Auditions for idol groups no longer just take place in the real world.
People are choosing the next trending celebrities in the virtual world, by watching a series of talented virtual avatars played by online broadcast streamers.
One of the hottest virtual idol groups is "ISEGYE IDOL" -- a six-member girl group that debuted last December after passing auditions held by a well-known Twitch streamer.
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"Korea's very first virtual idol auditions -- Isegye Idol project. The very first day of auditions "
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ISEGYE IDOL debuted with the song “RE:WIND" and they are mesmerizing fans: already almost hitting 3-million views for their official YouTube music video.
The streamer behind the project says their next song could be released by the end of February.
And they aren't the first virtual K-pop stars.
Riot Games -- the studio best known for League of Legends -- used the opening ceremony of the game's 2018 World Championship Final to unveil virtual K-pop group K/DA.
The video for the four-member group's debut song "POP/STARS" has been viewed almost 5-hundred million times.
An insider says people who were not game players have also become fans of the group, and adds the reason behind such success is nothing but the essentials.
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"We believe the neat song itself was the main reason. We benchmarked K-pop songs, catching K-pop lovers' attention. () Unique storytelling too has played a big part. League of Legends has around 150 characters with their own universe and characteristics along with storytelling. K/DA group too has stories for each of the four members."
The new trend has gone even further with the creation of an AI idol group.
AI graphic company Pulse 9 brought life to "Eternity", an 11-piece girl group made from hyper-realistic virtual characters.
The girls were chosen from the faces of 101 girls online by internet users, and were brought to life using artificial intelligence.
Culture critics say Generation Z especially has a strong tendency to just enjoy virtual reality no matter whether it is real or not.
As the virtual world becomes the new normal, eyes are on whether it will become the mainstream in the entertainment industry.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.