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Mukbang is a Korean term that literally translates to “eating broadcast”. It is a live-streaming eating event mostly popular among the Koreans. It was brought into attention by a Canadian blogger, Simon Stawski, who created and co-founded “Eat Your Kimchi” which was a production house that made food and travel videos from all around the world. The Broadcast Jockeys also known as BJs are Mukbang artists who are paid to eat large amounts of food that could serve a family of 5 in front of a live audience. Every BJ can make up to $10,000 a month. The odd part of their payment structure is that they are not paid by their social media platforms based on the views, or advertisements, but the Korean audience watching the live-stream tends to send them “star balloons”, a type of virtual currency that can be exchanged for real cash.

The Mukbang artists or BJs usually use “AfreecaTV” as their video streaming service where about 5% of the entire content is Mukbang related. These platforms benefit largely from these live streamers, but along with them, the artists also benefit, they become social media influencers and start making money beyond the live-streaming platforms.

A question asked by people very frequently is that why is Mukbang so appealing or why does it have such a large audience because it is not a platform where food eating competitions are happening. Mukbang is a platform where the BJs are sitting in front of a live streaming camera and eating an alarming quantity of food. Even though it is monotonous for us, it is entertaining for the Korean audience. When eating, the BJs keep talking to their live audience or they make sounds. In some countries talking or making noise while eating is looked down upon, in Korea, noises while eating is considered normal, in fact, it is considered as a sign or appreciation.

Mukbang artists have become extremely popular and are watched by a large audience because Koreans do not like to eat alone. Fans enjoy watching the BJs eat food because not only are they entertaining, the audience is fascinated by the amount of food they can eat and the noises they make while eating. Seeing someone eat tasty food in front of you makes you hungry, thus live streaming is usually watched around the time to eat, preferably dinner time.

The Mukbang trend that is famous in Korea is now becoming a trend in The United States as well, only a little different. Mukbang is a live streaming event in Korea whereas, in America, the YouTubers pre-record the video and upload it on their social media platforms hoping to get a larger number of fans and followers.

Here are some famous Mukbang Broadcast Jockey:

1. BJ The Diva

Park Soo Yeon, also known as BJ The Diva is a 34-year-old Korean Mukbang artist. She has about 322,248 subscribers on AfreecaTV where she started her on Live broadcast and has now become a popular name among the people of Seoul, South Korea. Her monthly income is more than $9000. In 2014, she was mentioned in CNN reports while covering the new trend in Korea.

2. BJ Sof

BJ Sof is a 30-year-old Korean Mukbang Artist with about 86,761 subscribers on his channel. BJ Sof is known to cook his own meal in front of the camera and then eat if afterward while his fans are watching him. He has been doing this for quite a while and the total hours of broadcasting are 37,942.

3. BJ Wang Joo

25-year-old Ji Hyun Kwon is a very popular Mukbang artist. She started her career when one day she had broadcasted herself while eating food and the people loved it so much, they asked her to make it her profession. She has about 286,127 subscribers and the number of hours she put broadcasting herself is around 37,942.

4. BJ Hanna

Hanna Choi, 31-year-old Broadcast Jockey in the field of Mukbang is very famous and has a number of fans. She also has a fan club called the BJ Hanna fan club. The members usually get together or make it a point to watch her videos on a regular basis. She has about 303,227 subscribers and has invested 21,841 hours on the live-streaming platform.

5. BJ Biryong

26-year-old Ji Hwan Choi is Mukbang broadcast Jockey. BJ Biryong is quite famous amongst his 283,189 subscribers and has invested about 21,841 hours BJing. In a recent interview he had said that even though he has a tendency of gaining weight during his job, he still loves doing it.


Manvi Jain

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