What is it that has aided in the K-pop and Korean Wave sensation spread so fast? In terms of K-pop, it is no doubt that YouTube has been a key influence in the global success K-pop has seen.
Both Asia-Pacific Google/YouTube representatives made a visit to Korea this summer and held an invitation only forum for SNS professionals. At the forum, YouTube representatives stated how they were shocked as to how popular K-pop was on their channels. Low and behold, a few months later, earlier this month on November 7, Google made the official announcement to make an official K-pop channel that will essentially hub together all the K-pop related channels on YouTube, to be in one spot.
YouTube and K-pop make it official with Google's Eric Schmidt making a visit to the Blue House
On November 7th, Google's Eric Schmidt made a visit to the Blue House (or Chung Wa Dae, the President's residence) in order to formally speak with the South Korean President, Myung-bak Lee, about the YouTube channel. Schmidt also shared that YouTube plans on using this platform to integrate and share other cultural contents about Korea; like streaming live K-pop concerts via YouTube.
Eric Schmidt meets the current President of South Korea. Image source here
There are already a total of 50,000,000 K-pop videos uploaded on YouTube that include DBSK with 40000, Kara with 400,000, Girls' Generation with 340,000, Super Junior with 270,000, Wonder Girls with 26000. But if you actually search for "K-pop" in YouTube, you will find a search result of 60,000 more videos. If you search using other popular Korean Entertainment companies like YG (http://www.youtube.com/YGEntertainment), JYP (http://www.youtube.com/jypentertainment) and SM (http://www.youtube.com/smtown), even more videos pop up. Due to the diversity in keywords used and not to mention the mix of official content and fan content, it's difficult to pinpoint and organize all the videos, which is one of the reasons why many are excited to see all the "K-pop" related content be congregated on one channel-linking the names of performer(s) to make searches on YouTube more refined and efficient. Blue House officials shared their excitement for the K-pop channel's influence in furthering the knowledge of Korea and K-pop to an international audience.
The 2011 YouTube K-Pop Awards: HyunA, 2NE1 and Super Junior selected to be the most influential K-Pop stars on YouTube
Just this past week on Tuesday, November 22, the 2011 YouTube K-Pop Awards opened here in Seoul, Korea. Korean idol boy group Super Junior was awarded as the #1 K-pop group with their music video for "Mr. Simple" tallied in the most views among K-pop music videos with 26,946,217 views (if you actually take a look now, the view has hit over 27,000,000). YouTube insight revealed that this video recorded significant hits from not only Korea, but from North America, South America, Australia and Africa. In the case of 2NE1, 3 of their videos are included in the Top 10 K-pop music video list. "I am the Best" with 22,090,000, "Lonely" with 18,000,000, and "Hate You" with 10,000,000 views. Solo artist Hyuna's "Bubble Pop" landed in the Top 3 among solo artists with 21,650,000 views. Girls' Generation's "The Boys" (18,000,000), Big Bang's "Tonight" (16,000,000) and "Love Song" (13,000,000), Kara's "Step" (14,000,000) were also among noted. Especially Girls Generation's "The Boys" considering that it has only been 1 month since its initial release.
SuperJunior was named the #1 YouTube K-pop Star. Here you have the current 13 members. Image source here
SM Entertainment has already seen effects of this YouTube craze for K-pop. The insight they gathered off the YouTube channels, led them to eventually meet the demands of their European fans and open a concert, "SM Town Live" in Paris, this past June. With the help of YouTube, the dispersion of K-POP and SM Town through Europe was seen, even after this event.
Prospects are high for this K-Pop Channel. But seeing the success it has reached already, I am looking forward to the experience this new K-Pop channel will offer. We addressed the Korean SNS market and the Korean Wave in a previous post here entitled 'The Korean Wave takes a ride on SNS'. We just thought it was the appropriate time for us to revisit this topic with YouTube. But apart from K-pop, YouTube remains to be one of the top SNS channels because of the entertainment users get from both official entertainment content and user generated content. Hopefully one day soon we'll be able to see a clip of you doing a cover-dance of your favorite K-pop group on this channel?
About the authorby Amy G Jung
I am one of the main communicators for this project and am excited about supporting Korea in disclosing and clarifying anything related to Korean technology, design, and culture. I am a former Product Specialist from Apple, born and bred in the US, and grew up around cars. I like learning about trivial things in life and relieving both my right and left brain appetites.
- Follow @amygjung Twitter
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