As much as fansites are an integral part of the K-Pop fandom culture, running one is not child’s play. Current fansite masters have revealed the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into running a successful and active fansite. Not to mention, the money that one has to pour into it.
Fansites often provide support in the form of presents or advertisements to the idols. These may end up costing quite a pretty penny.
A fansite shared that small gifts may start out from clothing or shoes, or even in ear devices for the idols. As many gift customized in ears to their idols, these may cost around $3000 USD for a pair of good ones.
The fansite master also shared that most of the time, luxury brand clothes and bags are gifted to the idols as well, going up to thousands of dollars.
The reason for such extravagance comes not only out of love for their idols, but also in order to save face. The power struggle between fansites can get quite real, as the degree of support and presents are often being compared across individual fandoms.
Another fansite revealed that she mostly paid for these using her own personal funds, given that they don’t earn much from selling goods.
For one year, she spent over $5000 USD on support alone.
Not only does support include presents, but also events such as birthday cafes, as well as subway station or bus stop LED panel advertisements. Such advertisements go from between $400 USD to a few thousands, depending on size, location and duration.
The fansite master shares that while fans may think that they earn lots from selling goods to feed back into support purchase, the truth is far from this.
As an active fansite, she shares that most of her expenses goes into attending the promotional schedules. This includes fan meets, concerts, regular events, year-end events such as award shows, as well as global tours.
When asked how much she spends during a promotional cycle, the fansite master shared that she spent around the cost of a deposit for a one room in Seoul. The market rate for this ranges from $10,000 USD to $20,000 USD, depending on location and facilities.
As a promotional cycle can have between 8 to 15 fan meets alone, she has to spend at least $1000 USD per fan meet to purchase enough albums for the raffle. She shares that most fansite masters that conduct such bulk purchase end up not receiving the albums from the distributors by rejecting delivery even though they have paid for them. Other times, they may donate these albums instead.
The dark side of being a fansite master? She shares that you lose ultimately two things – money, and health.
Not only that, one has to practically give up their private and real lives just to be a fansite master, given the amount of time and effort it takes up. She shares that many enter the industry with this mentality.
Another fansite master shares that he hopes fans will stop looking at this job or hobby with rose-colored lens. It is not as glamorous a job as many see it to be. He shares that many fansites often teeter on the brink of leaving the fandom or their fansite, due to how hard it is. However, they often are pulled back when they realize how much they love their idols.
Certainly, the job is not for everyone. As K-Pop grows more and more each day, these fansite masters hope that fans will make a wise decision for themselves before jumping into things. Catch the full interview below.