In the previous blog post, which you can read here, I explored the popular, South Korean live streaming platform: V Live. I discovered what the application is used for, by whom, and overall, what a platform like it means for Korean media and fan culture both locally and internationally. This is part two, where I will analyse and narrate my own personal experience, and to therefore understand and reflect on the experience of using a South Korean, social media app for the first time.
As I explained in part one, due to being primarily invested in western media growing up, I was not exposed to social media applications and platforms that were prevailing overseas. Overall, I was largely unaware of media and popular culture outside of the US, UK, and Australia. It was not until my friends and I were introduced to the BLACKPINK ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU‘ music video, that we were seemingly hooked in the world of K-Pop. As an extension of this awareness I now had about K-Pop, I began noticing South Korean social media apps, primarily V LIVE, which appeared to be an internationally inclusive hub for the beneficiary of artists and fans alike.
Revising, autoethnography draws on a person’s own cultural narrative, through reflection and interpretation of their individual culture. (Chang, 2008) Ellis (2011) indicates an integral part of Autoethnography and self reflection is Epiphanies, known as the “remembered moments” that impact an individuals journey. I will detail that, growing up, popular culture and the concept of ‘hollywood’ was always something that I was interested in. I was actively engaged in fan culture, which meant going to concerts, and being a part of online communities on Twitter and Instagram. In a way, V LIVE is a new form of online community, but it is much more interactive, and technologically advanced; something that I was intrigued to be a part of.
There is really nothing that exists like it when it comes to following Western celebrities. For example, BTS’ global concert was live-streamed on V LIVE for a price of 33,000 won ($40.73), so fans could enjoy the same experience from wherever they were in the world. In relation to the event, The Jakarta Post explained that Park Sun-young, head of V LIVE, stated, “We will do our best with technology to deliver (the service) so that (the viewers) can enjoy the performance as if they were at the site…”. Reading this, I can understand that using the platform in this way, is beneficial for both the Korean artists and the fans. Whilst using the app since my last blog post, it seems that this is a regularity.
As someone who is using the platform to watch live content from an international perspective, I think it is obvious that V LIVE is valuable purely for inclusive access to world-wide entertainment. International fans rely on fan translations, “fansubs” which have become a “mass social phenomenon.” (Diaz-Cintas, 2006) Due to my own inability to speak Korean, whilst I am using V LIVE, I rely on these fansubs to enjoy live events like the showcase mentioned above.
Looking at this from an autoethnographic perspective, as suggested by Ellis (2011), I have been able to analyse my own personal experience, and therefore understand and reflect on the experience I have had using a South Korean, social media app for the first time. To conclude, V LIVE is a completely new social media platform which has allowed me to enjoy pop culture and music from Korea; somewhere I was previously fairly unfamiliar with. I realise now how important and valuable an app like V LIVE is not just for international users, but for Korean artists, as it allows them to communicate and connect with fans, breaking through the language barrier.
Chang, H 2008, Autoethnography as Method, Routledge, New York.
Diaz-Cintas, J & Munoz Sanchez, P 2006, Fansubs: Audiovisual Translation in an Amateur Environment, The Journal of Specialised Translation, Roehampton University, London, viewed 23 September 2019, <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/252503048_Fansubs_Audiovisual_Translation_in_an_Amateur_Environment>
Ellis, C, & Adams, T & Bochner, A 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview,’ Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1, viewed 12 September 2019, <http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095> >
Shaw, L 2019, Autoethnographic Experience: South Korean Live Streaming Service ‘V Live’, Lydia’s Lens, Wordpress, accessed 27 September 2019, <https://thrulydiaslens.wordpress.com/2019/09/14/autoethnographic-experience-south-korean-live-streaming-service-v-live/>
V LIVE 2019, About, V LIVE, viewed 12 September 2019,