Would you purchase a single by an artist you knew nothing about and hadn’t heard a notice of music from? That some folks would is a big gamble JYP Leisure took final month when the corporate launched a “blind bundle” for its new lady group, who received’t make their debut till February 2022.
The idea of the discharge was formidable – present followers with no details about the group behind it, give everybody simply 10 days to pre-order it and tease its launch with trailers making heavy use of phrases like “restricted” and “extraordinary” to get the world’s love of distinctive collectables ticking. The discharge received’t go into manufacturing once more when the group debut, so a small window of time in July was your solely likelihood to pay money for the CD (at an affordable value, at the least), which may also include a photograph guide, photograph card, poster, premium membership card and extra.
Greater than 60,000 snapped up a replica – compared to the 77,000 models offered by ITZY, the final Okay-pop lady group to debut underneath the company, within the first week for his or her first bodily launch ‘It’z Icy’. Certain, the gross sales numbers between the 2 may be related, however ITZY had additionally made their debut with the smash hit ‘Dalla Dalla’ within the months prior and – presumably – constructed up a big fan base.
JYP’s technique right here may need been dangerous, however it had one factor it might depend on – trendy society’s intrinsic FOMO. When you didn’t get a replica final month then you definitely’re out of luck. However what if this single turns into a Okay-pop basic? What if the brand new lady group turn out to be your ult faves? How will it make us really feel not being a part of an unique, elite membership that did put their religion on this launch?
The success of the “blind bundle” displays some sections of the Okay-pop fandom’s angle to albums. With their array of photograph playing cards and further goodies, they turn out to be much less like vessels to hearken to the music (how many individuals really personal a CD participant in 2021?) and extra of a collectable so as to add to cabinets of memorabilia. Who can blame them? Okay-pop releases are sometimes so superbly designed, they really feel like an funding in a bodily product that you could pore over in comparison with the western trade’s commonplace jewel case packages. Though Okay-pop is the antithesis of the stereotype of an previous, white, male report collector – brilliant! flashy! enjoyable! – its followers could possibly be the trendy model of these musos who hunt out each iteration of a report so as to add to their assortment.
Shifting so many copies of a single that you realize treasured little about is really one thing that would solely be achieved in Okay-pop. Think about Polydor, for instance, attempting to get folks within the UK to take an opportunity on a bodily launch by an artist that had but to be unveiled with music that had but to be heard? It will tank utterly, no matter whether or not the musician behind the venture went on to be the following Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran. Even with massive fanbases, world-renowned reputations and a deep data of what an artist’s music feels like, acts battle to promote as many as 60,000 bodily copies – Foo Fighters, one of many largest bands on the planet, solely moved 31,450 CD and vinyl models of their newest album ‘Drugs At Midnight’ in its first week of launch within the UK.
Taking an opportunity on JYP’s “blind bundle” additionally says loads in regards to the excessive esteem through which followers maintain the label’s legacy. It doesn’t matter what you consider how the corporate treats its artists or founder and namesake Mr Park Jin-young himself, this company introduced us iconic acts like Surprise Women and Miss A, and more moderen titans of Okay-pop TWICE and ITZY. Provided that fame, it’s no surprise so many individuals snapped up the mysterious new launch – think about how precious a brilliant restricted one-off single would turn out to be if the brand new lady group achieved something close to the identical as their sunbaes (seniors in Korean).
Except the music is completely horrible, it’s nearly a on condition that subsequent yr’s rookies shall be profitable, due to one thing followers wish to name “massive three privilege”. Even when the songs do suck, their standing as JYP signees might nonetheless push them ahead due to the label’s perceived energy and status inside the trade. That can win them precious promotion, slots on music reveals and house within the consideration spans of curious listeners.
Regardless of the success of the “blind bundle”, it appears unlikely that this can turn out to be a typical pattern. Smaller companies don’t have the identical privilege and pull to make such a launch a safe technique and would usher in pointless danger that would do extra harm than good. Different massive labels may attempt their hand at it a few times, however the novelty of not realizing what you’re getting will quickly put on off and, relying on how JYP’s new lady group go down, there could possibly be a backlash to the concept if followers aren’t glad with the top outcomes. And if this did turn out to be the norm, that dependable previous FOMO would not be a assured money-spinner.