K-pop Radar talks "Fandom Data" and how they measure artist popularity in real-time

K-pop Radar talks "Fandom Data" and how they measure artist popularity in real-time

K-pop has grown exponentially through the years. Overcoming borders and languages, this subculture of music has made its way all around the globe, making up some of today's most listened to tracks and most followed artists. 

It's things like these that K-pop Radar tries to study. Operated by music company Space Oddity, K-pop Radar is a fandom data service that measures the popularity of K-pop acts' and the size of their fanbase in real-time. 

"In an era of [mass streaming] and multiple social platforms, we felt the need for a practical dashboard where you could check the status of each platform in one place. This is what K-Pop Radar is about," says Space Oddity Data Analyst Logan Jeong

With their team of designers, developers, and data analysts, they gather numbers and stats across varied social platforms and turn them into a one-stop data board on your favourite K-pop acts' fanbase size. Think of it like the stock market for K-pop.

Bandwagon caught up with K-Pop Radar's Data Analyst, Logan Jeong to talk about the global expansion of K-pop, the power of fandoms, and how K-pop Radar plans to revolutionalise the K-pop industry.

Tell us how K-pop Radar first began.

In K-pop, fandoms are no longer passive consumers but are becoming producers and marketers who help artists grow and actively express their opinions through the wisdom of crowds. Therefore, for the sustainable success of K-pop artists, it has become more important than ever to check and expand the ever-changing number of fandoms.

However, the standards for measuring the size of the fandoms were vague. In a situation where one person purchases hundreds of albums, the album sales will come off as the size of fans. In addition, it was also difficult to confirm the fandom size through music chart rankings tainted with mass streaming. So, in these times and in an era of multiple social platforms, we felt the need for a practical dashboard where you could check the status of each platform in one place.

Therefore, we focused on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc., which K-pop artists mainly use. We started to detect the changes in followers on social media every day, and we made it public for the music industry and K-pop lovers. This is what K-Pop Radar is about.

For anyone who might not know, what exactly does K-pop Radar do?

K-Pop Radar is a K-pop dashboard that officially provides graphs and charts that can be checked in real-time like stocks, showing the changes in popularity and fandom size of K-pop artists.

We check the trend of YouTube music video views of K-pop artists in real-time and provide real-time rankings based on the amount of increase or decrease. You can check in real-time which artists and music videos are being played the most.

We then provide a chart of the daily increase of followers on Twitter and Instagram which allows you to see how many followers and fans each artist has earned over the past day. In addition, charts are provided for the number of YouTube subscribers, official fan cafe members, and Spotify follower rankings.

The collected data is presented in charts and graphs for easy viewing. We select and release the most popular music videos and artists every week, every month.

Then, we release a brief that outlines the status of the K-pop industry every year, such as the '2019 K-Pop World Map', and recently made an official partnership with Twitter and analyzed the amount of Twitter mentions to announce the '#KpopTwitter 2020 World Map'.

K-pop Radar analyses “Fandom Data”, what exactly is Fandom Data?

It encircles the quantitative data in terms of the scale and amount of fans who like and support K-pop artists and the qualitative data in terms of the fans' discussions and chats about an artist.

Currently, if you want to focus on how much the fandom is growing or how big it is, through the app called blip, you can focus on fandom behaviour, check what fans are attracted to, what their needs are, and more.  

How does K-pop Radar work? Walk us through the team’s process of putting together your data board.

K-Pop Radar consists of developers, data analysts, and designers with expertise in K-Pop. Our developers automate data collection, creating an environment where data can be collected in real-time, while our data analysts keep track of the K-pop industry, extracting insights by reading and analyzing the accumulated data as needed.

These derived insights are sometimes published as special briefs through data visualization.

What do you hope you can achieve through K-pop Radar?

It was originally a service that was developed internally for research. However, we identified the scale of fandom and how they drive K-pop's growth and how the music industry struggles day and night to monitor the growth of its artists. Therefore, for the global music industry and the fans who are looking forward to K-pop, we decided to make it available to the public.

We hope to be the music industry that fosters and produces artists who enhance K-pop's reputation.

Moreover, we hope to be the driving force behind the growth of K-pop for fans who are looking after the growth of the artists they support, by providing objective and convenient indicators.

What would you say is the most exciting aspect of being part of the team behind K-pop Radar?

If you look in K-Pop Radar, you can see the entire course of K-pop. You can have a glimpse in real-time at which artists are popular now, who is the latest rising star, which negative issues are causing the fans to leave. As a person who likes K-pop, I am excited to see those as well.

Through your work, have you noticed anything particularly interesting about the K-pop industry?

There are many. K-pop continues to grow by more than 10% every year. Every year, numerous artists make their debuts and are forgotten too.

Currently, the media mainly focuses on the global popularity of K-pop through BTS. Of course, it is an obvious truth that they are the artists who lead K-pop and are at the centre; however, when considering the percentage of total K-pop views on YouTube, BTS accounts for only 20% of the total.

Some may think that BTS is all K-pop, but besides BTS, many artists, including NCT, Stray Kids, and ATEEZ, are driving K-pop with their own charms. These kinds of global K-pop artists are also increasing more and more. It is also a positive sign that more and more K-pop artists are receiving love from all around the world.

Is blip planning to roll out any more projects and services in the future?

Our team is currently focusing on growing the website ‘K-Pop Radar’ and the app service ‘blip’. K-Pop Radar recently established the Spotify Follower Chart, the world's top music platform.

In addition, if there is a platform that can check the size of the K-pop fandom in the future, we plan to expand continuously. As such, K-Pop Radar is currently developing its brand positioning through partnerships with large global music platforms, social platforms, and metaverse companies.

Based on accumulated K-pop-related data and insights, we plan to announce more professional and systematic analysis results on K-Pop in the future. With this, we expect to become another Billboard chart based on professional K-Pop data. Through this, we want to present the next K-Pop direction suitable for the current era to the music industry and fans.

Our other service – blip – provides various schedules, contents, and data of current artists, and is growing steadily with the recognition of many K-pop fandoms.

blip will focus on the behaviour of the fandom and grow into a unique fandom community that is different from the existing ones. In addition, based on the data accumulated through the app, we will create original content with artists, and we plan to establish ourselves as a new brand for fandoms.