Trend Alert: K/DA

Trend Alert introduces you to the latest brands, products and services that are trending with 16-24s.

Looking for the next big thing in pop music? Forget those human bands - we’re in the virtual era now.

K/DA is a virtual K-pop girlband that features in the online video game League of Legends. Earlier this month they launched their new single “POP/STARS” at the Opening Ceremony of the game’s 2018 World Championship Finals. Since then, its music video has been viewed over 55 million times on YouTube and the track has topped Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales Chart. These numbers are on par with the biggest K-pop and Western groups of today.

K/DA can be linked to the rise of the virtual influencer, with the most notable example being Lil Miquela. She has also released music, but as yet has seen little success in the music industry. There are several reasons K/DA has outperformed her: There is a history of virtual pop stars in the Asian market, such as hologram performer Hatsune Miku, and by launching the band via a video game they’re reaching an audience that is already able to relate to virtual characters.

The K/DA project has been praised for bringing a new demographic to gaming, as K-pop fans have started playing League of Legends after discovering the band. It has also highlighted a marketing strategy that the music industry will no doubt be looking to replicate in the wake of K/DA’s success. Music marketers are struggling to get their artists noticed in an oversaturated market, which means they need to consider alternative ways to reach their target audience. For the youth consumer, esports is a huge platform that many marketers are missing.

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