Picture this. You set up a video camera, start eating in front of it, and stream the whole thing online. People watch, and advertisers pay you to run their messages on your video, such as the one above.
Welcome to Mukbang. Originating in South Korea during 2010, the term is a portmanteau of the Korean words for eating and broadcast. Eating alone is one of the loneliest things in the developed world, and the increasing number of people living alone now find solace in watching others eat.
Some in the audience eat along, while others watch their diet, but vicariously enjoy the meal being consumed by the host.
Several channels on Youtube and other streaming services are entirely dedicated to Mukbang, gaining millions of views daily. Mainstream Youtube stars like Shane Dawson, James Charles, and Liza Koshy have picked up on mukbanging as well. Working in mysterious ways, the sounds of biting, chewing, and gulping add to the experience of watching the videos.
This video of a man eating drumsticks has been viewed over 20 million times.
Mukbanger Hyunee runs a Youtube channel, with almost a million subscribers, dedicated to eating countless assortments of noodle recipes. In her videos, Hyunee often shares the cooking recipe and creates fun time-bound challenges. According to Social Blade, she is estimated to earn around $18,000 per month.