Virtual characters are a growing trend in digital advertising, but they are also exploding in the music industry.
This is because virtual models and characters don’t age, end up with negative publicity, and generate their own scandals. There is also no restriction on their availability since several projects can be worked on simultaneously. Artificial characters can be any type of artist, be it an actor, a model, or even a K-pop group.
A report from the Korea Times illustrates how popular virtual characters are becoming. “Business insiders say corporate spending on digital human marketing will reach 16.6 trillion won by next year,” the report said. That’s roughly $ 14.4 billion in a rapidly growing industry, not just in Asia.
In March, girl group Eternity made their debut with the song “I’m Real”. The 11-member group is no different from other K-pop girl groups, but none of the members are real. They are hyper-realistic virtual characters created with artificial intelligence.
Graphics company AI Pulse 9 brought the girl group to life. “Unlike human singers, AI members can express themselves freely and weigh in on various social issues because they are less vulnerable to malicious comments and criticism,” said CEO Park Ji-eun. . In other words, AI characters don’t care when people are mean to them online.
The Eternity Group has its own universe designed by hand by Park and his colleagues. Members of Eternity are aliens from a distant planet called Aian, who were sent to Earth to interact with people in order to find solutions for her threatened planet. Pulse 9 ran a public poll to find out which faces fans would like to see in the group out of 101 AI-generated faces. Viewers hand-picked all 11 members to create the new K-pop group.
While Eternity may be the last K-pop act to take virtual characters to the next level, it won’t be the first or the last. Kpop-focused labels like JYP, YG, and HYBE have invested in avatar app companies like Zepeto to create virtual fan meetings and other content.
Miquela Sousa is another virtual robot who works outside of the K-pop scene. Lil Miquela has worked with fashion brands like Prada, Dior and Calvin Klein. She released the single “Not Mine” in 2017, which reached # 8 on the Spotify Top 50 chart. She also released her first music video, “Hard Feelings”, at Virtual Lollapalooza this year.
These virtual characters with their specific metaverse backstories will only become more common as technology progresses, and AI continues to intersect with personality-driven industries.