Platforms Featured East Asia

Twitter is proving itself to be the critical tool for K-pop growth globally

Seoul, South Korea – As more and more K-pop groups are debuting in South Korea, social media has proved to be a driving force for these groups to be widely known by the general populace. This in turn gives the opportunity for these K-pop groups to be noticed by non-Korean fans globally, and hopefully build a global fanbase.

Such is the case for Twitter, which recently released findings of the platform usage by various K-pop groups, ranging from the so-called ‘Second-Generation’ groups such as Super Junior to Girls’ Generation to ‘Fourth-Generation’ groups such as ENHYPEN, ITZY, and Stray Kids.

The ‘Second-Generation’ groups were the first to build an online fanbase, including circles in Twitter, which is fueled by their strategic entry into other Asian markets and exploring global opportunities since 2009. Meanwhile, the ‘Third-Generation’ groups, which include BTS, BLACKPINK, TWICE, and Red Velvet expanded their global fan base through open platforms like YouTube, which gave birth to the globalization of the genre. Lastly, the ‘Fourth-Generation’ group are born from the proactive discussion of other K-pop groups globally before their official debut, fueled by online events as an alternative due to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the data collected, K-pop stars averaged 1.2 tweets per day by second-generation stars, 3.5 tweets per day by third-generation stars, and seven tweets per day by fourth-generation stars. Fourth-generation stars also tweeted 5.8 times more than second-generation stars, and two times more than third-generation stars.


In terms of tweeting after the debut of their respective groups, second-generation stars tweeted for the first time 1,154 days after their debut, third-generation artists tweeted for the first time 132 days after their debut, and fourth-generation artists tweeted for the first time 116 days before their debut.


Analyzing the amount of tweets for a year following artists’ debuts reveals other differences between the generations as well. Most second and third-generation artists did not post tweets before their debut, and slowly increased their amount of tweets after their debut. However, a notable exception is BTS: BTS opened its Twitter account in December 2012, six months ahead of its debut, and actively communicated with fans globally. Currently, BTS has 36 million followers on Twitter.


Meanwhile, Fourth-generation artists, such as ATEEZ, THE BOYZ, ENHYPEN, Stray Kids, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, and TREASURE, communicated with their fans after opening their Twitter accounts, months ahead of their respective debuts. On average, fourth-generation artists tweeted an overwhelming amount before their debuts compared to second and third-generations, with each artist uploading an average of 323 tweets, and accumulating 562,377 followers even before debuting.


For YeonJeong Kim, head of global K-pop and K-Contents partnerships at Twitter, direct communication with global fans through Twitter has now become a success formula for K-pop artists, adding that such activity demonstrates that digital-based communication has a significant impact on growing their fandom.

“When BTS, a 3rd generation K-pop group, had intimate real-time conversations with its global ARMY, it set an example for the 4th generation to make this a feature of their engagement with fans. Fourth-generation artists like THE BOYZ, Stray Kids, ATEEZ, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, GIDLE, ITZY, TREASURE, ENHYPEN, and aespa, who have been using Twitter as an active communication channel even before their debut, are advancing to the global stages faster than the previous generations,” Kim stated.

Technology Featured East Asia

Smartphone brand Realme reaches 50M unit sales milestone: report

Shenzhen, China – Chinese smartphone manufacturer Realme has recently crossed the 50 million smartphone units sales, report from market research company Counterpoint said.

According to the report, the brand grew by 132% quarter on quarter (QoQ) and has also recorded a high level of quarterly shipments of 14.8 million units. 

Abhilash Kumar, research analyst at Counterpoint stated, “Realme grew to become one of the top 5, or even top 3, brands in its key markets, including India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines and some other Southeast Asian countries.

With its efforts to bring the affordable yet premium-like products to consumers, as well as its ability to offer smooth digital shopping and after-sales services in different countries, Realme has emerged as the most resilient brand during and after the pandemic crisis,” Kumar also added, commenting on the brand’s trendsetting image that ‘clicks’ with the younger generation through design and affordable prices.

Expanding to 61 markets globally, Realme has since then been a popular brand choice, such as in India that saw 1 million smart individual audio devices purchases.

Sky Li, Realme’s CEO commented, “At Realme, we live out our philosophy, which is to dare to leap into the forefront of innovation, design and product value, which is something young people can identify with.” 

The brand, founded in 2018, has since then diversified to other products including smart audio, visual, and lifestyle products. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Video streaming among Singaporeans reaches all-time high, finds study

Singapore – With consumers homebound during the pandemic, online video has been gaining popularity among Singaporeans, with streaming reaching an average of eight hours and 42 minutes per week, according to a study by tech company Limelight Networks. This is higher than the global average of seven hours and 44 minutes per week, a 14% increase from the past year.

The report also showed that four in 10 have subscribed to additional streaming services in the last six months. The longer hours spent at home came out as the top reason for the increase (36%), with the availability of new content emerging as a driver for subscriptions (22%). 

Being price cautious, Singaporeans have also resorted to actions to become more economical. More than half, or 55%, of consumers, will cancel a streaming subscription due to high prices, higher than the global average of 47%. Meanwhile, almost three in 10 Singaporeans, or 29%, admit to sharing login information or using someone else’s account. Furthermore, the report also found that for most Singaporeans, delays are a dealbreaker, with 66% stating that they would be more likely to stream an undelayed live event.

In terms of the type of content, TV shows and movies are the most popular, with both being watched by Singaporeans for an average of four hours and 24 minutes weekly.

Globally, watching user-generated content has doubled over the past year to an average of four hours per week. In Singapore, YouTube dominates as the most preferred platform for watching user-generated content (68%), followed by Facebook (12%).

Edwin Koh, director of Southeast Asia at Limelight Networks said “Online video demand has clearly accelerated in Singapore this year, especially with so many people turning to video for entertainment, information, and communication as they spend more time at home due to COVID-19. Our research shows that with the rise in viewers and subscriptions, it is critical that content providers have the right combination of the content consumers want, the infrastructure to scale to meet demand and technology to give them the best possible viewing experiences.”