2NE1 is able to pack international venues because of shared information among fans and Youtube
At the 2NE1 New Evolution in Los Angeles, most concertgoers we spoke with mention that this was the first 2NE1 concert they have watched live. Some of them even mention this to be the first K-Pop concert they have attended ever. Digging deeper, concertgoers admit having been first exposed to the band via YouTube videos recommended to them by their friends who were earlier fans of 2NE1.
The Los Angeles audience relies heavily on the social Internet to stay in-the-know about 2NE1 and relatively other K-Pop artists and happenings. Fan sites (i.e. ygladies.com), Korean entertainment portals in the English language and independent blogs (i.e. Tumblr) have become core sources of information. Fan site representatives, like Malika (Tech admin missemm) and John (cornybommie@ygl), attest to the hard work behind trying to keep updated. Due to the volume of information, fan sites often keep open to volunteers willing to take their being a fan up another notch — by giving their time, talent and energy to help support 2NE1. Traditional media, such as TV and print, are less accessible for the niche crowd that K-Pop and 2NE1 caters to and are used less.
As real-time evidence to the power of the Internet, the flash mob for 2NE1′s LA concert was publicized and expanded via use of social media. Additionally, KPopStarz live coverage of the event via Twitter was retweeted by fans across the world, with retweets from Asia and Europe.
The Internet maintains momentum and creates continuous buzz about 2NE1, as well as other K-Pop acts. Channels within this medium (e.g., fansites, portals, etc) should not be dismissed easily as they have wider reach and significant impact. The Internet was primarily responsible for 2NE1′s meteoric rise to success, and will be so for a long time.