We live in an age of media democracy where the cost of content production is perhaps at its cheapest. Free online platforms are just around every corner of the internet. People can easily write blogs, record podcasts, and post videos even with their phone.
“At the end of the day, it’s going to be planning skills rather than technology that is going to make your production a success,” said Kim Hong-Ki, CEO of music content company Space Oddity and director of famous YouTube series “Iseul Live.”
Ewha Voice met Kim Hong-Ki, who throughout the rapidly changes of the market continued to turn his love for music into successful content.
Space Oddity introduced themselves as a music company that “bridges music video directors, writers, and singers to create anything that is related to music.” Consisting of seven members, the company launched off last April to become one of the most noticeable startups in the industry.
For the last eight months, Space Oddity produced 14 songs and nine branded contents including Kellog advertisement and music single “Wiped,” Eric Nam and CHEEZE’s “Perhaps Love,” and the OST album for web-drama , which includes the chart hit “Deepen” sung by MeloMance.
This is not the first time Kim set his foot in the music industry. He started his career in a concert company and worked for big corporations like Naver and Kakao. His last projects were at Dingo, where he was the director of “Dingo Vertical Live” and “Iseul Live.”
Kim’s previous project Iesul Live led to Space Oddity’s projects such as Wiped (Kellog TV commercial and music single) and Let it Shine (Laneige’s YouTube advertisement in the form of a small musical), all of which are examples of “branded content.”
“Back then, I felt that artists did not have a place to sing their new songs on TV. If they didn’t have a chance on TV, we thought that we should make live video formats that people could see on mobile,” Kim said. “In the case of Iseul Live, it was based on my memories during my part-time job as concert staff. I knew that singers often celebrated by singing and drinking after their concerts, and I knocked on HiteJinro’s doors with my plan.”
Branded content is a form of advertising that concentrates on original content from the advertiser. Rather than making a video, poster or music focused around a company’s product, it attempts to be perceived by consumers as another “content.”
A famous example is Double A’s collaboration with U.S. rock band OK GO in the band’s music video for song “Obsession.” An enormous wall of 567 printers filled with Double A paper constantly changes color and shape while the band sings and plays. The only parts of the video where Double A gets the viewer’s direct attention is their logo on papers at the start, and the caption “this music video was done thanks to Double A’s smooth papers” at the end of the clip. Rather than shedding spotlight directly to the advertiser, the company intended to gather an audience as another “interesting content.”
“Nowadays, hundreds of contents fill people’s timeline on a daily basis. To catch people’s attention, advertisements are destined to compete with other contents,” Kim said. “We think it is important for the message from the company to be the content’s unstrained conclusion.”
Although Space Oddity treads on different formats, Kim says he and his team will always focus on music. “Music is like destiny to me and my members. We always end up talking about things related to it,” Kim said. “Music is fascinating because it fits so easily with other content. It fluctuates the easiest to the change of platforms.”
Powered by their love for music, Space Oddity sets its goals in changing traditional music market. “In Korea, music companies tend to take the shape of ‘music labels’ that exclusively deal with the production to the promotion of their own artists,” Kim said. “However, we believe that so much more could be possible if content creators from various fields were to assemble to a project. Advertisement, or branded contents, were one of those possibilities.”