K-Pop groups are constantly making comebacks throughout the year, which means there's never a shortage of content for fans to enjoy. From music videos and behind-the-scenes vlogs on YouTube, to livestreams and variety show appearances on VLIVE, there are so many ways fans can stay updated on their favorite stars. However, since K-Pop idols often use various platforms to communicate with their fans around the world, it can sometimes be overwhelming to keep track of all the websites out there. To help you keep up with your faves, here are some essential streaming services K-Pop fans need to know about.
Streaming is huge in K-Pop. According to Statista, eight out of the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos in 24 hours belong to either BTS or BLACKPINK. Both groups have gone back and forth holding the title of the biggest YouTube debut through the years, and that's because every time they have a comeback, their fans rally together to break their previous records in order to make history once more. The same thing happens over on music streaming websites like Spotify and SoundCloud.
But because international K-Pop fans don't have the same access to Korean network television and music streaming platforms fans based in Korea do, they use different streaming platforms to keep up with all their favorite Korean programs, like dramas, award shows (which are often streamed worldwide), and comedy skits. There are a number of platforms popular in the K-Pop community, so here are the ones you should know about as a new K-Pop fan.
Viki is a must-have streaming service for K-Pop fans because it's the ultimate destination for Asian TV shows and movies. What does this have to do with K-Pop stars, you ask? A lot of idols star in Korean dramas, like BTS' V, who appeared on Hwarang in December 2016, and Red Velvet's Joy, who had a lead role in The Liar and His Lover in 2017. Viki also carries many K-Pop competition shows like Kingdom and I-Land. You never know who may debut as an actor next, so if you want to find out, download the Viki app now.
Fans can also use Viki to watch annual award shows, music festivals, and weekly music programs that idols appear on.
Kocowa is similar to Viki in that it's a video streaming service that includes a large collection of Korean dramas, variety shows, and weekly music shows.
Many idols use VLIVE to livestream to their fans, and the cool thing about this platform is it lets viewers interact with stars by sending them hearts and comments that appear on their screen.
Some groups also post their music videos and behind-the-scenes videos on VVLIVE like YouTube. Just like Viki and Kocowa, VLIVE also offers fans a chance to watch award shows idols guest star on, as well as variety shows.
SoundCloud is another popular music streaming service among K-Pop fans. Unlike Spotify, which is where idols share their official releases, SoundCloud is where some K-Pop stars post their covers, mixtapes, and any other unofficial releases.
YouTube is where K-Pop fans watch performances, music videos, interviews, livestreams, and behind-the-scenes videos of their favorite idols.
Spotify is a music streaming service that K-Pop fans use to listen to their favorite albums and songs by their favorite groups and K-Pop soloists. If you have the free version, you listen to music on shuffle and with ads, but if you have the premium version, you can listen to any song at any time without ads.
On March 1, the platform removed hundreds of K-Pop tracks due to an expired licensing agreement, but thankfully, they've all returned after Spotify and Kakao Entertainment, one of Korea’s largest distribution companies, reached another agreement.
Now that you know the biggest streaming services K-Pop fans use internationally, you can stay in the loop on all your favorite stars' music releases and television appearances!