How K-Pop Is Taking Over The World, (That’s Korean Pop)

How K-Pop Is Taking Over The World, (That’s Korean Pop)

Have you heard of the band Bigbang? The Korean boy band, not the TV show. They are essentially the Korean Backstreet Boys, and they elicit all of the fervor that boy bands are known for. These five young androgynous Korean boys are dominating K-Pop, the hottest pop genre right now.

K-Pop is big business, and Bigbang is currently the biggest in the industry. Bigbang earned $44 million in earnings in the previous year. That’s more than Maroon 5’s $33.5 million, Dr. Dre’s $41 million, and Jimmy Buffett’s $40.5 million. That is how popular K-pop is right now, thanks to the mastermind Yang “YG” Huyn Suk.

Yang is a former K-Pop idol who now owns and operates YG, his publicly traded $630 million record label, talent agency, and concert promotion company. This year, his company is on track to generate a quarter-billion dollars in revenue. Yang is not only responsible for Bigbang, but also for the entire modern K-Pop movement. K-Pop has expanded beyond the borders of Korea in the last few years. It is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

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How K-Pop Is Taking Over The World

How K-Pop Is Taking Over The World, (That’s Korean Pop)

Consider Psy and “Gangnam Style” – he still holds the all-time YouTube record with over 2.6 billion views since the song’s debut in 2012. That level of global acclaim would not have been possible even ten years ago. Back then, the only way to get your hands on K-Pop was through a specialty record store or an illegal download.

K-rise Pop’s is a relatively new phenomenon. Despite the fact that Americans brought Western pop and rock ‘n roll to Korea during the 1950s Korean War,The K-Pop sound emerged in the 1990s as a hybrid of American hip hop, European electronic music, and traditional Asian music genres. The resulting sound was dubbed K-Pop.

Yang was in high school during the height of the movement. He spent his adolescence imitating Soul Train music and learning to dance like Michael Jackson. Yang, Seo Taiji, and a third member formed the band Seo Taiji and Boys in 1992. Their first hit, “Nan Arayo (I Know),” was named one of the best boy band songs of all time by Rolling Stone.

Yang then walked away in 1996, at the height of Seo Taiji and Boys’ popularity. He immediately launched his K-Pop factory and record label, doing what Simon Cowell would do: recruiting members from TV talent shows and pairing them with other contestants and talents to form a boy band strategically designed for maximum appeal.

Yang’s company is much more than a record label. He is also a manager, concert promoter, and talent agency owner. Recorded music accounts for only 25% of Yang’s revenue. Another 25% comes from live music, thanks in part to clients like Bigbang, who has been grossing an average of $2.6 million per show on its current world tour. Yang’s roster also includes the girl group 2NE1, which sells out arenas all over the world and recently appeared in an Addidas commercial with Nicki Minaj.

Psy, Bigbang, and 2NE1 may be making waves on a global scale, but K-Pop is still primarily a regional industry. South Korea accounts for 40% of his revenue. Japan and China generate the majority of revenue from international audiences. Western audiences, on the other hand, are wary. In 2014, the luxury brand holding company LVMH paid $80 million for a 12 percent stake in Yang’s YG label.

Yang has his sights set on North America and its abundance of massive stadiums and arenas. His shows are currently selling out on both coasts. It would be a poor decision to bet against Yang. He is ensuring that K-Pop takes over the world.

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