The Global Popularization Of South Korea’s EntertainmentsApril 6, 2020
Have you ever wonder why our everyday surroundings are starting to be Korean-related?
Whether speaking about the amount of Korean restaurants,shops,products in our country or talking about how Korean music, series, films are starting to be well known amongst people. It surely is showing that the country Korea (South Korea) is starting to influence our lives somehow what.
Nowadays, South Korea’s entertainment industry are rising and spreading their reputations all across the entire globe as their entertainments are becoming more well known as years goes by. There are three main important factors in the pop culture and Korean culture entertainments that are the main cause of this rising. We will be discussing here these factors that helps create the industry’s reputation growths and how each of these factors contributes to the whole picture.
International Face of South Korea (The Music Industry)
K-pop or Korean pop began popularizing during the late 90’s where currently there are about three different generations of K-pop towards nowadays where each generation is different.
The first generation of Korean pop (1990s to early 2000s) was the time where South Korea’s music landscape firstly started changing, paving the way for artists to become more experimental with their music styles where back then it’s the start of the industry’s potential for global success.
The second generation started around 2003 where in this generation, Hallyu or the Korean Wave have expanded across the globe and is the generation where K-pop started gaining attention for their unique dance choreographies. ( I will be explaining more about the Hallyu/ the Korean Wave furthermore on another post)
The third generation till now is where Korean music has become more modern with combinations of different music stylings like ballad,rock,house etc. and the music companies are open to producing groups of different origins and ethnicity, an example of this would be Blackpink where (Lisa),one of the group’s member is from Thailand.
South Korea’s music industry surely has its own strong base platform that helps launches their own country’s music worldwide where there are many things that makes K-pop unique and successful amongst many other music genres around the world.
The Strengths of K-pop
Well-rounded Quality Productions
Firstly, they have their strength in their music production which includes creating choreographies, music video makings, music composing process by producers or even artists themselves are all in sync and high quality with memorable lyrics, tunes and choreographies that are distinctive and unique. The artist’s fashions and stylings for music videos and stage performances are also expensive looking and matches the concept of their music where this creates the visual appeal to attract people more into K-pop. Their music videos are also meaningful and understandable. For example, the two following girl groups (Blackpink and AOA) music videos where each video contains scenes that convey the message that artists are always being observed by the society especially haters via social medias.
Supported By Their Music Space
Secondly, K-pop is further on supported by their own platform where there are music shows and music programs specially for K-pop to help provide space for artists/idols to showcase their talents and music through amazing stage performances.
Not just showcasing their music but these Korean music shows (ie. M Countdown, Inkigayo, Show Champion) also ranks the artists/ boy groups, girl groups each week with a winner based on their criteria. (Music charts) Where in reality, other than the worldwide billboard rankings, I think that the South Korean music industry already has their own strong success music cycle and system where if compare to other countries in Asia ie. our country (Thailand) where I believe that our music industry’s cycle and system ain’t yet strong enough to provide its own platform for global audiences yet.
Competing To Being Known More
Other than that, there are also competition shows for K-pop which can be for variety of purposes like finding the members for an upcoming new group through different tasks (ie. performing famous K-pop songs) with elimination rounds (where people can start being fans of the artists since before their debut and watch them learn and grow). These competition shows can even be promoting both smaller rookies group and large well known groups by making them compete against each other in a competition of different leagues. Where in these shows, the groups and artists can be asked to perform their own songs with different theme concepts or different twists and remixes which can elevate their original K-pop songs even further for the audience. From these shows we can be seeing the idols/artists new sides that we have never seen from them on stage like, seeing their actual human nature. These competition shows also makes the groups/artists able to gain new worldwide fans from the show (more international fan base worldwide as these competition shows are available to watch for free online) There are also other examples from other countries programs that proves the success for this factor such as the X-factors and the Voice that have also been a huge success that have already created world superstars like Camila Cabello, Normani from Fifth Harmony, Harry Styles from One Direction too. This proves that competition programs can benefit the music industries itself.
In South Korea, the most important determination whether the artists/idol groups will succeed in the music industry is by having their first win,(sometimes first win can come with their debut song, or in other words their first title track of their very first album) however if after their debuts, sometimes artists can take up to years to reach their first win and gain any interests with their songs (on music shows). Having a first win is a crucial part to truly say that the group’s a success as to be having a first win for their song, it consists of having the highest amount overall score calculated from votes, views and physical sales from audiences where this shows that the artists have been a interest to the audiences. Artists themselves also does care a lot about their first win and winning too as it will mean a lot to them (artists who win will be able to perform on stage by themselves without other K-pop groups).
After their debut, when the artists/idols are releasing new music, they call it as ‘comebacks’ where the pros of K-pop are that many groups often does their comebacks frequently giving the audiences variety of songs to listen to, for example: The music company ‘JYP’ often makes their artists (Got 7, Twice) have their comebacks about three times a year which definitely is a lot of comebacks if compared to our country (Thailand) where artists also makes their comebacks regularly too but not with a full album like South Korea.
Another strategies of South Korea’s music industry would be that there are no boundaries for projects paths, cross collaboration group within the same music company can occur where the members from different groups are chosen to create a new collaborate group ie. the music company (SM) K-pop boy group ‘SuperM’ that consists members from SM’s boy groups of EXO, NCT and former Shinee).
Furthermore, sub units or teams under a group name can also be created, a good example of this would be SM’s boy group or groups under the name of ‘NCT’ where there are currently four teams including NCT U, NCT 127, NCT Dream and Way V. Under these teams, some members can also actually be participating in more than one team or sub unit too.
Speaking before of wins, where after K-pop groups’ songs have succeeded in getting wins, some groups may start having the members doing their own solo projects (having their own individual songs despite also having group songs) while still being a part of the group (able to also begin solo career) which is unlike other music industries, where artists within groups ie. Fifth Harmony, One Direction, they tend to either choose either between their solo music career or their group music career but not both.
These are all the many ways that helps K-pop able to promote itself further as the music system itself is so strong.
Concluding, South Korea’s music strategies are to gain global fans and audiences through variety of unbounded projects after high quality debuts and frequent comeback stages with full new albums that gives and satisfies the audiences on what they need (more amazing music!)
Korean Series and Films (Strengths In Cinematography)
Another phenomenon well known from South Korea’s entertainments are its films and Korean series. I believed that many of you have heard of some Korean series or movies trending amongst the social.
What are their strengths and why do people globally enjoy watching them?
Firstly, I would say it’s because of their core values. Korean series are made with mostly family-friendly themes where people sometimes can relate the situations in the series with their own daily life. Korean series are mostly enjoyable by people of all ages where it can give you the taste of comedy,romance,action,fantasy,thriller and sci-fi depending on what you choose to watch. ( however If it’s actually too inappropriate for some age group viewers, there will be a notice before the series airs).
Storylines and Characterizations
Secondly, the storylines and characterizations. Unlike many Thai series or movies, the storyline of most Korean series are unpredictable and unexpected in a good way where the plots are modern, filled with creativity and can sometimes be based from a web toon. Some Korean series and films also are able to convey the most reality out of their country’s society through their plot and cinematography where the famous examples includes the award wining Korean series of ‘Sky Castle’ that convey out the current education system in Korea, and another example is the four Oscar awards winning film of ‘Parasite’ that conveys out the truth of how far people can go to live their best life and the social divide in South Korea.
The characterizations of Korean series and films are also good where the role of each series are well scouted with good casts that can shine with the most charisma playing the role given.
Thirdly, their overall productions. In terms of finding the perfect locations for each scenes, in Korean series you will see that each scene matches the storylines where the cinematography is amazing.
The amount of money spent on each series are also a lot, to pay the casts and sometimes create a dramatic set which makes Korean series turns out to be high quality productions. For example, a Korean series featured on Netflix Of ‘Arthdal Chronicles’ spent an overall of 54 billion to create their series with their dramatic fantasy sets and perfectly fitted costumes. (Doing what makes the audience satisfied by creating a realistic fantasy universe)
The characters stylings of most Korean series are also all on points with great hair do, expensive looking clothes or clothes that perfectly fits the characters where sometimes the styling of a particular cast can become a fashion trend too.
In the end from all the factors of having high potentials and qualities in productions to South Korea’s artists/casts/people’s amazing talents. The final factor that can’t be avoid would be their artists and casts amazing visuals. All these factors that I have mentioned in my blog post are what makes the popularization of South Korea’s entertainments huge and successful dominating the globe nowadays.
Did you have fun reading my blog? If so please check out my other blog on something that I mentioned earlier here about
‘ The Hallyu/ Korean Wave and Its Success ’