Metaverse entertainment show “Avatar Singer” is criticized due to its clumsy CG quality that overshadowed the great vocals it has.
While entertainment programs that introduce the metaverse (3D virtual world) are appearing on the small screen one after another, MBN’s new entertainment “Avatar Singer” is suffering from a 0% viewer rating even though it has invested more than 1 billion won per episode. On top of that, viewers are also criticizing the childish avatar quality compared to the world’s current technology level.
“Avatar Singer” is the first metaverse music survival program in Korea that allows viewers to experience the performances of musicians behind their Avatars, which costs more than 1 billion won per episode. The total production cost is at least 15 billion won, as the show is planned for 15 episodes. This is reportedly the highest production cost among Korean entertainment shows as it has been prepared for about a year with cutting-edge technologies such as motion capture, live link, and avatar enhancement, for which about 200 staff have been mobilized.
The Avatars on stage are connected to the real-time stages of musicians to showcase their songs, facial expressions, singing skills, and dance performances. Star followers such as Baek Ji-young, Hwang Chi-yeol, and Lip J, and 100 judges evaluate the Avatars’ stages and guess their identities. This is already a familiar format similar to “King of Mask Singer” and “Hidden Singer,” but it differentiated itself by the fact that its performances are difficult to see in reality, such as the Avatars flying and emitting fire as they sing.
However, the public’s evaluation of the “Avatar Singer” stages, which have been unveiled, is regrettable. Above all, the audiences praised the vocal skills of the singers, but the CG implemented is far below expectations.
The awkward movements of the rustic appearance, which were more likely to be seen in animation in the past, broke the viewers’ immersion in the stage. Especially, the stage where the twin vocalists Ran and Rogi sang “Romantic Cat” was enough to give the audience secondhand embarrassment with their fight of blue and red energy. It was like watching an arcade game of memories.
In addition, public awareness and understanding of virtual avatars are still low. Even if the metaverse world is a current trend, Star follower Baek Ji-young is still so unfamiliar with the concept to the point where she says, “No matter how much they explain it, I still don’t understand.” As a result, it is natural that not many viewers chose “Avatar Singer,” which broadcasts on the MBN channel during the golden entertainment time slot on Friday.
As expected, its ratings are a disaster. It fell from 1.4% in the first episode to 0.8% in the second episode. Above all, “Avatar Singer” is currently unable to watch as VOD and there is no real-time streaming on Wavve and TVing either due to the production company’s request, preventing the influx of potential new viewers. The clips released on YouTube are also lukewarm with only a maximum of 10,000 views.
JTBC also previously presented a music festival in the metaverse concept with “New Festa,” but the ratings did not exceed 1%. The metaverse dating entertainment show “Love in” is currently airing with only 0.4% as well.
As broadcasters also need to continue to develop, it is necessary to introduce new technologies. It is meaningful that “Avatar Singer” opened a new door with its experimental spirit. However, the poor quality of Korea’s first real-time AR augmented broadcasting has resulted in a greater sense of distance from reality. This is why many doubt whether it was worth investing about 15 billion won in production costs for such a show.