When it comes to the hardships of K-Pop idols, no one knows them better than former idols themselves. This is why YouTube channel Wayland by Crayon Pop‘s Way is a treasure trove of Korean entertainment tea. In the latest video she uploaded on September 24, she revealed more details about the industry.
The comment she tackled was on the short-lived popularity of idols: “The lifespan of idols is very short. What do you think about that? I dream of becoming an idol, but how should I prepare for it afterwards?”
She started by explaining that 2020 was a rough year in itself. The uncertainty that idols have to face in the future came faster than expected.
The year 2020 was a very confusing and chaotic year for all of us. Maybe that’s why it seemed like time just flew past us.
K-Pop idols were hit hard. Their biggest revenue streams were cut due to social distancing restrictions.
All pre-planned concerts and fanmeetings were cancelled.
For the fortunate few, these events were successfully replaced by online methods. BTS‘s “BANG BANG CON: The Live”, for instance, had a larger turnout than any of their previous stadium concerts.
Lesser known K-Pop groups, however, still lost money due to the pandemic.
When it comes to regional festivals, with the majority [of attendees] being elders, the online change could not happen so quickly. I believe that many idols were having troubles with such situations where regional festivals were becoming unavailable as COVID-19 started.
These smaller events were lucrative for K-Pop groups who did not yet have solid fanbases.
Those festivals are actually a pretty good source of income.
This is not the first time the K-Pop industry was revealed to have suffered because of COVID-19. Current trainees shared that their debut has been pushed back until more certain times come. Insiders have also divulged that most small agencies are becoming bankrupt.
I used to have a full staff of managers and stylists. Now I’m taking care of everything by myself. I’m trying to cut costs where I can.
— Agency CEO
Check out WayLand’s full video below.