As you all know, the COVID-19 pandemic (or coronavirus) is having a great impact on all markets around the world. The entertainment business especially found itself strongly shaken out by the cancellation of concerts and festivals. Despite this stressful atmosphere, the Japanese idol industry is adapting and found imaginative ways to keep in touch with their fans! Here is a summary of the few things happening in the idol world and what you can do to support them.
How can I support my idols if I am stuck at home?
Some groups started using video or phone call platforms such as “with LIVE” or “ZOOM”. Cancelling concerts and events means cancelling handshake events and goods sales, two very important elements for idols to be able to live off their activities. You can interact with your favorite idols though these platforms, with one minute of private conversation ranging between 2000 and 4000 yens.
Many groups also started producing MVs and full songs from their homes. Some also take advantage of concerts being cancelled and emerging online streaming platforms to livestream or upload full concerts for free, filmed from an empty venue or from their own rooms. Idols are being very creative to upload new video content on Youtube to promote their groups and their music, and it deserves a little like and a nice comment!
Tips and tricks
Supporting your idols should be about doing small gestures everyday, and not only during a pandemic. Here is a checklist of the small things you can do to help your idols to promote themselves:
- Retweet, like and reply your idols’ tweets and Instagram posts
- Share their music and videos yourself on social media
- Use their group hashtags when sharing posts
- When watching a livestream:
- Leave comments, even if you don’t speak Japanese! Idols, especially those whose dream is to perform abroad, love it whenever they see foreign fans commenting in different languages on their channels.
- Throw free gifts
- (SHOWROOM) Purchase paid gifts: idols receive a good percentage of the price of paid gifts you buy for them! Most of the time for indie idols, when you send them a paid gift, they even give you a shoutout or draw a little thing for you during the stream.
- Watch their official videos on Youtube, without Adblock and without skipping the ads
- Leave comments and likes on their older videos to get them more popular and improve their referencing
- Stream their music on official channels: Spotify, Apple Music…
- Buy their music online from iTunes
- Purchase their merch and CDs:
- CDJapan: www.cdjapan.co.jp
- Tenso and FromJapan: third-party services allowing foreigners to purchase merch on Japanese websites usually only for people living in Japan
- Any idol group’s official online shop (if possible)
- Be creative:
- Do some wotagei at home and post it online, and tag your idol, group and the song
- Do song or dance covers from your home and post it online, and tag your idol, group and the song
- Create fan art and post it online, and tag your idol, group and the song
- Keep promoting your idols by any fun means!
Some events scheduled for the week-end
Concert OUC48 (OUCHI48) “O-uchi Pajama Drive” – April 16th at 6:30pm Japan time on SHOWROOM
Rave in Osaka Free Live – April 16th at 7pm Japan time on Niconico Douga
REMOTE FREE LIVE vol. 2 – April 17th at 8pm Japan time on Youtube
=LOVE et ≠ME
Morohashi Sana Solo Concert – April 18th at 6pm Japan time on SHOWROOM
Weekly SHOWROOM shows:
– IKOTAIMU with =LOVE (every Monday at 7pm Japan time)
– NOIMI NO IMI with ≠ME (every Thursday at 7pm Japan time)
SHOWROOM – =LOVE SHOWROOM – Morohashi Sana SHOWROOM – ≠ME
New video “Oie demo BEYOOOOONDS” everyday (#お家でもビヨンズ)
Special content to watch and share
BAND JA NAIMON! MAXX NAKAYOSHI – 6RESPECT
Dempagumi.inc – Nanto! Sekai kounin hikkikomori!
=LOVE et ≠ME – Tsugi ni Aetatoki, Nani wo Hanasou kana
AKB48 – 365nichi no Kamihikouki (OUC48 version)
lyrical school – REMOTE FREE LIVE vol. 1
Ai wo Shiru – Homemade video (Challenge #お家で踊ろう – Dance At Home)
Article and translation by Nathan and Melody.