Earlier in April, SM Entertainment announced that they would be partnering with Naver to livestream concerts for fans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the company has announced the full online lineup for Beyond LIVE, but something else has caught fans’ attention: the price.
#SM X #NAVER’s 'live concert streaming service' ‘#Beyond_LIVE’ is raising curtains with #SuperM on April 26th via NAVER #VLIVE!
Stay tuned for the ‘SuperM – #Beyond_the_Future’ concert streaming live on April 26 3PM (KST) and the following lineup of #WayV, #NCTDREAM, #NCT127! pic.twitter.com/oVetNQmfZA
— SMTOWN (@SMTOWNGLOBAL) April 21, 2020
SM Entertainment had already announced that the first Beyond LIVE concert would feature SuperM. SuperM’s Beyond the Future performance will air on V LIVE at 3:00PM Korean Standard Time on Sunday April 26.
Next up is WayV on Sunday May 3.
The third online concert will be with NCT Dream on Sunday May 10.
And finally, NCT 127’s concert will be streamed on Sunday May 17.
According to V LIVE, this is the “opening lineup” for Beyond LIVE. As of right now, the company is yet to announce online concert streams for EXO, Red Velvet, or any other active group.
While fans of SuperM, NCT, and WayV were initially excited to see that online content is coming, many reactions turned to disappointment when they headed to V LIVE and discovered that the concerts aren’t actually free.
hold on it aint a free concert 😔🖖
— kath ↺ (@coffeejaelly) April 21, 2020
The first Beyond LIVE concert featuring SuperM is marked as “V LIVE +” content and will cost viewers 1,500 coins. As of right now, 1,500 coins cost approximately $30 USD.
For this fee, fans can view the concert live on up to 2 devices simultaneously. They’ll also receive unlimited access to the VOD (video on demand, or recorded version), which can be downloaded on Android and iOS and streamed simultaneously on up to 5 devices. Subtitles will be available, and the concert will stream at 1080p.
It’s expected that every Beyond LIVE concert will sell for the same price, which means fans who want to watch all 4 performances will need to shell out $120 USD. For comparison, tickets for SMTOWN Live in Santiago concert last year started as low as 50,000 pesos (less than $60 USD), with many more groups in the lineup.
Understandably, many fans of SM Entertainment’s groups are not too happy about the steep fee, especially given that many people are currently unable to bring in income due to lockdown restrictions.
reply in memes your reaction when you found out the superm online concert costs $30 pic.twitter.com/zNF4Iy7nor
— M ↺ TAEYONG (nsfr) (@TYbububu) April 21, 2020
no but literally I think sm is the only company so far – not just kpop but in general – that I've personally seen charging money for an online concert to benefit from a PANDEMIC… and $30 per group too??? girl bye
— a↺ (@roseyongs) April 21, 2020
The Beyond LIVE concert series will premiere one week after BTS’s Bang Bang Con, where 8 past BTS concerts were livestreamed for fans on YouTube free of charge.
While many fans are disappointed and angry that they’ll be charged for the online concert experience, others have expressed hope that this might mean there’ll be a lot of new content that’s worth the price.
these beyond live concerts sound like they’re more than just a livestream based on their description on vlive, i think $30 each might be reasonable depending on the level of extra content and total length but i wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up disappointing
— SuperM (@baekhyunopolis) April 21, 2020
Beyond LIVE is said to be the beginning of a new live concert era. According to the description on V LIVE, each performance will be “a new video concert that combines artist performance with various graphics and technologies”. As of right now, it seems to be unclear as to whether SM Entertainment will be airing old concerts, new performances, or a mixture of both.