What is “Meok-Bang” : 3 Things you need to know
“Meok-Bang(먹방)” is a shortened word for “먹는 방송”, which means “eating broadcast” in Korean. Literally, it is the video broadcast contents that show the hosts eating food in front of cameras. Since it gets done live online, the hosts also interact with the viewers by answering their requests of eating certain stuff or in a certain way.
1. How did it start?
In Korea, Meok-Bang started gaining fame from the platform called “AfreekaTV”, which is a live video streaming service just like “Twitch”. The hosts would start the live streaming with the food to eat, and talk to viewers as they eat. On Afreeka TV, viewers would send the hosts the’ star balloons’ which could get transferred into real money, as a way of supporting them to try more food! The hosts who had a lot of followers and viewers could also earn a lot of profit that way. Now, Meok-Bang is one of the most popular contents on YouTube as well, even for non-Korean YouTubers.
2. How do Meok-Bang videos work?
Meok-Bang isn’t just about the food they eat, but it is also about how they eat and what kind of sound they make. It is just like food ASMR, with crunchy and slurping sound! If the hosts are able to perform in the ways that satisfy the viewers, it can attract even more viewers to watch their videos. Interestingly, a lot of famous Meok-Bang hosts got attention as they ate humongous portions of food alone at one sitting. It is a pretty incredible thing to watch!
3. Why did it get popular?
Some say that as a single lifestyle is becoming more common in Korea, a lot of people eat alone at home rather than going to restaurants where a lot of people eat in groups. As their loneliness grow, watching people eat online and interact with them via chats might have become a good replacement for the social interaction they wanted.
Why food though? In Korean culture, “eating food” means way more than just a basic needs for survival. It is used as a way of showing appreciation, a motivator to live a better life, and a tool to catch up with someone meaningful, etc. Also, interaction with food is a really important factor to consider before building a relationship with someone. Therefore, the viewers can feel that they are understood and connected with the hosts and the others, as they watch Meok-Bangs.
Not only the YouTube Meok-Bangs are popular, but satisfying eating scenes from Korean dramas and movies are also what viewers want to watch! Here is the compilation of Meok-Bangs done by Korean actors & actresses during their scenes!
김련희 (March 31st, 2017). 보기만 해도 배불러! 진짜 잘 먹는 먹방 BJ. Retrieved from http://www.daily.co.kr/life3128141909#lifeback
안리영 (March 9th, 2017). 아프리카tv 최고의 먹방bj였던 bj밴쯔!! Retrieved from https://m.post.naver.com/viewer/postView.nhn?volumeNo=6743931&memberNo=24933819
ddeong-gae (June 1st, 2018). ASMR Mukbang (eating broadcasting) with 1st-grade bluefin tuna belly~!! (subtitles offered). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/embed/VzKtMCDS2s0
FRAN (April 7th, 2018). 너구리 최대 몇 봉? 너최몇 라면 먹방 吃播 Mukbang eating show. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-pKnY5EQH4
입벌구 (December 28th, 2018). 식욕을 자극하는 영화 속 먹방 모음. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcZPWKA_t6U