Monday, August 24, 2015

Understanding KPop Fans

Curiosity has always been one of the things that keep me awake at night. The quest of finding out reasons why people get drawn to certain hobby, person, people, place, groups, genres or anything that consume someone’s affection and attention has always worked my brain double time. I guess this could be associated to why I even continued my degree in Sociology in the first place when I had a chance to study Architecture (I am not great at drawing, just know a thing or two about art haha).

You may be wondering why I started with that little back story, well I got hooked on a few Korean TV Series way back and I spent countless hours waiting for the videos to load to watch them completely. I know some of my friends were hooked on Korean Pop Music (KPop) as well and they spent hours on their fandoms. I got curious as to why a lot of people get addicted on that type of music and I know they get judged on that completely. TV series I would understand a little because there are sub titles and the story is there but KPop? People spend hours understanding the lyrics, memorizing them, going crazy with new songs or pictures and I needed to understand it a little bit, before I conclude.

I don’t like to judge that quickly, I have my fair share of being a fan myself and in my quest for understanding their own reasons I tapped a few friends who are in certain fandoms for this survey. I know this has been long overdue (almost a year overdue, I am sorry guys I got caught up with work and stopped writing altogether).

For those who are still confused why these people are so hooked on Korean Pop (KPop), please don’t judge them, rather understand why they love it. Let me help you a little on that with these statistics. Here’s what I have found out.

Age Group Respondents

Most of those who answered aged ranging from younger than 17 to around 39 years old. Top age range respondents were between 18 – 20 and second was the 21 – 29 age group. This in itself shows that different age groups enjoy the same kind of music, KPop is not just for the teens.

What is surprising though from the number of respondents, almost 95% were females and only 4 male responded to this. I wonder why it is. Care to share boys?

Educational Attainment of Respondents

As predicted, with different age group comes varying educational attainment, the highest was Bachelor’s degree which shows that the fans are already exposed to different theories, concepts and matters of life, striking was there are 4 respondents who are graduate degree holders. For those who say that they do not know a lot about things, this would probably put clarity.

The respondents started liking KPop as early as 8 years ago and to have enjoyed that kind of music this long would mean that it is something special and paramount to their happiness even self-gratification.

Reasons Why They Started Liking KPop

I wanted to dwell more on their reasons, the main thing why I actually created this survey. The top answer was, “The songs are catchy/are beautiful”. People (the non-believers) might wonder why these fans even love this type of music despite the fact that it is in a different language.

Let me tell you why it is for me, music is universal. In different forms, languages or beats it is universal. It conveys different raw emotions through rhythm, flow, words (we may not understand) and its interpretation. Perhaps this is one thing that we need to have on top of our minds when we ask why people love this music even though they do not truly understand the words in it.

How they Support their Idols/Fandoms

There are different ways these fans support their fandoms/idols, they spend tons of money, even averaging to Php 20,000 for this. Some go to other countries to watch their concerts, buy merchandise such as CDs, posters, magazines and even staying up all night to watch videos, read interviews, and interact with fellow fans.

Based on the comments I asked them to give about certain impressions, even judgments from other people, it is safe to say this: Some of you have hobbies that go beyond those things just to get that thrill or happiness, for these KPop fans it is the same.

I love traveling and I spend tons of time researching on where to go next. I save money for it and spend it on where I wanted to go that year/month. I love watching movies and whenever there is a new one I make sure I catch it on cinemas which also involves money, time and effort. You do that too, you may even have more hobbies far expensive than mine and theirs but at the end of it all, it make us happy.

For those who disapprove of some of the things these KPop fans do, I hope I have enlightened you a little. I know I have been. They join fandoms to belong perhaps you could associate it to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - the third one - Love and Belonging as well as to express with people on the same wavelength whatever they wanted to express that some of us may not fully understand. They love the music because actually who doesn’t? We just vary in taste. Music is universal and our understanding should widen as big as the universe.

Enjoy your fandoms guys. This much I owe to you all. I tried to write more but it's becoming a full blown research not a blog post. haha. Thank you for responding to my survey.


  1. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

  2. Long time no see atte! -fan from Korean