#1. 4.19889 billion won. It is the amount raised for the release of the webtoon “Magical Girl Isegye Idol,” also known as Isegye Idol, and its merchandise on the crowdfunding platform Tumblbug on Jan. 25. More than 30,000 fans flocked to the release of the comic book featuring the six members of the virtual girl group Isegye Idol, which is in its third year of debut. It marks the highest amount of support in the history of crowdfunding for a single content in South Korea. The virtual girl group’s song “Kidding,” released last year, reached No. 1 on the domestic music platform Bugs Music and No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard K-Pop chart.
#2. Virtual boy group PLAVE topped the Melon Hot 100 chart after releasing their Christmas carol song “Merry PLLIstmas” last month. Their first mini album, released last August, became the first virtual idol to sell more than 200,000 copies in the first week of release. It surpassed the initial sales of “WHO!” (110,442 copies), the debut single of BOYNEXTDOOR, a boy group under the major record label HYBE.
Virtual idols are garnering attention with performances comparable to real idols in traditional metrics such as music chart rankings, concert attendance, and merchandise sales. At the “Isegye Festival” held in September last year at Songdo Moonlight Festival Park in Incheon, where Isegye Idol was the headline act, all 10,000 tickets sold out within eight minutes of going on sale. “It is estimated that about 20,000 fans gather whenever Isegye Idol holds a performance or sells merchandise,” said an official from Parable Entertainment, Isegye Idol’s agency.