Quick access to main page (top) Direct access to main contents Quick access to main page (bottom)

Virtual Idols Rising: The Future of K-Culture

Daniel Kim Views  

The rise of virtual artists is enriching the global growth of K-culture. Virtual artists were once dismissed as mere gimmicks or avatars of real-life celebrities. Still, they are gaining recognition for their unique identities and have begun establishing themselves as a new direction within K-culture. Let’s look at these virtual artists’ recent trends, popularity factors, and prospects.

Famous virtual artists are active in various fields, from the music industry to influencers. First, there are multiple groups of virtual stars in the music industry. The boy band Plave has proven its solid domestic fan base by selling 560,000 copies of their recently released second mini-album, ASTERUM:134-1. Plave has been invited to perform at domestic music festivals, including the 2024 Weversecon Festival, which is scheduled for June.

In addition, virtual girl groups are attracting significant attention both domestically and internationally, including MAVE, a joint project of Netmarble F&C and Kakao Entertainment, Isegye Idol, which held its first offline concert in conjunction with the Isegye Festival last September, and ETERNITY from PULSE9, which had its solo concert last October.

As virtual influencers, there are Han Yua from K PLUS, launched by Smilegate and Giantstep; Lina from Sublime, created by Metaverse Entertainment; virtual model Orozi from S-team developed by Rocus X; and AI models Ian and Senna from YG PLUS.

In addition, there are general influencers like Lee Sol, who is currently working as a host for Naver Shopping Live; multi-talented entertainer Lucy, introduced by Lotte Home Shopping; virtual human Taeri, launched by marketing specialist company Midions, and office worker Lia, created by NeoEnterDx.

Virtual artists are expanding their reach beyond the entertainment sector into various aspects of daily life. Since the pandemic, these virtual people who were initially perceived only as characters out of touch with reality have become active personalities.

The popularity of these virtual characters, often called alter egos, has grown due to the spread of real-time live technology and social media platforms for communication between real artists and fans. The ability to communicate as virtual characters, not just real individuals, has been a critical factor in their success.

Furthermore, the advancement of graphic technologies such as generative AI and deepfake has increased realism, overcoming the so-called uncanny valley. With the entertainment industry’s paradigm-shifting beyond music and video content to encompass lifestyle, research on virtual artists that can be applied to this trend has accelerated.

Of course, there are limitations. There are still boundaries in the expression field, such as perfect graphic modeling and deep learning, and the virtualization of real humans based on deepfake and motion tracking technology is not fully established in terms of identity. Establishing a bond with the general public as a personality is almost impossible, which remains challenging for the industry.

The idol fandom schedule app Blip recently stated in a report, “According to a survey on virtual idols, it was shown that human personality and member chemistry (34.3%), music (29.1%), etc. are important, not the external factors. The fact that realistic elements are important for virtual idols, which are not tangible, was an unexpected result.”

Pop culture critic Park Song Ah commented, “The interest and love for virtual idols and influencers, including Playb, stems not merely from content consumption, but from a ‘humanity’ perspective. Although the starting points are diverse, the perspective when they become fans is no less than that for other stars.” She added, “This trend can expand the mainstream standards expressed in pop culture, and it can also lead to the diversification and competitiveness of K-culture.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

Comments0

300

Comments0

[ENTERTAINMENT] Latest Stories

  • ILLIT's 'Magnetic' Keeps Pulling Fans: Continues Its Hot Streak on Billboard and Spotify
  • NCT Jaehyun Joins Lauv As Special Guest at Seoul Jazz Festival 2024
  • NewJeans Joins Beyoncé and Adele Among 'The Face's Legendary Cover Stars
  • SEVENTEEN's Latest Album Holds Strong in Billboard 200
  • Chinese Influencer Accuses Korea of Cultural Theft
  • Drama Off-Screen: KBS Bans Appearances of Convicted Squid Game Actor O Yeong Su

Weekly Best Articles

  • North Korea Sends ‘Filth Balloons’ into South Korean Territory: A Violation of the Armistice Agreement?
  • North Korea’s GPS Jamming and Missile Launches, Provocations Escalate
  • ILLIT’s ‘Magnetic’ Keeps Pulling Fans: Continues Its Hot Streak on Billboard and Spotify
  • Kim Jong Un’s Sister Mocks South Korea with Trash-Filled Balloons: Border Showdown Imminent?
  • Samsung Workers Strike for the First Time: A Historic Labor Showdown
  • Strike Alert! Canada’s Second-Largest Copper Mine Faces Shutdown
  • NCT Jaehyun Joins Lauv As Special Guest at Seoul Jazz Festival 2024
  • North Korea Fires Over 10 Missiles into the Sea of Japan, Seoul on High Alert
  • NewJeans Joins Beyoncé and Adele Among ‘The Face’s Legendary Cover Stars
  • SEVENTEEN’s Latest Album Holds Strong in Billboard 200
  • Emergency in Seoul: North Korean Flyers Spark Military Response
  • North Carolina Man Shares $100K Lottery Win with Friend – Here’s Why

You May Also Like

  • 1
    UAE President Pledges $30 Billion Investment in South Korea

    BUSINESS 

  • 2
    Elon Musk's Latest AI Project Attracts $6 Billion, Signaling Major Industry Shift

    BUSINESS 

  • 3
    Emergency Alerts Issued in Seoul Amid North Korean Flyer Scare

    ASIA 

  • 4
    Colombia's Search for $20 Billion in Sunken Spanish Gold

    LATEST 

  • 5
    House of 'Home Alone' Hits the Market: Live Like Kevin for $5.25 Million!

    LATEST 

Popular Now

  • 1
    North Korea's Kim Encourages Scientists Post-Failure: 'Do Not Be Dismayed'

    ASIA 

  • 2
    Calls for Military Reform Intensify After Soldier's Death

    ASIA 

  • 3
    Three European Countries Recognize Palestine Statehood

    WORLD 

  • 4
    Behind Closed Doors: How Israel Allegedly Manipulated International Justice

    WORLD 

  • 5
    Fruit Fury: Koreans Outraged Over Cheap U.S. Apple Prices

    LATEST 

Weekly Best Articles

  • North Korea Sends ‘Filth Balloons’ into South Korean Territory: A Violation of the Armistice Agreement?
  • North Korea’s GPS Jamming and Missile Launches, Provocations Escalate
  • ILLIT’s ‘Magnetic’ Keeps Pulling Fans: Continues Its Hot Streak on Billboard and Spotify
  • Kim Jong Un’s Sister Mocks South Korea with Trash-Filled Balloons: Border Showdown Imminent?
  • Samsung Workers Strike for the First Time: A Historic Labor Showdown
  • Strike Alert! Canada’s Second-Largest Copper Mine Faces Shutdown
  • NCT Jaehyun Joins Lauv As Special Guest at Seoul Jazz Festival 2024
  • North Korea Fires Over 10 Missiles into the Sea of Japan, Seoul on High Alert
  • NewJeans Joins Beyoncé and Adele Among ‘The Face’s Legendary Cover Stars
  • SEVENTEEN’s Latest Album Holds Strong in Billboard 200
  • Emergency in Seoul: North Korean Flyers Spark Military Response
  • North Carolina Man Shares $100K Lottery Win with Friend – Here’s Why

Must-Reads

  • 1
    UAE President Pledges $30 Billion Investment in South Korea

    BUSINESS 

  • 2
    Elon Musk's Latest AI Project Attracts $6 Billion, Signaling Major Industry Shift

    BUSINESS 

  • 3
    Emergency Alerts Issued in Seoul Amid North Korean Flyer Scare

    ASIA 

  • 4
    Colombia's Search for $20 Billion in Sunken Spanish Gold

    LATEST 

  • 5
    House of 'Home Alone' Hits the Market: Live Like Kevin for $5.25 Million!

    LATEST 

Popular Now

  • 1
    North Korea's Kim Encourages Scientists Post-Failure: 'Do Not Be Dismayed'

    ASIA 

  • 2
    Calls for Military Reform Intensify After Soldier's Death

    ASIA 

  • 3
    Three European Countries Recognize Palestine Statehood

    WORLD 

  • 4
    Behind Closed Doors: How Israel Allegedly Manipulated International Justice

    WORLD 

  • 5
    Fruit Fury: Koreans Outraged Over Cheap U.S. Apple Prices

    LATEST 

Share it on...