New service offers calls directly from idols to fans’ smartphones or PCs, with chats coming as soon as five minutes from the request.

A Japanese idol singer’s success hinges on their ability to create a personal bond, or at least the feeling of one, between themselves and their fans. But even if you go to watch an idol unit perform live, you’re getting the same experience as every other fan in attendance, and listening to pre-recorded CDs feels even less unique.

So for fans looking for a more personalized way to support and interact with their favorite idols, there’s a new service called pokeLIVE.

▼ Shine Fine Movement and 26:00 Masquerade, two of the idol units associated with pokeLIVE.

pokeLIVE offers telephone conversations with idols, and to clarify, these aren’t pre-recorded voice messages, but live phone calls placed to the user’s smartphone or PC. While exact available times vary by individual idol, the service as a whole trumpets that it offers phone calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

▼ Video for the summery “Bubbling Squash,” from Super Girls, another unit whose members offer phone calls through pokeLIVE.

Each call is a brisk 30 seconds long, which should allow fans to squeeze one in regardless of how busy their lifestyles are. Once the time is up, the system automatically hangs up the phone. However, users are allowed to purchase as many conversation tickets as they like, which can be used for any idols on pokeLIVE’s roster.

▼ Ange Reve’s “Melody of that Summer”

The current list of pokeLIVE idol groups includes:
● Super Girls
● 26:00 Masquerade
● Appare! Harajuku
● Shine Fine Movement
● Clef LEaf
● Masshiro na Campus
● Nankini
● Aiotome Doll
● Ange Reve
● Jewel Nege
● Luce Twinkle Wink
● Chu Oh! Dolly
● Stella Beats
● Shuen Gobuppan
● Maybe Me

As long as an idol’s schedule, as posted on the pokeLIVE website, is clear, phone calls can be requested with as little as five minutes of lead time. Registration for the service is free, but a fee of 2,900 yen (US$27) a month gives users the ability to schedule calls between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., as well as access to limited-time guest idols (like free users, premium members must purchase conversation tickets separately).

While the calls are billed as coming directly from the idols’ personal phones, pokeLIVE’s intermediary system prevents either the idols’ or users numbers from displaying, providing privacy on both ends of the service. The system also operates as a toll-free number, meaning that you won’t rack up extra mobile phone charges during the conversation.

▼ Stella Beats’ “Fantastic Traveller”

PokeLIVE touts itself as being a way by which fans who don’t have the time/money to attend a group’s concerts can still support the idols. Since the service also works with microphone-equipped PCs, ostensibly it should be open to overseas users as well, and for those of you interested in the prospect of a little idol chatter, pokeLIVE’s registration page can be found here.

Source: pokeLIVE via Otapol, @Press
Top image: pokeLIVE
Insert image: @Press