check the cards, while a bunch of teenage girls are desperate to see Exo. Some fans will most certainly have bad luck and not get in, regardless of how long you waited on line. I don’t know about denying the foreigners entry, but there is another fan account on “the one shots” that painted a different picture on what happened. Do feel free to check it out.

  • Gia_KISSme

    Actually UKISS allows international Kissmes if they have membership card.

  • shein

    B.A.P allows foreigners and it’s the same price as the Koreans. I like that.

  • 로리랑

    Can i translate this article to portuguese and post it on my blog?

  • sass

    ia with most of this, but from personal experience – im a white girl and had no problem getting into the MCD live show TWICE without lining up with any fanclub and simply showing up at the venue just 20mins prior the show (even tho they had signs that the list of nonfanclub admissions was full). you just.. have to be clever. pretty much sneaked in when security was busy letting fanclubs in.

    didn’t have the same luck with mubank tho, tighter security :( but had i been in seoul another week, idve been smarter and found a nice nugu-fandom to queue with or maybe gotten lucky with the online ticket lottery.

    got into show champion too. they had a small line for nonfanclubs and we got in last but we did all get in. showing up again 20mins before the beginning, while fanclubs (B.A.P and Infinite being the biggest acts that day) had been lining up since morning.

    if the benefits of being in an official fanclub include queuing all day then im quite happy just showing up 20mins before and getting in 3/4 of the time..

    also managed to get into 2 other free concerts no prob with no fanclub where (1) beast, t-ara (before their scandal), mblaq, (2) infinite, snsd etc performed..

  • Cynical_MissGiving

    I don’t mind being left out of official fanclubs, because chances are, I’m never going to stack up enough points to get any perks, nor will I ever go to Korea often enough to fully use those perks. What I do mind is when international fans are mistreated by Korean fans. Of course, the Koreans who mistreat foreign fans are probably outliers in the general population, but I’ve heard enough of these stories for this to become a nagging problem in the back of my mind. It really bothers me, because as an international fan myself, I’m a little scared of coming to the potential realization that, I’ve wasted so much of my life on a culture that welcomes my money but doesn’t welcome me as an individual. I don’t want to think that way, and I suppose it’d be a grave generalization, based merely on a few fan accounts, but if it WERE true, how pathetic would we kpop fangirls and fanboys be, to love a culture that ridicules us?

  • Divine MsDee

    Feel sorry for this type of stuff,korean Hallyu is going to miss on a lot (and I mean a huge lot ) of money if this attitude towards westerners persist!How am I give my granddaughter any money to buy merchandise from artist that allow such practices,

  • skyeskye

    One point about the issue of possible discrimination at music shows – even without an established fanclub, music shows (either the fans or the staff themselves) sometimes require you to bring the most recent CD (or some other proof of financial support like official merch) of the artist to be admitted entrance regardless of your place in line. You don’t have the CD, you don’t get to enter.

  • t.biscuits

    suprisingly and thankfully, Bigbang is t only group with minimum charge

  • ibmelol

    They actually didn;t get kicked out LOL They just didn’t understand. Foreigners get ratty quick. Plus the stuff they were saying was over exaggerated lol

  • http://deathofhallyu.blogspot.com/ Death of Hallyu

    All their efforts will flop, to be honest.

  • Alysha Johnson

    These companies not only seem hypocriticial but also near-sighted. The only kind excuse i can come up for them for treating international fans this way is probably ‘ignorance’. They want to go global, but they forgot who get them there in the first place. They want to held concert here, juice out our money but not giving us anything in return. I don’t know about y’all but the more I get into kpop, the more i feel like an ‘outsider’, where the Korean fans are ‘insider. The Korean fans are the people who get the first scoop, and are always prioritize. Well it make some sense since these are Korean groups, but the way these companies treat their international fans can only mean one thing for Kpop ~ it’ll have its moment and fizzle out. Once international fans get fed up, they’ll pack up and leave.

    Some people argue that the cultural fandom of Korea is different than that of international fans, and that I could understand. Although international fans don’t work the ‘loyalty’ system like Korean fans, it doesn’t mean we are not fans. But it seem that way to these companies. They going global but they expect people to mend to their way instead of mending their way to the world. They treat international fans like second class citizens, instead of incorporating us into the fandom experience. Kpop in many ways are still a niche market in the global scale. What would happen to a niche market where its only audience is packing up and leave?

    Maybe im sounding like us international fans make these groups which is not what I mean. But international fans contribute to the group success as much as Korean fans, albeit in different ways. However, they treat Korean fans with gratefulness and incorporate the fan into the group existence. But for international fans, it seem they only interested in us cashing out money for their concert, CDs and forget that we ever existed.

  • Snachel Snoward

    I love Kpop, but I’m too cheap to pay for music no matter how much I love the group. This article gave me another justifiable reason not to spend money on Kpop merchandise.

  • kpopfghtng!!!

    im nt here to take sides. i m frm INDIA n i knw mny kpop fans here bt we cnt even buy a cd due to non availblty of it. bt whn it cms to fans they only say korea, uk, us, japan, south east asia n a few more countries. al i wnt to say is evn though they cnt do anythng for these fans thy cn acknldge thm by saying “THANKS TO OUR FANS FROM AROUND THE WORLD” evn though we can never see thm perfrm live……coz one will find at least 1 kpop fan in even the smallest of countries….in the end only those wth mony will hv the privildge so al matters is the money.

  • Jessica Fiani

    Is it true that SM opens a slot to be an international official fans (although it is so rare)? Please answer >< I'm an elf and I know that there are korean official elfs, japan elfs, and international official elfs. To register to be an international official elfs, you can see the "fan club" tab in smtown.com. But I think it won't have many special treatments.. So am I correct?

  • zsc

    I’m late but I would love an article about being a black (or non-white, Anglo-Saxon) kpop fan.

  • momokosakura

    as a kopino, i am torn apart between this ifan and kfan clash

  • Mariana Ferreira Albuquerque

    And europeans, you know we’re the most disgraceful ones.

  • honeyHW

    I agree very much with this article. When I went to music shows a couple of years back, the SM staff was VERY helpful with helping me and one of my friends (who is also a foreigner) into the show. They even squeezed us in at the very top of the venue because there were no seats left but we were just so happy to see them. Kudos to SM for that but I don’t know what happened here because for every pre-recording I attended for TVXQ (and fx), the SM staff ran it, not the actual show staff. On the other hand, I went with my friends to help them get into a pre-recording to see Big Bang and the YG staff basically told me that you have to have a “special pass” and the only way to receive that was to be apart of their official fan cafe. I checked the fan cafe on my phone and only Korean citizens can join the fan cafe. Then I told the YG staff that it’s very unfair that international fans cannot receive the same privilege to see Big Bang as they paid a lot of money to fly all the way here to just see them. I think the YG staff person understood and told us to show up at Big Bang’s concert at a later date with this piece of paper she gave me…my friends went and got into the concert for free. So there are downs but there are ups too.

  • D A N I ★☆

    Can I just say that people should stop blaming EXO specifically? go ahead and blame the broadcast company, go ahead and blame SM, but EXO literally has no say in those things. And EXO is one of the groups, who has Kris ALWAYS adding a “Thank you I love you” in English, referring to all the fans who aren’t Korean/Chinese.
    And the thing with the fans not getting in? They probably misunderstood, or weren’t properly prepared for the event, Korean fans know how to, we international fans don’t, and if they don’t even speak the least bit of Korean, I doubt they’d have it easy. That’s why, if you really want to be a fan, not just one who listens to the music and admires from afar… LEARN KOREAN.
    Also, there’s no point in being an official fan unless you move to Korea.

  • Demi

    This is a sad true fact. A lot of Korean fans sometimes turn off international fans, they even rare share info about the same group idol they adore so much.

    And it’s ironic if I remember how KBS world always upload video how ‘hallyu wave’ spread around the world, showing international fans from around the world to make comment about Korean drama and kpop in particular, how they like them so much, bla bla bla, and how they make international fans look stupid in their documentary, while the truth is many people stay ignorant about the existence of kpop. Sometimes LOL with Korean media exaggerating how big their hallyu was, while actually not.

    I know they realize how important international people, because we bring foreign exchange for them, kpop fans or drama fans, especially for international fans who take a lot of risk fly to Korea to meet their idol… but end up trauma cause how bad their treating us. They won’t grow if they never change the attitude, hallyu will die for sure, it’s just the matter of time.