Blog K-pop: A New World Order
With their genre-crossing music, coordinated dance moves and highly stylized look, Red Velvet are one of a roster of bands that have undergone SM Entertainment’s ‘Cultural Technology’ process – the systematic casting, training, producing and artist management of K-pop stars that has helped create a global industry worth US$5 billion.
K-pop is not just a global phenomenon, it is an industry that can lead the cultural world in the future.
Nikki Semin Han, the CEO of SM Entertainment, the company that bills itself Asia’s largest music entertainment giant, underlined the global and systematic nature of the business.
“Over five years, we held over 1 million auditions across 20 countries, including places like Russia, Chile and Argentina, to find new stars,” Han said, speaking at the AIC. “K-pop is not just a global phenomenon, it is an industry that can lead the cultural world in the future.”
That global approach is evident throughout the value chain. Writers are flown in from across the world to attend song writing camps; music is released simultaneously in multiple countries through local and international social media channels; and marketing campaigns are tailored to local preferences to ensure maximum reach.
And if you were in any doubt about either K-pop’ s ambition or the scale of its reach, SM Entertainment’s newest boy band project, NCT, is launching with different sub-units for different countries and regions including China, Thailand, South Asia, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and South America.
So is K-pop taking over the world? It could be that it already has.