For a long time, Kpop fans have been familiar with photocards appearing in idol albums. They are selfies or close-ups of each member, small in size and randomly distributed in the album. Because they do not know which albums to win the idol’s photocard, many photos are rare, so they are treasured in the fandom.
Many fans own hundreds of photo cards with “heavenly” prices, but not everyone knows the origin of these photos, who pioneered them in the album. To learn the history of the photocards that rioted Kpop fandoms, must go upstream 11 years ago …
In 2010, SNSD released the 2nd full album in their career called “Oh !.” Unlike previous K-pop albums that consisted of CDs and a few photos, SM Entertainment took a photo of 9 SNSD members and made a photocard set with a music disc.
Wondering if SM wanted to put photos of each SNSD member in the album to create a new thing or a “trick” to increase album sales, they became the first photocards in Kpop history. Since then, different companies have raced to learn, making these indispensable goods in idol albums.
Due to the random (each album has a photo of one member of the group or group photo), fans compete to hunt for rare photocards. Photos of “hot” members are sold at “exorbitant” prices, sometimes more expensive than the album. Many companies also took advantage of releasing many versions of the album to stimulate fans to collect enough photocards of their favorite idols to increase the sales of discs.
Seeing SNSD’s legendary photocard collection 11 years ago, many people could not help but admire it. If the girls are the first “card leaders,” then SM is the leader in building Kpop fandom culture.
Not only creating “small but martial” photocards, SM also created cheerleading colors, made reality shows for idols, and was the first company to shoot dance practice videos. Therefore, some people think that there are now more developed companies and groups than SM, but it is undeniable their position and contribution to the Kpop industry.