My Blooming Period DVD is on its way, and I feel like I should probably move on from this whole boycott issue (although I’ll likely keep doing business education posts, they’ll just be more general).
But there is a graphic that has, in one incarnation or another, been floating around for quite some time. It’s gotten a higher profile now of course, so I wanted to kind of break it down for you and give you an idea of why I’m so unsympathetic to this notion that Korea is being badly neglected by Block B.
I also want to make people aware of how biased and disingenuous these arguments are. (And I mean really biased, not K-Pop “bias.”) There’s been a lot rumor being touted about as fact, plus stuff like making the English hashtags way nicer than the Korean ones, and this sort of thing is something I really don’t like about this campaign (along with the fact that, you know, they’re asking people to boycott Block B, which is a nonstarter for me).
I’ve taken the liberty of translating the Korean on the graphic into English.
First off, I fundamentally object to the notion that Block B is under some kind of obligation to split their time evenly between the two countries as if they had children instead of fans, as if they were not some kind of business organization that needs to go where the money is, and as if the rest of the world simply did not exist. Block B is trying to grow an audience in Japan–they already have great sales in Korea–so it makes sense for them to focus their efforts there.
For another thing, Japan’s music market is (say it with me) ten times the size of Korea’s. If Block B was equally as popular in Japan as they are in Korea, it would make perfect sense–it would be good management, not incompetent management–for them to spend ten times as much time in Japan as in Korea, or only six weeks out of the year in Korea. Many K-Pop groups spend no more.
But let’s say we’re just trying to figure out, without inappropriate judgements, how much access to Block B each country had in 2016.
This graph would still be useless.
Let’s start with:
What’s on this graph?
Notice the dates for the Japanese fan meetings or events. Fully nine of them are in the future.
Yup. This graph is of scheduled events. Its event count is only valid if you assume that Block B will never hold another event in Korea in 2016.
Is that likely? I don’t think so. I think they’ll release something before year’s end; they’ve certainly been hinting about Bastarz long enough. But the main thing is, we don’t know!
Let’s count events another way: For each album release in Korea in 2016, Block B held 12 fan events. For each album release in Japan, they held an average of 4 fan events.
If Block B does one more album release in Korea this year, Korea will be more than caught up.
What’s not on this graph?
Well, of course the fan event for the Blooming Period DVD, which is scheduled to be held in Korea October 9, isn’t here. Of course not.
What else isn’t here? Solo or sub-unit performances aren’t here. Appearances at festivals aren’t here. Park Kyung handing out cucumbers isn’t here. Group members walking down the street, pointing a camera at themselves? Not here. Music shows? Not here. Television appearances? Not here. Store openings or events? Not here.
Guess which country those things usually take place in.
What’s on this graph but is misleading.
The concert count. OMFG, this has been driving me nuts for ages.
In Korea, Block B held two concerts in 2016–in a 14,700-seat stadium that nearly sold out. (Fuck the people complaining because it didn’t–Block B has gone from 2,500-seat venues to 14,700-seat venues in two years.) Now, when you hold a concert in a stadium, you don’t sell all the seats because you don’t put people behind the group. So, let’s say, I dunno, 24,000 tickets were available.
In Japan, Block B held 12 concerts in 2016. But eight of those were in 3,000-seat halls, while four were in 5,000-seat halls.
That’s a total of 44,000 tickets available. So, even though there were SIX TIMES as many concerts in Japan (OMFG! SO UNFAIR), less than twice as many tickets were sold. Less than twice as many fans were able to see the group in concert.
Pretending, of course, that Koreans can’t go see concerts in Japan. Which they can and do.
By the logic of this graph, if Block B has four 1,000-seat concerts in–oh, just pick the country, it doesn’t really matter–and two 12,000-seat concerts in Korea, Korea is being shortchanged. Korean fans are not being given the opportunity to see Block B.
AND IT’S SO UNFAIR!!!